When you neglect a muscle for so long, not only is it difficult to reawaken it, the work is harder, the doubt is deeper, the commitment is harder to muster.
There have been matters both of passion and calling that I have laid aside over the years, largely due to an ever-demanding schedule on the limited minutes granted in each day, and a lack of conviction that their season should continue.
Do you ever find yourself longing to rekindle something? To pick up where you left off, to move forward in a direction or dream whose timing seemed “off” or forced long ago? Maybe it was an interest you felt flickering. Maybe it was a healthy habit that you felt your body calling you to practice. Maybe it was a ministry or relationship or life-changing position.
In all that we choose to invite into our lives, it can be difficult to discern what has holy purposes, and what are selfish ambitions or satisfactions. What needs to be picked up, what needs to be laid down. This has been my struggle.
What I have discovered, over time, or perhaps been lovingly nudged to realize, deep down in the spiritual places where God works silently and powerfully, is that you often have to deliberately create space in your life so you can receive God’s best work and guidance, and discern the holy picking up and laying down. Otherwise, He is left to call loudly over the clamor of other demands and interests, and compete with either their allure, or their entrapment.
God does not always choose to shout, however.
Sometimes, He just waits. Sometimes He pauses a season and then weaves it back in when His timing is ripe. He waits for us to make room. To desire to make room.
The challenge for me, for us as His children, is to discern which threads to take back up again. Which are from His hand, and which are left from a season that is over, or one that He intends should remain paused?
I take God very seriously when He encourages us through Paul to “whatever (we) do in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father, through Him.” Colossians 3:17
“…there are different kinds of working, but in all of them, and in everyone, it is the same God at work. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” 1 Corinthians 12:6,7
Do everything. With whatever He gives you.
So, alrighty then. (Deep breath. Fluttering heart.)
Here I am, finally, after a very long pause, and after having deliberately created an enormous space in which I have determined will be a place of listening and following God’s sovereign lead. There is a longing that won’t quit.There are words that keep spilling out. Words written. Words spoken. There is, also, a desire that both the longing and the words will be shaped by the LORD into something beautiful of His design, for His purposes. For the common good. For building up. For leading a life worthy of His calling.
That’s what He keeps giving me, so in the yawning space that retirement and relocation will create, I’ll pick up these threads He’s handed to me and see where He leads. Together with my life partner, I have cleared room so I can actually see the threads and follow them.
What about you? Have you created space yet? No, I am not advising you to pull the plug on your income and move across country, severing proximity to much that is comfortable and valued! (I know, we’re crazy over here in this household! It’s a journey of trust and faith we have joined.)
But…is there something that needs unplugging or uprooting or laid down in your life so you can receive God’s guidance and be attentive to His nudging? What about this week, or this day? Is there a passion with hidden holy purposes God is waiting for you to discover (or rediscover) with His help?
Keep me posted. It’s good to have company on this journey.
Things to bring to your own Farmer’s Porch Sit with our LORD:
Lest I leave you with an uncertainty about passions and gifts that have no obvious link to an observable giving of glory to God, let’s ponder something together for a minute. I certainly need wrestle with this.
What about art for art’s sake? Or music for the sheer joy? Or the hiking of tall peaks? Or gathering of history? Or the developing of athletic prowess? The click of a camera? Or dirty hands covered with the earth’s rich soil? Or the magical deliciousness that comes from exploring the melding of varied flavors as we cook? Or… you name whatever it is that tugs at your heart.
We cannot spend any time in God’s word without seeing what are expressions of His sovereign character. In Him there is joy…creativity…passion..strength. He IS these things, and their Creator. The wonderful truth is, we are made in His image, which includes these traits, to reflect His glory. Can it not be true then, that in all things that are true and right and beautiful, we can be used to shout out His name to a broken world, or whisper it into its hurting corners? Used wisely, they are merely the ways in which His character is known. Sometimes these beautiful opportunities build us up and draw our hearts closer to Him, if we seek to discern their holy purpose.
“I…beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called…eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace…and his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.” Ephesians 4
Blessings on your journey, today and always. Thanks for coming to the porch.