Thursday, September 16, 2010

Routine? What is that?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

First I am going to apologize to my dear friend and Pastor, Chuck. You see, last night Dean and I had the privilege of being in his class at church titled "Chasing the Wild Goose". The study is good but I have to tell you that the teaching from Pastor Chuck is phenomenal. It is not so much the rich text of the bible, though we have that, it is not so much years of expertise in teaching, he has that already, it is the incredible transparency that he uses from his own life experience that transform the outline to a living, breathing, life changing word. God is using his testimony to challenge, enrich and spur us on to finish this race we call life, well. Not well I in our own eyes, not well in the world's eyes, but in the one that matters more than anyone, God's.

So the apology is this….I am taking all that he said way out of context into my own world, rearranging it and seeing a different view of my world because of his teaching. So, sorry Chuck if you read this and it misses the mark. It was not your lack of ability at all to convey the word for us, LOL, it was my crazy head going in all directions.

The teaching last night was breaking out of your routine to see the divine appointments that God has for you, if you just did it one day. That our routines in life keep us from seeing the divine. Even the mundane routines in life of taking the dog out…really, have we stopped to see what God might have for us in just that moment. Great thoughts. And we all can relate to that at some point, and really at anytime.

But what if routine never exists? What if you are constantly in some form of chaotic state and you are doing your best to manage your chaos? I know some of my friends here that have chronically, life threatening illnesses or children with those illnesses, or financial stresses, or lost friends or family, we yearn for routine. We desire to have normal days like everyone else.

Why? Because the chaos keeps you in survival and protection mode a lot of the time. In the last ten years, since Olivia became ill and had her first transplant, I think we have been through it all. Our small family has seen our baby almost die, have to raise a gazillion dollars for her first transplant because it all was so new, went into bankruptcy because of all the medical bills, had to move from our home in Nashville to Atlanta to be closer to Liv's Doctors and get back on our feet. Dean has gone through several job changes and went back to college, has had two heart attacks, Iost his parents and a sister in fatal car accident. I lost my Mom to cancer about a year after I moved back home, we both have suffered through the financial burden of all of Olivia's stuff not even considering and talking about the frustration with medicaid, insurance, etc, etc etc…the list just goes on and on. We haven't even touched Olivia's health that has been just pure torture trying to get her well.

Okay, now we can all breathe. I made the list. If you look at the list, or even your own list, breathing can be hard. Do you see any place routine has been allowed to creep in. Really? Even in our marriage, Dean and I are always working on communicating, challenging each other, loving each other because as the days get long, the stress gets insurmountable we know we have to stay in the right place with each other or we will lose the other so easily in the chaos. Those are the physical, immediate things you can see with your eyes. My relationship with God becomes even more critical to keep all the other balls in the air without falling and sometimes that relationship is tenuous depending on the day.

It is so obvious at times that routine can blind us to the obvious but I dare to say that sometimes chaos can do the same. Sometimes the moment God has designed to drive us to the edge of his throne is missed. We all have a moment when we first start walking through the fire where we recognize that God has pulled us through but, I loved the point Chuck brought home last night, if when Moses met the burning bush, said "yes" to God ,went to Egypt and God had not harden Pharoh's heart and he let the Israelites go….we may have never heard the story. Because Moses could have easily credited himself with the victory. Yes, he listened to God but he (Moses) orchestrated everything else. So it got me to thinking about the chaos that surrounds my life. That the point God is trying to make with me is that life is about me. Not me to be a super hero, not me to leap tall buildings, not me that is able to do anything without him, but about me that my life be all about Him. Because when my life is all about Him, all those chaotic things seem to come back in order. That the blindness I had to see the miracle He was doing could be seen through the refiner's fire of gold and that the dross has been pulled away to reflect Him.

When I look through those glasses I see something completely different. You see, I stopped asking "why?" a long time ago. There are no answers to the questions I have this side of heaven. What I do know is that this life is not without purpose. That each day is a gift that is given freely for us to do whatever we want to do with it. It is our choice to see God in it all or choose to see the circumstances of it all. You know, when the electrical company is at your door for payment and you have no where to turn to pay it…well, it is hard not to see the circumstances. I have been there. You are working three jobs just to make the ends meet. I have been there. When you have no idea how you are going to get to work that you need to pay the bills because you have no money for gas…I have been there. When you have seen all hope drain from your child's face, I have been there. When you see cancer eat up your Mom's body unto death, I have been there. You see your husband scared and helpless after a heart attack. I have been there.

I have been in so many places where there seemed to be no way out but through those moments, through those heart wrenching circumstances I witnessed more miracles than anyone should have bestowed on them in a lifetime. I realized sitting in that room last night, listening to my Pastor that I am so blessed. Not because I have no routine, not because I live a chaotic life but because God chose to not leave me to my own devices. That, like Moses, when He called and I said "yes" he hardened Pharoh's heart so that when the Israelites walked out of Egypt they never questioned "who" set them free. They knew without a shadow of a doubt that God walked them out. Yes, he did use Moses. But stripped, broken, and feeling so helpless Moses obeyed as the Father told him what to do and say and he gave all the glory, all the credit to God because he loved Him. Moses was called God's friend. What an honor.

I chose a long time ago to love God but I pray that I always remember that my life here is all about me. It is about how I lay it down daily to know Him more, love Him more, and allow Him to use me so that others know how much He loves them too. Because really, that is our purpose. For people to see real people having a real relationship with a God that has more love than they can imagine just for them.

I know I have been stripped of most of the things that have hindered me in my past through all I have been through. These days I don't look back in horror at those moments, I see moments on my knee's and seeing my Heavenly Father do things for me that in the natural never will make sense. His blessings have overflowed. It wasn't easy walking through each day but it has become a blessing. A chance for me to see my heart. My real heart and make a change that I needed to make.

My scars, a lot of them are healed and I am proud of them because they represent a day that I finally died to myself and allowed God to come in and truly heal and set me free. Not everyone needs to walk through such a hard place but for me…I guess I did. But I appreciate it. I pray each day to be real and transparent so that my life can be a true reflection of the best Dad ever. That I make Him proud and that I honor Him because He loved me this much. He loved me enough not to leave me. He loved me enough to show me my heart and He loved me enough to walk me through those dark places and hold my hand without condemnation. He loved me, more than I can even imagine.

So, today I am praying for those divine moments so that my life can be something that gives someone else strength…that maybe their path will be just a little easier because I walked before them and cleared out some of the rocks. But I have to tell you, if you say "yes" to God…well, you will have to pick up a lot of your own rocks and deal with them along the way….but I urge you to say "yes" to just one day….just one…and your life will never be the same.

In His Grip

Barb

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