Did you ever think you were on the right track, finally going the direction you should be going only to watch as the road seemingly turned to dust? The path you thought was so true and right all of a sudden seemed bumpy and unmanageable.
Several things have made this pretty crisp to me lately. I have to step back and ask if the path I am taking is my path, my choices. Have I consulted God to see if this was the proper path? Did I even consider His plans? Did I make undue assumptions? (Because, I'm great at assuming things.)
Proverbs 16 is filled with many reminders. Verse 1 tells us that we can make our own plans, but God will always have the right answers. Verse 9 tells us that we make our own plans, but the Lord will determine our steps. Am I following the path that I believe is right, but that only ends in death? God has a way of pulling us back sometimes when we have reached the brink of disaster. Verse 3 reminds me that if I just commit my actions to the Lord my plans will succeed. I thought I was doing that. But, have I really? I have to beg the question of whether I have just gone through the motions.
This morning, I received a devotion that suggested that reading your Bible should not just be on your checklist of things to do that day. The writer suggested that we stop reading our Bible...not in a literal sense, but to stop just reading it to check off another "I did all my Christian activities". She encourages instead that we read as if we are talking to God, pick out a verse that speaks to us and read it over and over, and finally find a way to act upon it. It follows the "READ, CHEW, DO" that we are learning in 56 at LCBC. What verse leaps off the page? How can I apply it to my life? But the thing I had missed was not grabbing my Bible and sitting down at the table to run through the motions and underline a few words. What I've failed to do is about taking a few moments BEFORE reading to just pray from my gut that God will speak to me, admitting that I don't understand and that I feel my path straying.
In the end, it is about loving myself. If I don't truly love myself, I can't expect others to either. It is about forgiving myself for the wrongs that have committed...God has, why can't I? It is about baby steps toward the right direction and visibly noting those little improvements. And, most of all it is about knowing there will occassionaly be lows, but celebrating the highs and constantly striving to connect on a deeper level.
My action item (and maybe yours): Time to stop zombie walking and going through the motions and inject some "caffeine" into your relationships and become active in them, including your relationship with Christ.