"Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving." -W.T. Purkise
When I read this quote recently it struck me, then it beat me up. The old refrain battered my heart and brain: Am I being a good enough steward of the blessings with which I have been entrusted? I know I don't have to earn my salvation, but I want to be found faithful. I want the Master's pat on the back when He returns. "Well done, good and faithful servant." I don't want to miss what He has planned for this life.
Even by first world standards, my life is pretty comfortable. I really enjoy the ministries I participate in. I like my life. Does that indicate that I am playing it safe and burying my proverbial talents or is it simply the blessed peace that comes from resting in Him? Should peacefulness be guilt-inducing or gratitude-inciting? Am I too busy outside my home or not busy enough? How do you know when you get it right? The little girl inside me still struggles to be 'enough.'
I have been wrestling through this with a couple of dear friends for weeks. Then today, I read this post by Ann Voskamp, How to Not Miss Your Real Life Calling. And the heart of this real housewife (with kids being schooled outside my home) who wants to do the right thing with her time and talents cried "Yes! This!"
Near the end of the post, Ann tells a wonderful story of her young daughter:
"The girl wanted a fence and rules and where she should go...
But the Farmer, he scooped up his little girl and said it in his
gentle spoken way — “I’ll stand outside after the service and I’ll be
keep a close eye for you. But listen.” He’d cupped Hope’s full cheeks in
his field worn hands. “Your Dad will call you– and if you can’t hear him? You’re not where you are meant to be.“
And suddenly my own wrestling seemed to be a moot point indeed. I have been seeking road signs, a map, a property line, some sort of once and for all marching orders so that I can be on my way. I am learning (again and again) God would rather have me listening for His voice to obey than taking off with a fake sense of independence and confidence because I have a map.
To quote Ann Voskamp again: "We want clarity — and God gives a call. We want a road map — and
God gives a relationship. We want answers — and God gives His hand."
I have always fared
much better with the turn-by-turn voice prompts from my car's GPS. This journey of life is
much the same--except the stakes are exceedingly higher. So, tonight I am left with this prayer:
May we resist the temptation to stomp our feet and demand an easy road map, instead finding the courage and faith to lean in, cling tight, and trust all along the way.
He is not just a once and for all
Savior. He is also Lord of our lives.
He isn't checking my list, He wants me to listen...beyond the noise of the world and the distraction of temporal circumstances to His unchanging, still, small voice.
Quiet my spirit Lord. Remind me of the Word You left to teach us and guide. Tune me in to Your Spirit and truth.
"But he’s already made it
plain how to live, what to do,
what God is
looking for in men and women.
It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor,
be compassionate and loyal in your love,
And don’t take yourself too seriously—
take God seriously."
Micah 6:8 The Message