The Saga Continues

I must say that having an injury that perpetually won’t heal is frustrating.  At week 10 now I got to see my doctor for more xrays.  My thumb is still broken and still not healing.  And what I wanted to hear least I got to hear.  Again the doctors comment was another 4 weeks.  Seems like every time I get to see him he says something similar.

Everything in me just wants to get on with life and get back into the groove.  And yet my thumb keeps me held back.  And having never broken anything before I have no framework to go on.  So I can’t even know if something I am doing is adding to the wait, or if this is simply normal.  Kinda adds to the frustration.

However there are many other things the doctor could have said that could have been much worse.  I am still on the mend, but at least I am mending  and will be able to learn from the experience.  At least to not stick my thumb between moving objects 🙂

Get out of my way

Many of us, me included, struggle with self defeating  habits.  We are constantly getting in our own way and tripping ourselves and stumbling over our own good intentions.  We try to get ahead, and sometimes we do, but usually we end up sabotaging ourselves and in the end simply get frustrated and often depressed.  This is a very real problem and one I am beginning to learn to overcome.  For some it is simply the fact that we don’t put enough thought or planning into what we are hoping to accomplish, so it usually doesn’t happen.  Others simply procrastinate until it is to late and in the end we sit in our rocking chair on the porch thinking about ‘the good old days’ or simply hashing over again ‘what could have been’ or the ‘if only.’

I am finding that life is simply to short to keep running around in the same circle hoping to find the exit.  There has to be a better way.  And for some, it seems to come naturally.  They focus and move forward and accomplish.  But for others we seem to constantly be viewing the same scenery and telling the same stories year after year.  So how can we get out of our own way.

I think first we have to see the problem.  If you think that this is just the way life is, then you will never try to see life differently.  Or if you think that this is the way you were wired to be then you will just keep doing the same things and getting the same result year after year.  Someone once said “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over hoping for a different result.” So we need to see that there is a problem and then try to find a solution.  This is where some work comes in, because there is no hard and fast solution for everyone.  Each one of us is unique and so the solution will be uniquely designed for each of us.  There will be some common principles to apply, some I may even be able to share here, but the solution will be uniquely yours.  Which requires some soul searching.  Something very few people actually do, and as a result very few people move past where they are at.

So we need to examine ourselves.  This doesn’t mean that we should spend so much time searching for problems that we make some up.  That is often what a hypochondriac will do.  They are so convinced there is a problem that they will constantly make one up to justify their search for problems.  This is not what we should be doing.  But we can look within and see if there are patterns to our lives that can begin to explain some of what is happening in and around us.  Quite often there is a trigger that allows us to shoot ourselves in the foot.  Pardon the pun.  And if we begin to take an honest assessment of ourselves we can begin to see those patterns and then begin to see a way of changing them.

We need to develop a plan. If you aim at nothing you will hit it every time.  To often we live life like Charlie Brown.  Lucy found him shooting arrows at the fence in the back yard with lots of bulls-eyes painted on the fence.  Charlie Brown would shoot an arrow and then proceed to paint a bulls-eye around it.  When Lucy commented that this was not how it was done, Charlie Brown said “but this way I hit a bulls-eye every time.”  And this is the way many of us run through life.  Me included.  But then we wonder why we never seem to get anywhere.  I learned recently that we wouldn’t plan a trip without looking at a map to be sure we knew how to get where we were going, and knew where the gas stations and hotels would be located.  But we run through life doing just that.  A plan, or goals, is simply a map showing our destination and how we intend to get there, and when.

Forget about what cannot be changed. To often we spin in circles going over what was, and what if.  What if something goes wrong, or what if someone doesn’t like it, or what if…  The list is endless.  Or we sit and stew over what happened before.  We can never push into our future if we are constantly holding onto our past.  So what can we learn from our mistakes that can allow us to move forward.  We are only a failure if we stop trying.  Edison said, when he was asked about the 200 attempts at the light bulb, “I never failed.  I just learned 200 ways that didn’t work.”  So we need to do the same.  Our past is to heavy a burden for us to carry.  We cannot look forward if we are constantly looking back.  We need to let it go and begin to move on.  I know, easier said than done.  But what would you rather do,  sit and rehearse past failures, or look forward to new victories?

