I’m not sure how many times I have said “I quit!” –more than I can count on my hands for sure. I have, on a couple of occasions, imagined myself walking away from everything I do and living under a bridge in a climate warmer than Alaska, living anonymously. The picture isn’t very pretty or glamorous to say the least, and the consequences are greater than I can calculate, so I let the thought pass through my head without allowing it to take up residence, and pray for courage to finish what I have started.
The truth is there is something within me that calls me to “get up” when I want to stay down. It is the Holy Spirit at work in my life that does not allow me to walk away. Like a few weeks ago while I was listening to a message about how the Kingdom of God grows like a tree that starts out small and then becomes so big that it becomes a home and shelter to every creature. God gave me a picture in my head of what that tree must look like…big, full, branches reaching outward and upward, animals nesting in its safety, animals resting in its shade. Then I imagined that tree chopped off in the middle. It still had some branches, still provided some shade, but was cut-off from what its potential and purpose was. Then God seemed to ask me, “Do you want to cut your branches off now? or do you want to let me grow you?” I saw my children and my children’s children as those that took refuge in my branches and realized that my life impacted more than just me. Rick Warren is quoted as saying: “God takes two days to make mushrooms, but he takes sixty years to make an oak tree. Do you want to be a mushroom or an oak tree?” Hmmm…gets me thinkin….
I am compelled to keep going. Sometimes I feel like I stumble badly, or have no idea how to get where I want to go. It is in these moments that I call on people who have been through my situation and came out the other side and I ask for help, counsel and prayer.
I’ve often asked myself why I blog. I have always kept a journal, but to put it out there for others to read is a different step altogether. I have decided that I blog because I want others to know they are not alone. Yes, I have a calling from God that I am still attempting to walk in, and He has given me ministries and responsibilities. Many aspects of this “calling” I love and gain energy and courage from, while others scare me, intimidate me and cause me to want to hide. Maybe you feel that way too sometimes. That’s just how life is. It’s full of triumph, tragedy, love, loss, and ultimate gain. It is living with a goal in mind, a determination to finish, and a hand that holds onto “things” loosely and to God firmly.
It is the character of my Father to finish everything He starts even if it is inconvenient, misunderstood, painful, difficult, or disregarded and I want to be like Him.
New International Version (NIV)