Have you ever tried to follow someone in a vehicle and had them get so far ahead of you (or drive so fast) that you could not easily switch directions with them? If you have no idea where you are going, it can quickly become a confusing and frustrating experience. At those times, it can get difficult to keep up and you may have to actually pull to the side of the road and call them or make other arrangements.
Recently, I was walking with a friend. He was leading as I didn’t know how to get to our destination. At one point, we were going the wrong direction and he turned around. It was easy for me to stay close as we were walking slowly. I commented to him about that being like following God. We discussed it further and I wanted to write this: When we learn to walk slowly with God, it’s a lot easier to follow Him. Maybe He slows down even more so that we simply learn to know His voice. When we try to run ahead of Him or we fall too far behind, sometimes we just need to stop and reset.
Let this encourage you today to be sure that you have stopped to ask for (or confirm) your direction.
I was raised in church and went straight into Bible college when I graduated high school. I really enjoyed my studies and the ministry experiences to which I was exposed. When I graduated, things did not go the way I planned or hoped. I started working for a church as a youth pastor but they couldn’t really pay me. I was on the verge of getting married and had to “settle” for a job at a bank as to get health benefits and a decent salary. Eventually, I had to stop working at that church and became a youth volunteer at another church. I was incredibly disappointed.
I eventually worked out a way to still be a part-time youth pastor while continuing a career in finance. I had a decent life. I was very happy. I was married and eventually had a child, but I did not understand why God didn’t open a door for me in the ministry.
I will continue this story next time, but remember this: (this is in the book) If you went through all the effort to make the perfect cherry pie but took it out of the oven before it was ready to eat, it would not live up to its potential. We are all like cherry pies in God’s oven. Only He knows exactly how He formed us and exactly how long it may take before we are ready. TRUST HIS TIMING
Psalm 90:4 “A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.”
In anticipation of this book actually being published later this year, I am going to write a few blogs about some of the events that have taken place in my life which have led to me starting this project of Becoming Ever Mindful.
I was brought up in a Christian home in Indiana. Our family was the type that was in the church every time the doors were open, as people like to say. My earliest memories include my mom as a backup singer during the worship times. I somehow remember myself kneeling down at a pew in Sunday school around the age of 6, saying the sinner’s prayer. I went to a Christian school or was home schooled for most of my time until I graduated high school. As soon as I was able, I started playing drums at my church and became a youth leader. I received my baptism in the Holy Spirit around the age of 14 and recall immediately knowing that God was calling me to be a youth pastor. I went on a missions trip and remember sitting next to our district youth director on the flight there. I actually told him I planned to take his job eventually. We both had a laugh but didn’t really talk about it much. My entire teenage life included my trying to explain this to friends and family (many of whom did not understand or agree). I was involved with all youth events, I was in Bible Quiz, I went to all the youth retreats and camps. There was never a “rebellious streak” or any doubt in my mind of what direction I wanted to go. I went to a Bible college in Lafayette, Indiana that encouraged me to learn to serve and minister to all kinds of people in all kinds of ways (not just from a pulpit on a stage). At my college graduation, I knew I was going to go out there and conquer the world (or, at least, a youth group)…it didn’t quite happen that way. This project has been more of a documentation of my journey and how I have learned to be mindful of God’s guidance through all of life’s twists and turns. (I’ll flesh out the story over the next couple of blogs.)
Think about that for a minute. Tomorrow is Tuesday. What are you going to do? Are you going to get up early and go to work? Will you spend the whole day doing menial tasks that make someone else’s dream come true? Are you going to spend the day taking a class that you don’t really care about? Maybe you’ll spend the day doing unending errands and feel nothing was accomplished by the end of the day?
We all have to do those things at some point in our lives.
The important thing is that we don’t forget that for which we are created in the midst our daily tasks. I love my job. I get to do what I went to school for and I get to tell people about my faith on a regular basis. However, it is still a job. What God created me for is something that I can only know by spending time with Him.
What does God want to do through you tomorrow (within the course of your daily tasks) that could change the world?
Psalm 119:35 (NIV) “Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.”