Friday, November 18, 2011

Pinball Wizard?

So many things I have been reading & studying lately have a constant theme – stop hurrying. Take time to live in the moment you are in.

Instead, life often seems like a pinball game. I feel like I am the ball at times – being diverted from one path to another, and batted around by whoever is pushing the buttons.

Someone who is really good at pinball will tell you that there are physics involved – a plan. But to me it seems like a lot of craziness. I remember playing and feeling relief when my ball would get stuck for a bit – and I could take a deep breath.

Perhaps that is my problem.

I see myself as the ball and the person controlling the levers. What if – instead of fighting the physics (the plan), I just allowed He who is really in control to push the levers. And when I am diverted from the path I thought I was on – what IF I trusted that He is the true Master and knows what He is doing? What if I trusted Him, instead of panicking and rushing to push the levers myself? Instead of hurrying from one thing to another, what if I relaxed as I was diverted to the next thing?

Because, really? Why do I hurry? What do I fear? Really, isn't that why I hurry? I am afraid of the consequences. Who will I disappoint? What ball will be dropped? Or perhaps, like Eve, I have bought the lie that I can be like God and control the events of my life.

Of course, this is easier said than done. As these thoughts started forming I have been surrounded by events which seem to have me going every which way. I have felt like I was just barely staying afloat. Reacting to stuff instead of going with the flow...

I have finally felt some peace the last couple of days. For a couple of things, it has meant being still and letting God be God. For a couple of things, it has meant taking action instead of worrying. And just like that – a peace came. It is almost as if I am addicted to the worry. Addicted to the hurrying and the rushing. Maybe even addicted to the adrenaline of making a mountain out of a molehill?

Instead, what if I lived as if each moment were sacred? Instead of feeling at the mercy of the events, I felt the mercy and grace of Our Lord? What if, like the psalmist tells us, I was still and acknowledged that He is God? Would my life change? Even more radical, would my day change?

Be still, and know that I am God
Psalm 46:10(NIV)

Thursday, November 3, 2011


I always thought following Christ would be something like a highway in western Kansas or the panhandle of Oklahoma.  Going in the same direction as far as you can see with very clear boundaries.  It IS called the 'straight & narrow path' right?  And yet - that is not the testimony of my life.  No, there have tended to be curves that seemed to send my life into another direction.  Instead of a highway through the plains, it looks more like the wandering paths in the hills near our North Carolina home.  Many times you can't see around the bend for all of the foliage.  Sometimes you come upon a beautiful serene spot.   Other times, the fun of a long forgotten rope swing.  Sometimes the path leads you across a babbling brook, or a fallen tree.  And yet - we view the trek as beautiful - maybe even energizing.  We meander & breathe deeply of the scents of the forest, letting our eyes focus on the beauty and majesty of it all.

So, why is it that we don't approach our walk with the LORD in the same way?  Is it that I don't trust Him who directs my paths?  If I am in the woods, and the path I have taken is too difficult, I can always turn around.  but the path of life does not give us that indulgence.  We follow HIM.  We pass by the things of HIS choosing - climb the mountains and ford the streams along the way.   In reality, the path is not turning.  Perhaps we start looking at the obstacles along the way too much instead of keeping our sights on Him.  Perhaps if we keep our eyes on Him, instead of those obstacles, we will begin to see the obstacles as points of grace & beauty. 

Do we trust Him to get us from point A to point B?   I mean - we do know the final destination right?  Can we enjoy the sights along the way?  Can we meander?  According to Merriam-Websters, meander means:

to follow a winding or intricate course, to wander aimlessly or casually without urgent destination

and while I don't believe we should live life in an aimless manner, so many times we fail to see the beautiful sights along the way because of our 'urgent destination'.  For me, that so often includes getting my to do list done, making dinner, on & on.  And in truth, those things are NOT my destination at all.  Instead, I am disciplining myself to wander with the Lord following the course He sets before me & letting my agenda go. 

Show me your ways, LORD, teach me your paths.
Psalm 25:3-5