Hey family! This summer 2018 has me full of so many teachable moments that I want to share with you all! I worked at Kids Across America this summer and let me tell you – no one was safe haha. By that, I mean that it was impossible for anybody to leave without having been impacted by God in some way, shape, or form. I remember during our staff training week when the executive director greeted the new staffers by saying, “You have no idea what you have signed up for.” My friends. He was right. What a fun yet hard summer it was. What a good yet difficult summer it was. There was a purpose for every single bit of it though.
Let’s get to one of the many moments that I’m so excited to share about!
Before kamp, driving was a favorite hobby of mine. I love it even more now because of how one can be impacted by the parallels that so easily connect driving and the ways we approach daily life. One of those parallels is speeding. When I am behind that steering wheel preparing for a long drive, I am focused. I know where I am going and I have my gps there to guide me. If I can help it, there will be very few stops made. And that estimated time of arrival(ETA)? I must beat it. It’s funny because I don’t get in the car planning to speed, but when I see the ETA I know that there’s a strong possibility to shave at least 30 minutes off my driving time.
While on the road one time this summer, I had about 600 miles to cover. At some point in covering this distance, I realized that I was nearly 20 miles over the speed limit. There were no police in sight and the other cars around me were going just as fast – so I was fine, right? Surely I’m in the right if I’m just trying to keep up with the rest. How can the police stop one car if we’re all going the same speed?
Let me introduce you to a little something-something that makes you go, “Ooo, maybe this isn’t right.” “I don’t have a good feeling about this.” “I think that I should slow down.” Yes, my friend. You’re thinking it and I’m gonna write it. Say it with me in 3…2…1, “Conviction!” Yes! You got it! Yo, the Lord was tugging me. I saw that I was way over the speed limit so if we’re being honest, I was held accountable at that point.
Because I am who I am, I had to lay out all of my excuses and also put up a little fuss to God because…I had to convince him that I was good and that he had no reason to worry about me, right?
He’s tugging me, moving me to slow down, but I was against it:
“There’s no police in sight, though!”
“Why must I be the one to slow down?”
“But if I slow down, the other drivers will see that and think that I can’t keep up.” (I have a huge image issue. I care too deeply about what people see and what they have to say.)
“But if I slow down, everybody else is going to leave me behind. I don’t wanna be left behind(because moving at a slower pace is the mark of a whack American millennial)…so I must keep up.”
In all of that, an over-arching theme for my summer was this: staying in my lane. The sub-theme then became: go at the pace that you have been given.
Imagine with me how necessary it is/was for the Lord to break me of that. I’ve been convicted plenty of times for my speeding, but because I held so tightly to those thoughts I never let up.
(Ahaaa… Interesting how those thoughts have hints of stubbornness, image issues and what I can see with my naked eye…more of that will come out in later teachable moments. Keep truckin with me, though.)
This day, my grip was loosened a little bit. I allowed myself to get to a place where I’d be open to receiving what the Lord had for me in that moment. He had me to realize that I was putting myself at a greater risk of getting into a car wreck and that if I were to pass a police car, I’d definitely be pulled over and wouldn’t get out of a speeding ticket.
He also had me to realize that I was indeed going to make it to my destination.
The truth was that I wasn’t going to make it as soon or as fast as I thought. That sucked and kinda hurt(because I’m now accepting that I will have to slow down after having gone so fast for so long. I became used to that rhythm and now it’s having to change. Funny though, how, externally, I was perfectly fine with going so fast, but in my mind I had legitimate fears of being pulled over or getting into a wreck. Ha, I also had legitimate concerns for those drivers that were going a little too fast. I would wonder how they appeared to not be the least bit concerned about those same things.). The Lord knows.
Another truth, though, was that I would make it-not the way I wanted/imagined, but I was going to make it.
I had so much pride in the way I was doing things for so long! My way seemed to be okay. Yea, I’ve gotten one or two tickets and then in some cases never got caught. Yea, I’ve gotten into some mess and then in some cases stayed afloat. But a good question would be this: When would I get tired of running into those messes? That’s not to say that I won’t ever fall, but listen: some of the ruts we find ourselves in are self-imposed(Strangely enough, God is sovereign and has orchestrated all things… and allows this to happen so maybe we would look back at those moments and come to some truths that I’m about to share. See, for our good, for his glory? Funny.). Yes, God is sure to restore us in those moments.
God is gracious, God is good, but God also wants us trust and obey.
Trust and obey. I believe that just about all of these teachable moments will lead right to that. Trust, enjoy, and obey. All three of those are commandments.
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”
Philippians 4:4 “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I will say, rejoice.”
Deuteronomy 11:1 “You shall therefore love the Lord your God and keep his charge, his statutes, his rules, and his commandments always.”
When you enjoy and trust God, you will then [want to] respond to him in obedience … because when have you ever obeyed anybody you didn’t trust or enjoy?
For me, in this case, trusting God will be/is accepting the slower pace he has given me and trusting that this pace is perfect for me and actually for his glory. Enjoying God would be taking value in every bit that he allows me to experience and counting them all joy instead of discounting them.
In accepting this pace and actually enjoying it, I have and am gonna taste and see that the Lord is good(das a commandment too! The Bible doesn’t say, “Oh, maybe you should taste and see”.. noooooo.. Psalm 34:8 says, “Taste (chew and study the word) and see(watch God move) that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” Go grab you a bite! Because the word is our daily bread and… you get it. So cool how the Bible doesn’t need any help because the Bible is the word and the word is God and…. yea. So when you’re chewing on the word, you’re tasting it, savoring it, letting it marinate-which is what we’re supposed to do with the word-marinate/meditate on it day and night…….okay, yea. Yasss! Think about when you let some food marinate for long time and how delicious it is when you cook it! Ahh. So tasty. You may have had to wait a while for the piece of meat or whatever it is that’s soaking, but the wait was worth it! Sure you can cook it sooner than later and it will still be good, but the longer it sits, the better. Now I’m thinking about those Christians who have walked with the Lord for a long time…the “seasoned Christians”. Whew! Okay, I’m gonna stop right there because…yea. God is so dope.)
……every bit is for my good and for his glory.