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Posts Tagged ‘adventure’

I have been dreaming of starting a certain something for several years now.  (I promise to let you in on it when it is farther along.)  I’ve turned it over in my mind and examined it from every direction. 

I’ve been alternately inspired and utterly discouraged about it.  I have given audience to the inner critic in my mind that tells me it will never work.

Have you been there?  Have you been on the edge of beginning something, but find yourself teetering between jumping in and running in the other direction?

I haven’t exactly jumped in yet, but…

I gathered up my courage and began it.

It was sort of like an out-of-body experience.  I was watching myself take action.  I wanted to yell, “No!  Don’t open that door!  There might be a boogey man behind it!”

But there was another Voice.

“I put this on your heart.  What have you got to lose?  Don’t worry about what may or may not happen after this step.  Just take one.  You can do it.  I am with you.  You do not have to be afraid.”

And then there was calm.

Peace.

I remembered that the success or failure of it is not entirely up to me.  I need only to be a willing participant.  If God chooses to bless my efforts, that is His call.  Mine is to answer it.

At that moment, I reached into my purse for my wallet.  Instead, my hand pulled out an index card on which I had written a memory verse.  I read it, and had to laugh.

“For the spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7, NIV)

Thank you, God. 

Thank you for the reminder that if you are leading, there is no room for timidity.

Thank you that when we step out in faith, the water we step on becomes as solid ground.

Thank you that we don’t have to do what you ask in our own power, but in yours.

I am following you.

 

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Every so often, I find myself in a slump.  The things in my life which normally get me fired up, instead sort of… fizzle.  I try not to get too worried when this happens.  I have come to recognize it as a dear (albeit Eeyore-ish) friend who drops by every once in a while to remind me that life is too short to just go through the motions.

Does this ever happen to you?  Do you ever get this nagging feeling that your life might be a smidge boring, or are you one of the lucky few who slurps life with defiant abandon, like it is habañero salsa on fresh tortilla chips?

I thought so.

Well, call in the mariachis, friend, because you and I have some living to do. 

Consider, for a moment, this slumpyness.  (Yes, that’s a word.  I called it.)  It’s not doing us any good.  More importantly, it’s not doing the people around us any good.  Most importantly, it’s not doing God any good.  How can He use us well if we are plodding along in a gray haze?

I don’t know exactly what will ignite your passion.  That’s between you and God.  But I do know that for us to become a passionate people, we’ll need to be flexible and embrace change.  (Passion is never stagnant.)  Let Him create something new in your life.

Maybe you’re not ready to plunge your tortilla chip into the fieriest of salsas.  That’s ok.  Follow His lead.  He can be trusted to bring you from “same old, same old” to a life of abundance at a pace right for you.  Perhaps you could consider just dipping the corner of your chip into the salsa bowl…?

I say, let’s do this thing. 

Let’s really live.

Let’s grab this short life we’ve been given and whirl it around the dance floor.

When it’s all over, we can flop down, exhausted, and with a huge smile, say that we have lived well.

 

“…I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”  (John 10:10, NIV)

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Last week, I was feeling restless.  It was sort of an empty feeling, one of longing – for “something.”  The things I usually find pleasurable seemed bland.  My routine, once comfortable, seemed dull.  Even my relationship with God was lacking.  Figuratively speaking, my cookies had gone stale.

My mom taught me a neat trick to refresh stale cookies.  If your cookies have become too dry and crunchy, put a slice of fresh bread in the cookie jar overnight.  By morning, your cookies will be moist and chewy once again.  Magic.

My life could do with some fresh bread right about now.  To that end, I have come up with a list of refreshers – “fresh bread”, if you will, for the common life.  Go ahead.  Try it!

1.  Get quiet.  We live with so much noise from traffic, television, cell phones, texting, e-mail, Facebook, etc.  I dare you to unplug it all.  Then listen.  What you hear may surprise you.

2.  Get with God.  Pray on your way to work.  Pray before you fall asleep.  Pray in the shower.  Pray silently in the check-out line.  God hears you all the time, every time, and He just may be trying to get your attention.  You might also want to open your Bible and sneak a peek inside…

3.  Get outside.  Too much of our lives is spent indoors.  Go for a walk.  Work in the yard.  Chase the dog.  Get on your old bike.  Fresh air in our lungs (and therefore, oxygen to the brain) is totally underrated.

4.  Ask yourself this question: what am I resisting?  Sometimes, when we’re bored with life, it’s because we’re stuck.  We may not be admitting to ourselves that there is something that we need.  Or God may want to move us in a certain direction, but we’re dragging our feet, preferring to stay entrenched in the status quo.

5.   Ask God this question: what do you want me to do differently?  Beware of this one.  If you ask God this question, He will answer it.  He may, as He did to me this week, reveal to you some sin you’ve been ignoring.  Or He may give you some radical new assignment.  Be ready for anything when He answers.

This weekend, I did all of these things, and I’m happy to tell you that my cookies are no longer stale. 

May your life and mine be infused with fresh, fragrant, life-giving bread!

 fresh bread

“For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”  (John 6:33, NIV)

(P.S.  Dear – and I do mean ‘dear’ – subscribers: Last week, a glitch with WordPress kept my post from reaching your e-mail.  Today, you get two!  Click here for the one you missed.  Thank you for reading my scribbles each week.  Your thoughtful comments help me in my own faith journey, and anyone else who reads them.  Cheers! – wwh)

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Just call me Bilbo Baggins.  No, I do not have furry hobbit feet, and I do not smoke a pipe, or anything else.  But Mr. Baggins (of Tolkien’s famous book The Hobbit) and I share one significant character trait – a distaste for adventures.

One beautiful morning, similar to the mornings we are enjoying now, Baggins is visited by none other than the great Gandalf.  After they exchange pleasantries about the weather, Gandalf reveals the reason for his visit.

“I am looking for someone to share in an adventure that I am arranging, and it’s very difficult to find anyone.”

“I should think so – in these parts!  We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures.  Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things!  Make you late for dinner!  Can’t think what anybody sees in them,” said our Baggins…

Like Bilbo, I live a mostly peaceful, orderly, comfortable life.  I don’t care for thrill rides, driving too fast, or sudden schedule changes.  My friends tell me that if anyone was casing my house, they would have no trouble figuring out when my house is empty, because I go to karate classes, Bible study, and grocery shopping at the same times on the same days each week.

Boooorrrrriiiiiiiiing!

I wonder how many invitations to adventure God has presented that I turned down, either because I was afraid of discomfort, or because I didn’t trust Him.  And how would my life be different, if I had responded with an enthusiastic, “Yes!”

Lately, God is thrusting me into adventure, whether I like it or not.  When people hear that our house is for sale and ask where we are moving, I can only shrug and say, “I have no idea.”  The situation is curiously adventurous – and I don’t mind it so much.

As for Mr. Baggins, there was “something queer in his make-up” from his mother’s side, “something that only waited for a chance to come out.”  This something did come out, and he did have a wondrous, challenging, scary, thrilling adventure.

I have a sneaking suspicion that there resides in me that little something, too, waiting for a chance to come out.

Perhaps there is an adventure in me, yet…

I can trust the One taking me, even if I can’t see where we’re going.

And the more I let go, the more FUN it becomes.

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