Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Running the White Line

For several weeks I've been trying to construct this blog post. Thinking about it, letting the lesson sink in a little further, and just when I would sit down to post...

Life would happen. Nothing crazy or traumatic mind you, just everyday life.

Today, my sweet friend (and newly published Bible study author!) Leah posted this on FaceBook:

"We would be wise to keep our eyes on the path that God has set for us and not worry about or fret over the path of another that seems more blessed or successful."

I shared this story a few weeks ago with my Bible study girls and I'm praying that I can "tell" this story clearly here.

It was the morning of my first four mile training run. Chad had decided that it was time to change our run course so we headed to the road. Because I was used to running clean, street lamp lit, somewhat level neighborhood streets, I was very nervous.

Nervous because I didn't know the terrain. The area of road we were running was not lit by street lamps. Chad offered some words of advice that have been resonating in my heart ever since then.

"Don't worry about seeing 10 feet in front of you, just run the white line and concentrate on the next step."

On the two miles out, Chad was in front of me and it was easy to see the white line and even three or four steps of that line in front of me. He was wearing a flashing light that illuminated more of the road in front of me.

On the two miles back to the house, Chad was behind me. (Traffic was picking up so he ran behind so cars coming from behind could see that flashing light that I had been so thankful for on the two miles out.) When he jumped behind me he reminded me to just concentrate on the white line and nothing else. His words stuck in my mind, "Do not look to the right or left, just concentrate on the white line, it is the safest place to step."

I was doing okay, not real crazy about it but was okay until a car came toward us. Immediately I heard my husband say, do NOT look at those headlights, keep your eyes on the white line and you'll be fine.

I couldn't help, I looked. My eyes were blinded for a minute by the brightness of those headlights and I lost the white line I was supposed to be running. I stumbled for several steps and eventually caught myself.

The headlights of the car were not meant for me. While they were illuminating the path for the driver, they were harmful to me.

A few weeks ago in my Bible study, Deuteronomy 6:32-33 was referenced. It sums up this up perfectly.

You shall be careful therefore to do as the LORD your God has commanded you. You shall not turn aside to the right hand or the left. You shall walk in all the way that the LORD your God has commanded you, that you may live, and that it may go well with you, and that you may live long in the land that you shall possess.

My white line and your white line may never intersect. They may be going in totally different directions, BUT.

When you run the line God has called you to run, and I run the line He has called me to, we are running in the safest place.

Matthew 6:33-34 tells us

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Lately, I have been hearing God continue to say to my heart, "Just run the white line. Don't let another distract you from the next step I have for you. Seek me first. Not friends, not family, ME."

As 2010 comes to an end, I just want Him. More than ever, I want to just run the line He has planned for me.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

My Friday Night at Deeper Still

I was all pumped up for a weekend with God. A weekend of worship and focus on Him. My heart had prayed for several weeks that I would hear Him and not be caught up in anything but Him.

It was an emotional weekend. God spoke something to my heart through each speaker and I am still processing it all.

From Kay Arthur I was reminded that God's Word holds everything I need. It is my bread, my manna, my all. I am praying that He would give me a deeper and stronger desire for His word.

Before she taught the ENTIRE BOOK OF MATTHEW, she invited us to pray along with her. One of the statements that really tugged at my heart was this:

"Whatever you say to me, I will do."

I'm a bit ashamed to say that it was very hard for me to pray this. More on that later.

Ms. Kay challenged me from the start! But if I had to pick one thing to share with you it would be this: Jesus is not something we add to our life. He is NOT an accessory. And let me just say, in a room of 14,000 women there were some beautiful accessories!

BUT. There were also some ugly accessories. Mostly on this girl. Thus the reason I was struggling to pray "whatever you say to me, I will do." God began to show me during Kay's teaching that before He could speak to me, I needed to take off some of the offensive and ugly things I had put on. Jesus is my life. I love Him more than anything or anyone. But Friday, I saw things in myself that made me cringe. Things that were repulsive to Him.

Kay reminded us on Friday evening that the Scribes and Pharisees had all the external things of faith. They, like us, put on their "Sunday best" and plaster their "Sunday School Smile" across their face. They knew all the right answers and obeyed all the rules. They were decked head to toe in holy accessories, but there was not a life changing, heart relationship with Jesus Christ.

The sad thing is, I do have Christ in me but on Friday if you did not know me very well, your opinion of me may have been that I was very "Pharisee". I had all the external things of faith. Bible, Notebook, Armband. :) But I had added a few extra accessories that I am ashamed of.

I am so glad that my God is a God of forgiveness and that the minute I asked Him to forgive, it was done. At that point I could hear and worship as one with clean hands and clean heart.

As she so beautifully and powerfully reminded us, true repentance is making adjustments in our life so that our life lines up with Jesus.

Remember the prayer "Whatever you say to me, I will do"? Those few words, along with Ms. Kay's teaching was what God used to prepare my heart for Saturday morning.

I'll share about that tomorrow.