We need to stop sweating over the small stuff. If all we do is worry and focus on what we have no control over we can never accomplish anything.  This has been a problem for me.  I often get lost in all the details.  And the details seem to just keep coming.  But I am learning to focus on what is necessary, and on what I can change.  And we all need to do the same.  We have some control over what happens around us, if the truth were known it is very little, and those are the things we can focus on changing.  Getting frustrated and bent out of shape over what we cannot change just takes our focus off of what we can change.  So don’t sweat the small stuff.

Lastly stop procrastinating. We can never move ahead if we keep putting it off till tomorrow.  Someone once said “There is never a better time than today.” And since there is no such thing as a round to it we need to stop waiting.  It’s not going to accomplish itself, don’t I wish, so we need to simply buckle down and get started.  This means some discipline because a procrastinaters favorite phrase is “I don’t feel like it.” We need to stop running on our feelings and simply focus on what we can change and then change it regardless of how we feel.   It is like going to the gym.  On the way we feel tired and not up to exercise.  But if we discipline ourselves and do it anyway we find ourselves feeling better because of it.   Time to adopt Nike’s slogan and “Just do it.”

Where do we go from here

For many years church has been going on each and every week, with little changing for many of us.  It seems to continue to remain ‘church as we know it.’  We gather, we perform our traditions and rituals, and we go home.  We feel comfortable with the status quo of church as we know it and aren’t looking to change it.  Or for many others maybe your in the camp who is bored to tears with ‘church as we know it’ and are looking for a change.  If you talk with many Christians they feel like change is necessary, but what needs to change, and where do we go from here.

God is changing how we do church. The prophecies coming from around the world all say similar things.  God is beginning to release a new move and we won’t be able to program it or control it.  In my local church many have felt a large shift in the spiritual atmosphere over the last couple weeks.  God is definitely up to something.  He is moving His people to begin a release of  His Spirit the likes we have never seen.  So what do we do, and how do we accommodate His move?

First we need to recognize that we have no precedents to follow.  Just like the children of Israel as they entered the promised land for the first time “we have not been this way before”.  God is preparing us for a new release and if we try to manage or follow it based on previous patterns and moves we will be unable to follow Him.  Just like Jesus said in Luke 5:37 we cannot pour new wine into old wine skins.   What God is about to do will not fit into the nice little package we currently offer in our churches.  We must be willing to allow some things we value as part of our traditions to begin to fall away and allow God the opportunity to change what He needs to so that we can enter into His plan for this time and season.

Although God is doing something that we cannot use previous moves and patterns to follow He will not contradict scripture.  So many people have allowed themselves to be swayed by hype and what people have called the latest revelation from God that really have nothing to do with God because they have not stayed in God’s word.  God will not go against what He has revealed in scripture.  So if something doesn’t line up with God as revealed by the bible then I would question  whether or not it actually is of God.  So scripture will be a major guideline for what God is doing now.

We also need to keep our relationship with  Jesus fresh.  Without a relationship with God we will not be able to sense the leadings of God’s Spirit and may miss out on the turns and course changes that God is going to make.  Christianity is about having a relationship with God and not a religious experience anyway.  But we need to keep it fresh.  Our relationship needs to be Daily.  Like many this is also an area for growth for me as well.  I often get lost in the business of life and can lose my focus in the difficulties and struggles that happen daily.  Our relationship needs to be as important as the air we breath.  For just as important as oxygen is to physical life, our relationship with God is to our spiritual life.

We need to make and keep our focus on Jesus.  If we allow our focus to move to anything else we will lose our direction.  He is the “author and finisher of our faith” and will complete in us what He started.  But He needs to be our focus.  Often we can move our focus to ourselves, or our difficulties. or the lives of friends or families around us.  And when this happens we begin to drift.  Just like driving a car, you steer towards what you are looking at, our lives will move towards what we focus upon.

Lastly we, like Jesus, need to be “about our Father’s business”.  We allow a lot of things to pull us away from what is really important.  Me included.  The mandate of Jesus was to “seek and save the lost”, and He passed this mandate on to us as well.  Jesus said in John 20 “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you”.  What the Father has sent me to do, I now send you.  Most of us are not comfortable with the concept of evangelism.  It causes us to push past our comfort zones and reach beyond ourselves and see others as important.  Something that Jesus has never changed His mind on.  He was always ‘about His Father’s business’ and passed that call unto us.

So we have some changes to make, both at a personal level and a corporate level.  And if we are willing to make the changes necessary we will enter incredible and exciting times walking with God and moving with Him.  Great times are ahead of us if we are willing.