“Great faith isn’t the ability to believe long and far into the misty future.
It’s simply taking God at His word and taking the next step.” ~ Joni Eareckson Tada
Going on vacation always does a number on my scripted mindset. I think I’m getting away to unplug and break out of routine, but I end up learning just how tied I am to the familiar and the comfortable.
I was reminded of this as I spent some time in the Northwest to attend a wedding and visit family, just a couple weeks ago.
Suitcases and Starbuck’s
For starters, the stress started with the packing. I like to be prepared.
Sounds good, except there’s a weight limit these days with baggage. To increase the level of difficulty, I’m a parent now. Which means more to pack with less space for me. With random items spread out for packing, like wares at the flea market, it was obvious I needed to cut bait.
I stripped down to the essentials and nothing more. It was painful.
Another thing I learned, addictions travel with us.
No matter where we went, I kept a roving eye out for the brown square logo of Pete’s or the green san-serif letters that spelled S-t-a-r-b-u-c-k-s.
The first thing I did, after taking a barefoot walk through the security checkpoint at the airport at 7am? I ordered a short drip, no room for cream, please.
Coffee wasn’t the only thing I was addicted to.
The night I was packing, I received a phone call that was very distressing. An issue suddenly exploded in from left field, that I could not figure out how to resolve.
The conversation was so unsettling, my world suddenly went gray, like the skies that later met me in Oregon, along with sheets of rain that pelted me in July.
The weather can change very drastically in our faith walk.
One moment, we can feel like sunny skies, clear without a cloud.
With one phone call or email, we suddenly feel very uncomfortable getting caught in a personal storm.
Life is unpredictable. It is unscripted.
We may think we’ve got our arms around the storyline God is developing.
Life reminds us that at the end of the day, we need to travel light to find our way.
When we are stripped to the bare essentials, what is that we’re carrying in our daily baggage?
I’ve learned that I am more addicted to comfort and predictability than I’d like to admit.
I don’t like uncertainty and open-ended question marks.
God isn’t limited by my frustrations.
He uses the things that cause me discomfort, to move me forward. He challenges me to keep going, with the pebble in my shoe and the thorn in my flesh.
Do I keep trusting Him to move forward into the unknown or do I trust myself more with the familiar?
It’s a choice we make every time the script changes.
One of the reasons I like coffee is lined up in the glass displays right next to the barista bar.
One of my favorite pick is the lemon poppyseed muffin. As I inched in the line to order, I was horrified to see only one left, pressing up against the glass. By the time I got to the cashier, my sweet muffin was gone.
I decided to try the cinnamon twist, rather than leave my coffee solo.
I never liked it before, so I was definitely surprised to find there wasn’t a crumb was left before my mug was empty.
… I wish I could say I felt better about my situation by the time the trip ended or the week after I came back.
What I can tell you is that I am choosing the unscripted life — by responding differently by faith.
It kinda sounds simplistic, but it’s real for me right now.
It’s natural for me to do whatever it takes to prevent discomfort from entering my life.
But, it’s time to try something different.
I want to develop a second nature — to trust God, even when I feel things are out of my control.
I want to let go of what I’m hanging onto, so that I can see what God can really do.
“Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work of the LORD is finished.” 1 Chronicles 28:20
What is the current step God is showing you, even if it seems to lead you away from your comfort level?
What can you let go of, to make the journey lighter?