Just a few thoughts tonight. Spoke with a dear friend about his place right now. Lots of constant trying to move forward but maybe not seeing the movement because there’s so much ground ahead and goals to move toward, to move forward, to press on to the what’s next with little rest between that and what’s behind. It’s like the journey is so big that it’s hard to see the progress of how far he’s come.
But I’m thinking,in taking a moment to look back a bit, we might just be amazed at how far we’ve come. Perspective is so powerful… Sometimes we don’t realize how far we’ve come until we stop to remember where we’ve been.
And I’m also thinking that sometimes it’s good to stop to realize that everything is not all up to us. It’s so not. Even when it feels like it is. And even when so many things are. Up to us, that is. There’s still so much that’s not. We do what we can. I’m believing God can do what we can’t. He’s good at filling in gaps, that’s for sure.
Am thinking taking a little time to reflect, to be thankful, to b r e a t h e, b r e a t h e, b r e a t h e can inspire in ways that no spinning of our wheels, or juggling balls, or running marathons ever could. There’s a definite place for all that…for the doing of what we can, for giving it our all, but am thinking that at the end of the day, there’s gotta be a little time, a respite, a filling up. REST is a necessary part of thriving. Striving, yes, there’s a time for that, for working hard, pushing through. But REST…rest is that time of repair that equips us, that sustains us, that fills us. God is a Master at the filling up of the empty cup….of filling in the gaps, of breathing life back in…inspiring. He says, “Come to me all who are weary, and I’ll give you rest.” Rest is that filling up of the the mind, the body, the spirit, that is such a necessary part of any goal or vision or mission. It equips for the journey, sustains and allows for the taking of the next step.
And another thought. Sometimes in the journey, unexpected turns can kind of knock the breath out of us. It can be as instantaneous as a kick in the gut, or a slow seep of just feeling like we can’t get enough air in our lungs. It’s like you’re moving forward and have covered so much ground. You’ve worked incredibly hard for so long, faced and overcome obstacles, moved forward, and you feel like you’re so close to the destination that you can touch it. And then? Then, the terrain dips down to a huge valley you didn’t even know was there. It’s sobering and disconcerting, not to mention deeply discouraging. And it makes you feel like you’ll never get to that destination. You just didn’t see this diversion coming…. and instead of realizing how far you’ve come, all you can think about is how very far you have to go.
But you know what? In order to get to the destination, you’ve gotta go through this once-unseen-valley. It’s part of the journey. It doesn’t change the destination. That dip in the terrain was always there. But you’re not all-seeing. You didn’t see it. But so much of life can’t be anticipated, but merely responded to…one step at a time. One mile at a time. One breath at a time. You’ll get there. It’ll come. It will. One step at a time. Some things aren’t ours to figure out, just to respond to well. I love the quote by D Bonhoeffer that says, ““There is meaning in every journey that is unknown to the traveler.” Nothing need be wasted. Just gotta be sure to be respond well and be thankful for the leg of the journey we’re on…knowing the lessons learned in the distance traveled prepare us better for what’s ahead. And gratitude,…gratitude lightens the load and quickens the step.
So here’s to the valleys where we’re made to stop a bit and realize how far we’ve come. Valleys we may see as detours that are crucial parts of our journey. Valleys that help us see not only what we can do, but what we can’t. Valleys that make us realize that we do indeed need to get some rest. And valleys that remind us that we’re not alone, no matter how alone we may feel. Sometimes when the valleys are so low, we can’t help but look up. Thankful for the looking up. And for visuals like stars that shine bright in the dark of night. Shine bright. (Philippians 2). Yep. Stars shine bright in the night.
Thankful for prayer too. Prayer and words spoken and words not…and for the God who fills the gaps of the here and now in the middle of whatever we’re going through. Thankful that He is but a prayer away, no matter what ground we’re standing on or where we’ve been. And He can make all the difference in where we’re going…and how we see where we’ve been. Nothing is wasted when placed in the hands of the One who loves us most. Yep. Am thinking so. And just wanted to remind my dear friend of just that.
‘Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
4 responses to …a few thoughts on detours and destinations…
“Sometimes we don’t realize how far we’ve come until we stop to remember where we’ve been…..Some things aren’t ours to figure out, just to respond to well…” I love this sharing Heather, full of lots of little gems such as the above two sentences…Thank you for your sharing and every blessing to you and yours over this Advent and Christmas season
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Thanks so much, Alison…and every blessing to yours as well. Will your son be able to come back home for the holidays?
Hello Heather. Thanks for asking. He decided it would be too uprooting to come home quite so soon, so a planned trip by us to visit in March will be our safety net. I also had the most amazing “God whisper” when a friend introduced me to a friend who not only lives in Pasadena but who goes to the same church Philip has settled on. A hug sent by me to him has since been exchanged alongside a promise to have him over for a meal. I’m not sure the men really get it but it sure helped settled this Mums’ heart. Hoping to do a blog soon on how many folk within the nativity story could have walked away but despite not”fully understanding” they choose instead to obey…
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So glad for those connections being made and that he’s feeling at home there…and excited for you for your visit in March! Will be looking forward to your blog about the Nativity!