Stop and listen…

This weekend was really great, but also very different for me.  Holly and the girls were out of town, and I stayed home.  I filled up my schedule with activities that would hold me accountable on Friday, Saturday and Sunday but also gave myself some opportunities to play.  To do things that normally I wouldn’t because of the time involved that would take me away from being around home, or that seem frivolous… You know, like exercise…

I booked myself to do some work up at the yoga studio Saturday, but went beyond that I committed myself to taking the 10am class.  It seemed like a great idea heading into the weekend, but then when Saturday morning started off with a headache I started coming up with reasons why I shouldn’t go and then began justifying them.  All before 6.  I came to my senses and headed out, windows down flying up the Kennedy once again singing at the top of my lungs un-apologetically.  I got to the studio with plenty of time to spare, and headed into the hot room for some meditation time before the class started.  It may seem like a no-brainer to pray before take a 90 minute class in a 105 degree room, but I prayed not that I would just make it through but that I could hear God.  I prayed that He would speak to me clearly or that He’d speak loud enough that I could hear Him through my own noise.  I wanted to know what I should be learning, what I should be doing or what message He had for me this weekend.  I had some peace, and then the class started.

It was all kinds of humbling.  I wasn’t able to do the things I normally could, some of the postures that are *easy* for me I fell out of and had to sit down on multiple occasions.  I was light-headed, woozy and getting angry.  I kept trying to will myself into the postures, and into a place where I was having a class that was in-line with the expectations I had of myself.  Then I heard Him.  I stopped allowing my own expectations to have power over me.  I stopped leaning on myself, and really focused on the dialogue delivered by the teacher.  I took my time, slowed things down and followed the instruction.  Well played God.

Proverbs 3: 4-5  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.”

When things are going well I tend to take control, it’s my condition and my own character defect that I pray can be removed from me.  When things are going well I walk out the door and the bus is waiting for me.  When things are going well I forget my lunch at home but there’s a lunch meeting at work.  When things are good I take credit, that because I’m so on top of things I got myself ready and out the door on-time, and I knew about lunch at my deepest core and that’s why I *forgot* to bring my lunch with me.

Psalm 118: 8  It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans.

I would counter that when things are going well, I’m not close in my relationship with God.  In fact, I go through my paces and go about my day not giving thanks and turning over the keys to the car, confessing my sins and trusting in Him in the ways I should be.  I think in the past, I’m furthest from God when I’m in a place that I deem *good*.  Those are the times that I need to lean in.  When things are good and life feels easy, I need to do a better job of preparing myself for the days that will challenge me.  Because those days will come, and my response shouldn’t be *where are you God?  Why have you forsaken me?*  He is always there, and yes there are tests that He uses to build my faith, to strengthen me and to steer me in the direction that He wants me to go but I have to do a better job of slowing down and listening to the instructions He’s giving me.  God doesn’t appear and disappear, He is consistent and I need to get more consistent in my training.

Jeremiah 17: 7-8 “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”

I pray that we can all spread our roots that we can weather the droughts, the tests that life produces, and flourish even in times of trial when it seems like the end will never come.  We’ve been together for several of these seasons for each of us, when there seems to be no end in sight and no relief on the horizon.  Yet our triumphs and the ways we’ve all grown, experiencing His grace is evident in each of our lives.  I pray that we can lean on God, can lean on one-another in the good times because just like in my personal recovery I have to strengthen myself and prepare for those moments.  Those moments come, be assured of that.   That’s why we all need *fire-drills* if you will, opportunities to develop some muscle memory so when I’m in a place where I’m being tested to the point of losing my sobriety, I can do what’s right because I’ve done what I’ve needed to do when I wasn’t being tested.  You don’t do a fire-drill in the middle of a fire.  You prepare for it ahead of time so when the time comes that there is a fire you can react in the right way.  The time to prepare is today, if you need help in prepping your plan you have resources available to you but the first thing you need to do is slow yourself down enough that you can hear the instructions you’re being given.

Grace and peace
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