Saturday, June 24, 2017
Starting Side. Chaotic Middle. The Other Side.
Take a good look at this picture. What do you see? (Seriously, play my game and leave it in the comments).
I have no clue what it is about this view, regardless of where you are around the city, you get the mountains, valley, and millions of homes sprinkling up the sides of the mountains. It is so mesmerizing and peaceful.
However, if you are in the middle of this city, full of 3.5+ million people, it probably isn't quite as peaceful. The cars honking, the people passing you by, the vendors yelling out, the buses spewing black smoke, the heat, whew, talk about sensory overload! If you think about it, isn't that kind of how life is?? I mean minus the black smoke, and maybe the heat. We have so many THINGS pulling for our attention, it can create quite a sensory overload.
Today I was listening to a podcast from our home church...First of all, praise the LAWD for wifi/internet, and second thanks CHBC for posting podcasts to allow us to stay a little connected. :) Ok, so in this podcast I was reminded of what happens when we lose our focus. Pastor Mark was actually talking about our attitude when we come to church (and in life). You don't have to fake a smile when you show up, but if you let every. little. detail. that bothers show on your face/attitude and share it with others, you are not a ray of sunshine, and honestly-- who wants that??? We ALL go through rough days (ask me about mine), we ALL go through tough seasons, we ALL have inner battles that are continuous; but you know what? Where we focus our eyes, our heart, our purpose, will determine our "view point". If you have a high view point (on Jesus), you will see that you can make it thought the center to the other side.
Follow me here, I am talking about our days, storms, seasons- just like the picture above, there is a clear "starting side"; "in the chaotic middle"; and "the other side". A low view point all you can see is "in the chaotic middle", with no clue what is next, continuous sensory overload. Whew, super stressful.
I recently went through this. I lost my focus. I lost my "view point". I started focusing on ME and MY problems. When your eyes go from looking up, to looking straight, to looking down (focusing on you), your attitude changes, you start getting frustrated more, which brings anger and self pity, which can lead to destruction. Have you been there? It is ugly. It is hard to stop. I was so confused, I mean I love Jesus, I know to look to him, I tried to, I prayed, I sought godly counsel, I spent time reading God's word and being quiet...and then I realized, no, actually that last part, not true. My crazy life with 3 kids, working outside the home (1 day a week), working from home, relationship building, keeping up with friends, being a wife, and cleaning (ugh), I had slowly pushed out my quiet time. I was praying, but I was not gleaning wisdom, truth, hope, joy from God's word being poured in my heart.
At first I didn't want to share this, I just wanted to keep it hidden; how embarrassing, I mean part of my job description is "sharing Jesus"...but, then again I AM HUMAN, and not a super one at that!! I am a living breathing example that God will use obedience. God shines through our weakness (2 Corinthians 2:9), through our forgetfulness, through our overcrowding, through our kids and house that never stays clean. He shines through whatever you have going on too! He is incredible, and his grace will NEVER run out. Your eyes are not a permanent fixture, just like they can start to downward focus, YOU can refocus your eyes back up, back on Jesus, back where you can see the start, the chaotic middle and other side.
I am growing, I am learning (praise the Lord for grace, the Holy Spirit and online courses), haha! Don't be afraid of your mistakes, don't let shame keep you from obedience. Check out 2 Corinthians 5:14-17. GOD'S LOVE COMPELS US, and IN HIM we are a new creation, your past cannot be your future. You never know who you can encourage or help out by sharing past struggles that you have overcome. Not just your struggles, burdens, fears, but how you overcame it, that is by far the best part! :)