4 times. I left my house and came back inside FOUR TIMES before I eventually pulled out of the driveway. This was by no means a record, but my family does take over-under bets on how many times I will come back. (They think I don’t know that they do this.) I typically return once, at least, but if I had to guess, 2.5 times is my average. Even the dog stands vigil right inside the door anticipating my quick return. I get in such a hurry to get where I am going that I forget to grab what I need. Or I get in the car and decide it will be more efficient to do 3 things instead of one while I am out, but realize that will require me to go back in the house and get more things.
Today, I was going to a grad party. Tis the season. I left with the grad gift, but not the card. Then I realized that the party was right by a store where I needed to return things. A trip back inside to get the returns. It had been cloudy all day but was now sunny. I needed sunglasses. Then the address of the grad party was still inside with the invitation. Arggg!
I don’t think I am the only one who does this. If I am, leave me blissfully ignorant. These back and forths kind of blow my “efficiency” out of the water. As I chastised myself, I laughingly thought there must be some spiritual application. There were all of the self-deprecating thoughts, but then I was overcome by a peace and a grace that told me that God doesn’t desire this chaos for us, but rather, He wants us to simply walk toward Him. And then I got it.
So often I am compelled to work on this or that character trait or deficiency of mine, in order to be a “better” Christ follower. I pray over and over for the Lord to make me stronger in the face of stumbling blocks, content with what I have instead of pursuing the things the world says will make me happier, deaf to the criticism of others, and better at managing my time and talents.
The pursuit of these things is sort of like being a hamster on a spinning wheel. One never actually gets there. But while God is pleased with our heart’s desire to want to be better for Him, He has given us the easier path to get there. “Seek FIRST the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and ALL THESE THINGS will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33 – emphases mine)
If I concentrate on getting on the road in my relationship with God. I mean, all in – studying His Word, spending time with Him in prayer and worship, LISTENING for His voice – I will feel His strength and His peace. I will be so filled with Him and His joy that I won’t desire the empty things of this world. I will be drawn to the things He desires for me to do and He will equip me as I go. I won’t have to keep going back to my finite supply in order to get there.
I would love to say that due to this current revelation, I have arrived, and will no longer struggle with my shortcomings. However, much like the fact that I will continue to forget things and have to go back into the house to get them, I will continue to struggle with my humanity. But I will have something to remind myself: Focus on getting closer to Jesus so that I hear His breath, His heartbeat, and His leading, and the rest will come. He promised!