Choppy or smooth? Icy or powder? Chunky or groomed? These are all descriptions of the snow conditions when a person skis or snowboards.
When I was first learning to snowboard, I struggled to navigate changing conditions. I was really good on groomed runs but ice caused me some significant problems.
I’ve been snowboarding now for almost 15 years & I can navigate various conditions usually without injuries, although I have definite preferences.
I think the same can hold true for us as we mature in our walk with Jesus. Early on, maybe we didn’t have the agility to navigate disappointment or unanswered prayers. As we mature in our walk w Jesus, it’s helpful to keep love as our top priority regardless of the changing conditions. I find that the more I stay in love w Jesus, regardless of what’s happening around me, the easier it can be to navigate changing conditions 🙂
I’M SO EXCITED!!!!! We are getting a new bed today & this makes me happy for LOTS of reasons: better sleep, not as stiff, more rest & increased energy. Our old bed is tired, no pun intended. We’ve slept on it for countless years, extending it’s life by flipping & rotating the mattress multiple times. But it’s reached the end of it’s functional life. I know this because I wake up stiff, often tired, it creaks & it’s saggy in the middle.
There’s lots to be said about sleep & rest. Indeed, we spend about 1/3 of our lives sleeping / resting, so it’s an essential ingredient God has baked into our practical existence. Here are some things to consider about rest as we head into this weekend:
proper alignment: our backs need to be properly aligned so that we walk without pain & distortion. In the same say, when we rest in God, we can walk in our daily living, with less pain & distortion. Sleep & rest is when our backs & walk have the chance to settle into proper alignment
better mobility: with our old bed, I wake up stiff and sore everyday & it takes some time for my muscles to relax in the morning. When we consistently rest in God, we can have better agility to flow with Holy Spirit throughout the day. Better rest can mean increased agility 🙂
clearer thinking: when I wake up tired, this tells me that my sleep wasn’t restful & this affects my ability to think clearly on any given day. When my thinking is murky, everything takes more work, my emotions are more challenging, I’m more prone to make bad decisions and my perceptions can be whacky. But when I’m well rested in my body, mind and heart, everything is more clear & I’m better able to perceive truth, which is an essential ingredient for effective living 🙂
So here’s to getting a new bed! I’m also hopeful that you’ll make some time this weekend to be at rest 🙂
It’s a well known proverb that pride goes before a fall & i could be the poster child for this proverb. At my home church on Sunday, I did a face plant trying to lithely “pop” up on the stage. I caught my toe on the edge of the stage & the thunderous KABOOM was my pride exploding, along w smashing my thigh & scrapping up my elbow. I want to think that I’m agile, athletic, coordinated & spry, along with 20 years younger. So maybe I’m kind of athletic & sometimes agile.
This fall has helped me come back to reality – I’m not a gymnast, I’m not 30years old & I’m not so spry.
Lovingly, Holy Spirit helps us understand grace, humility & truth, along with a healthy dose of comic relief, when we don’t take ourselves too seriously.
I wonder if God doesn’t want us to stretch more: to stretch our faith, to stretch our compassion, to stretch our endurance & maybe stretch in some other areas. Today, I had to stretch past my natural limits in lots of ways.
Since I’m here in Cambodia, I need to stretch my time so that I can be fully spent when I leave. I did this well today because God helped me. This day was overflowing with accomplishments & productivity! I also felt my compassion stretch today, such that I didn’t pull away from broken people & I felt God’s love pour through me. I was also stretched today in the area of wisdom, as I had some challenging conversations that exceeded my natural abilities. Stretching helps us to stay nimble & flexible, maybe helping us obey & follow God better!
Let’s allow God to stretch us!
I’m not a planner. Indeed, spontaneity is fun for me & I enjoy being agile for various adventures, mostly. But I’ve come to appreciate that planning can often make things better & so I’ve learned to value the process.
With that said, I’m learning that God is both the Perfect Planner & Playful Partner. I can see the strategic hand of God when I look back at various seasons & experiences. But let’s also be willing to follow God moment by moment in nimble obedience & undisputed trust!
