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Christine from Fruit in Season
I admit it. I've always been a "grass is greener" kinda gal. There's always something out there somewhere that will make my home/homeschool/marriage/parenting better. To some degree this is sheer and innocent optimism:
- The new organizing book will be that extra "oomph" I need to make me what I'm not.
- This discipline technique will finally remove whining from our home dialogue (yea, right...).
- This new-fangled gadget will help me want to get up and have my quiet times like I should.
See what I mean?
My rose-colored glasses (as my hubby calls them) are endearing in some ways, eye-rolling-ly frustrating in others. As I age I am seeing that my "habits" are not so easy to break. I am the way I am, and nothing short of a miracle will change me for the good. This is not to say I haven't changed, I have, and I'm sure more change is in my future, however painful it may be. My life with Christ over the past 14 years has given me many mountaintop experiences and time of drawing from those experiences when down in the valley. But the daily grind wears away at optimism a bit, as wind wears down stone, and I find that if I'm not careful I will pine too much for that greenery "over there".
While driving in the car the other day I heard a part of a sermon that stuck with me all through this week. The pastor (I never got to hear who it was!) spoke of the "devil's culdesacs" in our lives.
"The devil doesn't try to steer us on the wrong path," he said, "but instead keeps us in a culdesac for a while..."
Stalled. Not traveling where we should be, yet not quite involved in something we shouldn't. Maybe enjoying something "good" while something "great" waits for us elsewhere.
Yes! That's it!
How many little side jaunts in a lovely tree-lined culdesac have I taken, wasting away precious hours thinking of how things could be "better if..."? Oh, I so want to enjoy the moment and yet sometimes (even often!) I simply lose focus and drift off the main road in pursuit of that elusive something. Contentedness is just beyond my grasp.
I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation... Phil. 4:12b
My life is similar to yours, I'm sure. I slug it out, day after day, trying to bring Christ with me everywhere I go. Sometimes I rush ahead of Him, certain this next thing is "it", wanting to show Him when He gets there! Sometimes He's ahead of me, chiding me to keep up as I glance down this side road or that, wondering what's around the bend. He's patient. He waits. I come back from whichever "good" thing I've found to realize that the one thing that's important is to draw from Jesus, the Living Water, the source of all good, and be content in the pasture of my life.
Nancy Leigh DeMoss says that the "green pastures" in Psalm 23 are different for all of us, and different at each stage of our lives. The green is all around us, no need to long for what's in someone else's. Yes, there may be something wonderful to find, to bring healing and change to a part of our lives. But if it's not on our main road- if we have to turn off to find it- then it's not the time.
So what about you? What culdesacs are you tempted by? Walk past; speed up a bit. Find contentment on the path He's set for you.