What a series “Nah, I’m Good” has been! I have found it both challenging and encouraging. Frankly, this journey has been like some vacations. You know, the vacation with a daily itinerary packed so full, a period of recovery is required when you return home. This message series has offered much spiritual meat to process. Whew!
Thankfully, we have finally reached its end. Now we can wrap up the weekly lessons in a sturdy box, tie a lovely bow on it, and place it on a shelf.
After all, isn’t that how many of us live life? We step into our daily ritual, leaving no room for God. Sure, we may spend five minutes reading the Bible and offer a quick “bless my family and me” prayer as we rush into the new day. But then, it’s off to the races!
There is no measurable amount of room left in our schedule for God to show up—in big ways, much less small ways. We are hard-pressed to find any wiggle room in our day-to-day living. Would God expect any less of us? To be busy from sun up to sun down trumps the do-nothing couch potato! Right?
When we slow down and choose to notice those around us, God often shows up. Such was the case as I interacted briefly with a young man in an elevator at Toledo Hospital years ago. Sleep deprivation had caused noticeable confusion. He briefly shared his great concern for his mother. He was staying by her bedside, escaping periodically to sleep in his van in the parking garage. Upon asking, he quickly allowed me to pray with him that morning. What an honor! We parted ways—he, to the van to sleep, and me to work.
It was a refreshing encounter when God arranged our paths to cross again two days later. It was profound to hear him report that his mother was significantly better. God had generously shown up!
Those memories remind me of God’s goodness—to me and to others, especially when I have a helpful mindset. Sadly, there remains within me an overabundance of self-centeredness and stinkin’ thinkin.’ I must choose each day to medicate these chronic conditions.
A daily dose of this week’s bottom line is a great place to start: “God’s WAY is to go out of OUR WAY.” Another powerful antidote is found in Isaiah 55.
Isaiah 55:8-9 NASB
8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.
9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.”
What keeps you from getting involved when a genuine need presents itself? What keeps you from altering your schedule to meet the needs of another? What determines the number of times you are willing to reach into someone’s life mess?
Make a deliberate decision to get involved with someone in need when it is not convenient to do so. Be willing to leave the path you planned for the day to step into someone’s messiness. Join a Group. Extend an invitation for someone to join you at church.
Father, purify my heart. Cultivate the hardness within me. I want to be pliable in your hands, putting your goodness and your love on display. Help me see opportunities to go out of my way, boldly stepping into your way. Help me step into relationships where undeniable differences exist. Continue to equip me with the courage necessary to step past my comfort zone into the lives of others. Help me differentiate between the wisdom of silence and the weakness of cowardliness. Help me see opportunities where others see roadblocks. Give me gentle words to say when harsh words easily surface. In Jesus’ name, amen.
This post was written by Karen Peck. Karen retired in March 2018 from Lucas County Information Services. She has been married to her husband, E. Michael, for over forty years. Karen is extremely grateful retirement has afforded her several soul-fulfilling opportunities to engage in deeper, meaningful relationship with Him and others.
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