Just might bend but I won’t break as long as I can see your face.
– MercyMe (Move from The Generous Mr Lovewell Album)
Every now and then we face a roadblock, an unwanted waiting room or the injury of the heart, body or mind that brings us to a grinding halt. I’m facing that right now and I, like you may have at one time or another, feel moments of confusion and to some extent like I’ve had the wind knocked out of me. A gratefully appreciated friendship over coffee has reminded me of the passion, direction and vision that still beats within me but I’m still ‘on hold’ so what’s gone wrong at the ‘telephone exchange’? I don’t feel connected to God or His direction for my life. There doesn’t appear to be any communication coming back down the line. I feel like I’m on one of those dodgy Skype calls where my own voice is clear to me but the voice on the other end of the line sounds quiet or underwater.
Asking “How did this happen?” has done nothing for the situation my sense of sanity or hastened a solution. That’s probably just how you’ve felt in the same situation, right!? What I’m reminded of as I write this is just because I can’t hear what’s happening on the other end of this life conversation doesn’t mean that God isn’t talking or that He’s not making things come together. It’s just that I’m not seeing the big picture and feel cut out of the conversation.
I’ve been given a couple of kicks up the backside recently over this. It reminded me of two important things that can reconnect my conversation. They’re both intentional acts and they appear as polar opposites. I’m learning which way to go on this but let me give you my take on how I’m going to handle this time of quiet confusion. First up, I’m not accepting it. Let me tell you something. I know enough of the character of God to know he loves me with an unrelenting faithful pursuing love. He has stepped in, stepped up and held up my life so many times that I don’t believe anything I could do anything that would deter my heavenly father from giving up on me. This sinner has tried to run many times but as I turn around he’s there waiting with arms wide open.
Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the Lord. – Jeremiah 23:24
A good friend spoke this week about how ‘bad stuff happens’ but that shouldn’t change our view of God. He hasn’t changed. This is a way-out example, and please leave out the conspiracy theories, but it’s kind of like blaming the architect of the two towers for the terrorist attacks of 9/11. The person(s) involved haven’t changed from what they designed and created. Years later the use of the planes, and the use of the buildings are in the hands of individuals making choices, being affected by each other and more than occasionally those choices clash with devastating results.
As my friend spoke she beautifully explained the importance of attitude. It takes us from a point of accepting the problems of the day as though that is our lot. It showed me how wrong it is to think we’re on the end of a bad fate conveyor belt simply trying to catch everything that rolls off. You’ve got two choices. One, stay as the proverbial catcher and get swamped or get smart and move out of the way.
I’m moving. It’s not a change of location, it’s a change of mind. I’m not happy with the way this ‘mindset’ feels so I’m looking for one with a better view. To move forward out of the silence I’m going to do two things. I love my Lord and I want to be in His will so here’s the strategy I’m going to start engaging. First I’m going to press redial on this dodgy line. Hey, if the call doesn’t seem to be clear I’m sure we can pick up a better line. As I said I’m going to get intentional in pressing in.
Once I’ve done that I’m picking up part two of the strategy. I’m going to wait. It’s not the kind of wait that makes you look like the kid playing statues in the park. I’m going to be intentional about my waiting. It’s kind of like moving house. You know that it’s coming but there are things you can do while you wait for the moving date. For a start, I’m cleaning house. Old thoughts are getting the push. Anything that pulls me back to that place that I’ve found doesn’t work is getting the toss. Earlier I talked about dodgy Skype calls. When I’m away and want to ring home I often try to find a Wi-Fi connection to allow me to ring home on Skype for free or cheap. Often, particularly in airports, the connection isn’t the best. You need to move around to get the most ‘bars’ of reception. That’s what I’m doing. I’m waiting by repositioning myself for the best quality clear call from the Lord.
Isn’t it interesting how you can get ‘in the zone and you start to see solutions? Today I was in a meeting at a friend’s home in Singapore and a damaged shield was in the front garden of their son’s school. The school motto impacted me as it wasn’t something you may expect from an elite school where the normal catch cry is something like ‘Reaching for the Stars’ or ‘Academia Excellente’. The motto of this school was “The Best is Yet to Be”. It’s a confirmation of the scripture I had been teaching in Business Planning from Habakkuk 2:2-4 where we are encouraged to write the vision down and wait for it for it will surely come.
There are two things I want to draw from this post. Firstly I think everything we face ‘comes to pass’. In a changing world, the only constant is change. Time will take today away and deliver tomorrow. Learning that we can walk into a brighter day is essential for living. Also, the decision for a new attitude is ours. We can camp in the same mindset or agree the foundations are shaky and this is like a ‘red zone’ after an earthquake and it’s time to move on and build somewhere fresh and sure.
Already the idea of letting go of old thoughts and concerns has created a sense of expectation. I’m not concerned about yesterday but rather expectant about tomorrow. Like a 9-year-old waiting to wake up on my 10th birthday, there is a sense of excitement. When you ‘know’ what you’re getting for your birthday the next morning, there is a sense of going through the motions, but when you don’t know what you’re getting you to go to sleep with two thoughts on your mind. You just can’t wait because you know Mum and Dad will bless you with all they can, and you also want to get to sleep as fast as possible because maybe that will bring tomorrow a little sooner.
See you at the ‘Birthday Party’. Trusting God for a better day!