Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Vicious Cycle

The Casting Crowns song, "Does Anybody Hear Her?" begins with the lyrics:

She is running
A hundred miles an hour in the wrong direction.

That song came on the radio yesterday and those words hit me square in the face because that's exactly how I've been feeling.  And I think to myself, "I, of all people, shouldn't be feeling that way!"  I was in the valley two years ago and I came away with invaluable life lessons. One of the most important ones being that I was not going to overload my schedule and be so consumed with "life" that I left out the most important thing - awareness of God's work around me.  Well, guess what?  It happened!  And it's not the first time it's happened since the valley and I'm sure it won't be the last.

I cannot live my days on my own.  I cannot control my own schedule.  I cannot make my own plans.  I cannot do the things I want to do.  I cannot... if I want to succeed and have a life of joy and fulfillment.  So here's the vicious cycle:
  • I get so wrapped up and overwhelmed in schedules and activities that I squeeze a little God time in when I can.
  • When I only give God a tiny piece of my time, I get overwhelmed with my schedule and activities.
  • When I get overwhelmed with my schedule and activities, I give God just a little time.
  • When I give God just a little time, my schedule and activities bury me...
(You see the pattern right?)  This is the part where I'm running 100 miles an hour in the wrong direction.

One of the greatest lessons I learned in the valley was how to be aware of God...  To hear him, to acknowledge his involvement in my life, to stop and listen for his direction.  It's something I never would have learned outside of the valley and it's honestly one of the greatest blessings I take away from my valley journey.  I know that if I do not make a deliberate effort to look and listen for God in my life I will miss him every time.  And without spending quality time with him, I won't be able to see and hear him.

Beau had baseball pictures last night.  He put on his uniform and came downstairs "ready" to go.  He had everything on but his belt and so this conversation took place:
Me: "You need to put your belt on too"
Beau: "I don't know where it is"
Me: "It's in the bottom drawer with your other uniform stuff"
Beau: "No it's not"
Me:  "Did you look in the drawer"
Beau:  Silence.... "It's not in there"
Me:  "Did you look in there???"
(Beau runs up the stairs) and I hear:  "Mama, it was in my bottom drawer."

When I miss God-moments in my life it's not because they aren't there... I miss them because I didn't even look.

And so this morning I am trying to re-calibrate.  I made a list of all the things on my mind and on my schedule that are weighing me down.  I prayed over each one of them in an effort to hand them over to God and free up space in my mind and heart so I can be on the lookout for God's activity.

One of my favorite passages that reminds me to focus on what counts:

You have made my days a mere handbreadth;
    the span of my years is as nothing before you.
Everyone is but a breath,
    even those who seem secure.

“Surely everyone goes around like a mere phantom;

    in vain they rush about, heaping up wealth
    without knowing whose it will finally be.
 “But now, Lord, what do I look for?
    My hope is in you.
Psalm 39:5-7

Unfortunately, I am human.  And because of that I may write another blog post just like this one a year from now. But for today, I am trying to break the cycle.  I'm going to try and run in the right direction.  For today, I am going to look for God's activity.  I am so thankful God is patient with me.  I am so thankful that he will continue to provide God moments even when I'm oblivious.