Enjoy the Ride
God and I have had an “intense” summer. He talking and me, well, probably more whining than listening.
What do we do when life has taken us to a place that we did not choose, did not want to go, is someone else’s fault or it has become something that we thought would never happen to us? What on earth do we do? How do we process this and come to some kind of conclusion that we can live with?
I have done lots of analyzing and lots of struggling to figure these questions out.
You see, if I could figure them out, I would arrive at a logical and fixable conclusion – call it ‘the destination’ if you will.
Somewhere in my journey, I discovered that those of us who wait to get to the destination before they start to enjoy the ride, have actually stopped living. They have put themselves on hold, living their life in a “holding pattern” until they get it all in order and in place and arrive at their logical ‘destination.’
God told me that these folks have basically “stopped living” because they are choosing to believe that “life will get better when……” when I get a different job; when I get more money; when I get healthy; when I retire; when I get a husband or a wife; when I leave my husband or my wife; when the kids move out…. Whatever it may be for you. In reality, life is what we make of it today, no matter where we have found ourselves.
Read that quote at the top again.
The life you are living is the very life you are supposed to be in. Will it be fun? Maybe, could be. Will it be fair? Heaven’s no, probably not especially if other people are involved. Will it be everything you want? Nope.
Hard and tough stuff especially if you have ended up in a place that was not even on your map!
How do we find joy along the journey to a destination that we never picked? Great question!
God pours out blessings from heaven liberally and equally over His people. When we look around we see that some people seem to be more blessed than others. How can that be fair or right?
God is not being mean and spiteful, showering some while ignoring others. The problem is actually in our end – the receiving end.
I had no idea there was a receiving end, that I had a responsibility to position myself to receive and it is not found in whining and waiting for something different.
Think of 2 cups. One is right side up and the other is upside down.
Now picture a watering can sprinkling its water over both of the cups. It pours out the water evenly, distributing water over each cup. Only the cup in the upright position will receive water. Is it the watering can’s fault that the upside down cup is empty? No.
Is it the water’s fault that the upside down cup is empty? No.
But we like to blame the watering can, or the pourer or the water, don’t we? We think, “how silly to blame the watering can” and yet we blame God and get mad at Him when we do not get what we think we want, need or deserve. He is pouring out His blessings evenly over all.
We, you and me, ourselves have to make sure we are right side up and open to receive the water.
God is the waterer and we are the cups, the water pouring out of the can are the blessings flowing out of heaven. They pour out equally, over each cup, not picking and choosing, but yet one cup will remain dry.
The dry cup, the upside down cup is waiting for someone to flip it over, make it right, fix it…. And in our life, we are the only ones who can position ourselves to be ready to be filled and yet often we blame something else or someone else.
When our cup gets full of water, it then becomes our job to give it away, we are not to store it up, hoard it or keep it for ourselves. When we do that the water in the cup becomes stagnant, and you end up with the same amount of water forever, except it will probably start to evaporate over time.
In order to get more water, more blessings, and get the cup refilled, and refilled and refilled, we have to give the contents away, empty the cup in order to get more water.
“A generous person will prosper, whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” Proverbs 11:25
“Give, and it will be given to you.” Luke 6:38
These quotes are a spiritual promise and it is not just talking about money and there are times where money is not even in the equation. This is a spiritual principle, like the law of gravity, it cannot be changed and is for "life". Friends, love, money, prayer, jobs, everything falls into this.
What do the cups and the “destination” have to do with each other?
The one who has found a way to live the life they are in, to celebrate the journey now, not wait until they reach their destination; they are the ones who are right-side up. They are refillable. They are able to see and catch the blessings that are given to us each day.
“Gods mercies are new every morning.” Lamentations 3:22-23
Rubber meets the road, how do we do this?
Probably awkwardly at first. We have been so focused on the destination, expectantly waiting, that we are not even sure how to look around at the journey, but my friends, start looking.
Our words are the first step, our words have power. Do you find yourself saying, “Oh it will never change.” “I am so tired of this.” “Where is God, I do not see Him doing anything.” These words are the words of someone stuck on the destination, not enjoying the journey.
What if as the Bible states, that God has new mercies, new blessings just for you everyday?
We may need our words to sound more like: “Thank you for the breath in my lungs today God.” “Thank you for the sunshine today” “Look at that beautiful bird.” “Thank you for the food we have to eat today.” “Thank you for the gas to drive to work.” “Thank you for my work.” “Thank you for a warm home to live in.”
We got our first bit of snow yesterday. I was in the Prayer room and I had a couple people come in and complain about the cold and the snow. Another lady came in and said, “first snow of the season, it is so beautiful!” Same weather, different eyes.
As we foster an attitude of thankfulness, we foster an attitude of blessings. You had the blessings all along but your focus was not on them, you were sidetracked by the destination. Perhaps your definition of blessings may need to change.
It may be time for a “Blessing Book”, I have decided to do this again to help in my journey. Some people refer to them as “jewels”, the nuggets of a life embraced.
Everyday has blessings, it is up to me to see them and then write them down in a book. I’m not looking for a miracle, but I could…..rather it is the simple thank you’s, the ones like: a child’s snuggle; a warm hug; a phone call to encourage your day; someone holding the door open for you; a letter in the mail; a song that touches your heart; that lovely nurse at the hospital; a visit from a friend; the chance encounter at the store.
These are not “outstanding things” and they could even be called common, but let me tell you that if you were not able to get them, life would seem very empty. For me, I have forgotten how many blessings each day holds and that is why I need to start my Blessing Book.
The Blessing Book also records those “outstanding things” those miracles that come when we need them or come unexpectedly. The divine encounters that God pours over our life. For example: finding the money miraculously to pay a bill; receiving an answer to prayer, healing, finding those lost keys or whatever item it is! These are the things that we know only God can do. Write them down.
The purpose of the Blessing Book is that it is “our” history with God. It is a record keeper of the journey, so that when you hit a bump in the road, and there will be bumps, days where this may seem impossible, you can turn to your Blessing Book and see what God has done for you in the past. He met me here, and there, and it will encourage your heart that He will be with you today as well.
It is a tangible reminder of how our life interacts with others and God. When our faith is diminished and our hope is not to be found, that is when the Blessing Book shines. It is proof that we are not alone, we are not forgotten and that God is not dead.
It is proof that we are “living” the journey, looking for joy in the moments, even when we are not quite sure where we will end up. It helps our hearts to develop thankfulness and reminds us that today is a gift and tomorrow will be one too. It takes off our negative glasses and replaces them with positive ones and heaven knows we have enough negative in the world today.
What would it take for us to fasten our seat belts, put on new glasses and sit back and enjoy the ride today?