September 1, 2017

Unplanned PLAN

There are clearly some things that were not in my plans for my life, but they were ultimately part of God's Plan for my life. Today I have really been giving some thought to my journey. Recently, it would seem that things are going exactly the way that I was trying to prevent having to deal with.  I want the final outcome, but not the challenges that would be the risk of losing something to gain something. Not in the same way that I invest in products for my business to be able to provide a service to my clients. But more like a mother who wants to have a new baby, but does not want to feel the pains of labor.

In recent years, there have been medical advances that have taken away the necessity of enduring the pain of labor. And overall, our world is filled with comforts that take the work out of many of the every day processes of life. Washing machines, electric saws, power tools, and on and on. I think back to learning how to make cake icing, and the process required this combination of mixing and whisking to blend the ingredients, and even after they were blended, you had to whisk the mixture at least 100 strokes to make the icing have the correct fluffy texture. And even now that I have many of the electric kitchen tools, there are some things that to me just dont come out the same without the work of doing it by hand, and icing is one of those things. 

So we have become so accustomed to the world of convenience that we often forget that some things have no shortcut process that will produce the same results as going through the process. Just like icing or grilling meat low and slow over charcoal, there are some things in life that have to happen a certain way for the most rewarding outcome. And as I was thinking about the events of my life in recent days, I began to reminisce on the book by Zora Neale Hurston, "Their Eyes Were Watching God" which is about a main character who is living her life, but surrounded by spectators who all have an opinion about her life, as if they understand her journey more so than she. The character navigates her life, its ups and downs working through the challenges as they come to her reality, as she is finding her way. 

In this same way, each of us has our journey through life to navigate and it is very much an individual process that happens while simultaneously being surround by community. When someone has a call to ministry on their life, it can be assumed that God has a plan for that person's life.  No matter how much anyone has an opinion about what that looks like, it is God who is taking care of the details. To grow to the point of being able to flourish in one's gifts and live out one's calling, there are some parts of the journey that are growing one's skills for ministry.  This means that it will not always flow with the ease of water going down hill. There will be times when one will have to face some things head on and take the challenge to grow, if one is really surrendered to the point of allowing God to be in control of what is ultimately God's Will for one's life in ministry. 

From point A to point B, is not always clear, there will be times when one will have to whole-heartedly trust God for the details to work out as planned by God, not by our idea of how things should go.  I have been asking God to show me how to get to point B without the discomfort of the middle part of the process. The discomfort is part of the journey, it is what make the reward worth the effort.  Just like a track runner who wants to be the fasted, it cant happen sitting in the stands, but it happens by learning everything necessary to sharpen one's natural ability and from running until time gets better. 

The challenges we face in life are not always ideal, nor comfortable to go through, but when you want the outcome badly enough, you decide to face the challenge head on and take the bad with the good, because it will be worth it all in the end.  Today, I decided that I am up for challenge of facing the discomfort that will only have to be endure for a short time to get what I ultimately want to see manifested in my life. The discomfort cant be avoided, it is part of the path that leads me right to where God is taking me. 

Psalms 23:4 - "Yeathough I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me."

It is not actual death, it is just a shadow and shadows only produce fear when you  dont know what it is a shadow of or from what source.   Since I know that it has been my own fear, I can ignore the shadow.  I will continue on toward what God has for me. I want God's best for my life because it will be worth the challenges along to way and shadows let me know that God's Light is what is real.