Sometimes a change of scenery helps re-focus different things in your life. Who you are. Who you aren’t. What you really like. What you really don’t like. If you’re really hearing what the Lord is saying through His Word, or if it is your own independent thoughts and desires that are making the bulk of the decisions. A place where you have to take a realistic look at choices, and if the directions you’ve planned are in agreement with the plan God has set out for you.
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence, there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. – Psalm 16:11
Sometimes that sense of being unsettled hits you as you observe the unfamiliar environment you find yourself in. You have doubts that recent choices are really what you are supposed to be doing. Especially when circumstances of life seem to hinder what you thought would easily happen. But then the Lord gives you clarity.
The steps of a man are established by the LORD, when he delights in his way; – Psalm 37:23
Your path, because you delight in God’s way, is already established. You do your part, you pray, you study instruction in the Word, and you live out what you’ve learned. You have confidence that the scripture that guides you is directly from the Lord, God breathed into the words men have written that make up the Holy Bible.
A change of scenery can be a good thing. You sometimes see some things that need to be adjusted in your life. You recognize things that are on track and rejoice. You are comforted in acknowledging that you are not alone, even if the scenery changes.
Next blog: Baking bread and mysteries
Where’s the fun? How can sitting in front of a computer screen for hours writing about God and people and life – how can that be fun? How can you spend hours doing online seminary studies and consider it fun? How can you find fun in doing so many things you do all alone?
Well, foremost, I’m not alone. The Lord is always with me. And also, I am who God created me to be, and I’m more of an introvert and am comfortable being alone a lot of the time. I don’t enjoy shopping, so online shopping works great for me. I do love live theatre, not movie theaters, but rarely go. Eating out is okay, but only once in a while. I love people, I love spending time with them, but my loving people is not contingent on my being with them a lot. I used to be involved in all kinds of church activities, and it was a great time of growth in my life, but unless the Lord requires it of me again, I’m content to commit to one thing in the church above the normal activities, give it my best, have fun doing it, and continue living the life I consider fun.
“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” – Colossians 3:17
We all get asked why in the world the things we do are considered fun. Sometimes people are earnestly trying to understand us better. Some are being sarcastic. Some are putting us in categories based on their own labeling system. Some are genuinely concerned because, in their lack of understanding, they think there is something wrong and feel a need to correct the very things in our lives we find fun.
Which is why it’s good to assure folks that what seems like a boring, dull life is really okay and that we are all parts of the body of Christ, and being an earlobe may not be as exciting as being an eye, but it still has a purpose.
I know my life may not be your life, and the things that you consider fun are worlds apart from mine. That’s more than okay. Please, have fun. God wants us to find joy in the life we’ve been given. Just remember, “Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak” – 1 Corinthians 8:9
And always give thanks for the good times you’ve had, because all good things come from God. All. Good. Things.
Next blog: The sacrifice of praise
When the worst that could happen, happens. When the worst eventually turns out to be far from the worst, and the emotions have run their course and you are faced with a reality you just don’t know what do to with, then what?
Maybe the disciples had this question raging in the back of their minds as they tried to settle into the reality of the events they’d just gone through. Jesus was here. Then He wasn’t. Then He was. Now it looks like He’ll be gone again.
How many of us face life-changing events and end up feeling like we’re staring into the future feeling lost as to what comes next.
God has a plan. He always has a plan. We study scripture so we can understand His plan. If we believe God we follow the plan. But still, what will happen next? Even if all goes according to the plan, what is next? There always will be a ‘what is next’ thought that creeps, or leaps, into the mind. And the mournful ‘where do I go from here?’ is never far behind.
Instead of trusting God and His direction, sometimes we get impatient with God’s timing, which leads to doubt, which makes us think we have to figure things out with the limited information we possess, and then fix things that don’t need to be fixed; things that just need some time to work themselves out as proof that God really does know what He’s doing, whether we do or not.
Being prepared for what lies ahead is not a bad plan. God expects us to use the brains and the resources He gave us. He also gave us emotions to enrich our lives and He understands how powerful they can be, even dangerous if left uncontrolled. But faith is not based on emotion. If it were, how easy it would be to walk away from our faith after one or several difficult days left us in a foul mood. Or an amazingly good day or days enticed us away, promising endless similar days that fit what we decide is an easier plan.
When we want to moan, ‘where do I go from here?’ can the answer be so simple as to follow God? Follow the instruction of His Holy Scriptures? Follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit? Peace is available in the process if we can follow Him without demanding our own way. Simple? No, the process is not always simple. No snapping of the fingers, or twitching of the nose. It takes effort to maintain a relationship with God, just as it does with people. It means establishing priorities that demand some things, some people, have to be placed further down on the priority list or, perhaps, even go entirely. That part is not easy. Worth it? To establish more firmly our relationship with God, yes! So, where do we go from here? Forward, toward God, one step at a time.
Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. I have sworn an oath and confirmed it, to keep your righteous rules. – Psalm 119:104-106
Next blog: But why?
NOTE: I invite writers, church leaders, believers with a testimony, who would like to guest blog to contact me at email@example.com for more information. I am open to one guest blog, or a series of guest blogs. I am open to scripture studies, short stories, poems, great recipes and tips for around the house. If you have a blog idea different than these, as long as it fits into the faith theme of this site, then we can discuss it. My desire is to share God and to share this space He’s provided for me. – Vicki