Beware: Truly ugly moment ahead!
Have you ever had the experience when, first thing in the morning sipping your coffee in bed, and the cat comes in? He’s cold and puffed up like a dandelion. You lift the covers. He climbs in, curls up and purrs. Enchanted, you decide to take a photo. But in your semi-caffeinated state, you press the selfie-switch on your phone, and you get a face-full of reality.
Frightful … first thing in the morning … I’ve not finished my coffee … Oh, dear Lord … reality.
It’s a horrible wake up call.
This is what you truly look like.
Another coffee please!
Not only did I have that literal moment this week, I had its spiritual equivalent as well.
I’m currently reading through Acts and encountered the passage telling of Paul’s scaly eyes. He met with Christ face to to face and had a nasty wake up call. Well, the Spirit rocked up at my place this week … with a mirror, so I could have a face to face with myself.
It was all I needed to sign up to His “comprehensive change” program.
At the start of this time of isolation, God challenged me to spend more time with Him. Of course, there’s a danger in hanging out with God. Things change. Some good, some … well … actually, they’re all good.
But some hurt.
As does any impetus for change. Like, for example, seeing yourself as you really are.
And to “‘Fess Up”, is the perfect way to start.
Another danger of spending “quality quiet time” with God, is that He may actually get a chance to be heard.
Every morning I walk through the wonder of God’s creation on the mountain where we live. How can I help but praise Him, glorify Him and thank Him? Once I chose to remove this time from my “to-do” list, it became a blessed time of genuine communion and a window of peace.
And, from within that space of peace, I made myself available to listen. By His grace, in His timing, God shone a light on areas of my life that needed to change, walls that needed to crumble so His could be secured, where I needed to die to self and live in him.
My morning walks soon became a time to ‘Fess Up.
It started around Mother’s Day when I had to acknowledge that, once again, I had prioritised tasks over relationship – an old shoe that I easily slip back into. Having the kids learning from home should not have been seen as a negative but embraced as an opportunity to spend more time with them.
- Work is a blessing, but relationships are the priority; God first, then those in my world.
Next was pride in my own achievements. Daily, for several weeks, I had dragged myself out of the house to spend time experiencing God’s creation, fresh air, peace, and exercise. Obviously, dedication and discipline in such an arduous task calls for self-congratulatory rewards and back slapping.
- I need to offer up the limelight and profess any victories won to the grace of God.
This week I was challenged about my lack of joy. Am I not living the dream?
Yes, I am.
One hundred times, yes.
In all manner of speaking: secure within the grace of God, in the heart of a loving family, serving a purpose beyond myself, employed to do what I love, fed, housed … to name just a few of the multitude of blessings. So where was my joy?
- Rather than allowing joy to run like a river, I’d dammed it up.
I won’t bore you with the long list of others. But once that door was opened, God worked His Spirity-fingers all through my fleshy-mess.
Was it painful?
But was it profitable?
‘Fess Up and rejoice. I have lost kilos of baggage and am more spiritually toned due to the disciplines God has been calling me into. Energy, peace and joy are wending their way, widening clogged streams into moderately flowing creeks. And that’s okay, because I am a work in progress. In God’s good and gracious time, I will get to rivers.
Enforced isolation is drawing to a close. God has used this timeout to snap me out of my rut and wake me back into a purposeful, joyful life. Thankfully Isolation and my journey are not over … yet. The door is open and He is inviting me daily to come back into the cave to spend quality timeout with Him.
How about you? How has God been using this time to change you?