I changed my plans for today at the last minute. I was going to go snowboarding, but decided that there are more pressing needs at home than my snowboarding interests.
In 1Samuel 13, Saul changed his plans as well. He & Samuel made a plan to make a sacrifice together but he got scared & offered the sacrifice without Samuel. This was a major downfall for Saul & Samuel explained shortly after Saul’s fearful decision, that God had sought out a different leader for Israel, a man after His heart (1San 13:14).
Saul changed the plan he had made with Samuel because he was afraid of his enemy, the Philistines, & saw the Israelite’ support of his leadership rapidly eroding.
While I’m a massive advocate of flexible planning, I’m growing to appreciate the importance of keeping God’s goals as unchanging piers to anchor my soul, regardless of my environs, feelings or selfish preferences.
God’s goals always related to genuine love & connecting humanity to God’s heart in deep intimacy. Let’s be sure that we keep God’s plans more central to our choices rather than our selfish interests, including my snowboarding plans 🙂
When I was learning to snowboard, I would ride in the middle, flat space of my board. This seemed easier & took less work than riding on one of the edges. But whenever I did that, I would inevitably catch an edge & get smashed into the mountain – lots of pain, weeping & gnashing of teeth. I quickly learned that riding the flat part of my board required less balance but was more risky. After some troublesome injuries I decided to quit riding the middle of my board & just stick the edges even though it was more work to stay balanced.
This lesson rings true for me in my daily living as well. When I get lazy & try to do life in ways that are comfy & convenient, I often run into some challenges that could be avoided if I had done the work to live balanced. It helps me to keep keep my edge in life when I do the extra work, intentionally lean into Jesus & trust walk with the Holy Spirit – Gal 5:16 🙂
We had a trampoline when I was growing up & I really loved learning tricks to do on the tramp. The only exception was when I tried to learn a back flip & wound up unconscious on the ground. As a result, to this day I have this innate opposition to anything backwards (back flips on diving boards, backstroke, reverse driving, etc). But here’s an interesting thing that I’m pondering: I wonder if my reliance on the Holy Spirit isn’t stronger when I do things that don’t seem as easy or natural to me. It seems like when I find things to be easy, I tend to rely less on the Holy Spirit than when things are difficult. While this initially feels awkward & uncomfortable, I wonder if there’s not huge spiritual benefits to doing some things in a less easy or natural progression. Maybe the Holy Spirit leads us in ways, on occasion, that don’t seem as natural, convenient or easy as we’d like.
My daughter & I are talking about all the changes happening for us currently. We’ve got school changes, friend adjustments (saying goodbye & meeting new friends), neighborhood transitions and heaps more.
We just talked about how Jacob in Genesis underwent huge amounts of change: his family relationships, place where he lived, job functions, marriage & children adjustments and even moving to Egypt at the end of his life. Here are some things to help make change be positive in your life:
Prepare rather than deny: just because you may want to deny some impending changes doesn’t make them evaporate; preparing is more proactive than denying
Keep positive: it always helps me remember Rom 8:28-9, that as long as I stay in love with God & locked into God’s purposes, all things work together for my good
Be practical: maintain routines & schedules, drink more water & less coffee / soda, eat healthy, exercise & get good sleep
Trust God: always keep in mind that God gives us what we need or God changes our needs
My new physical therapy exercise is called Turkish Get-Ups & they’re very exciting, so say I with a smirk. I’m supposed to hold some kind of weight, do some weird getting up thing & pretend I’m nimble, maybe.
This is all very exciting because I can see that I’m making progress – to the point that I can do Turkish Get-Ups. Even though I feel uber silly doing these crazy exercises, I’m totally committed to doing them because they’re helping me to reach my goal to go snowboarding, swimming, jogging, paragliding & possibly wingsuit jumping.
Sometimes our spiritual development can be a little bit like Turkish Get-Ups. As we keep growing in our walk with God, sometimes we get to do things that might feel silly. Let’s appreciate, however, that if our flesh feels uncomfortable & silly but our spirits are growing, then ultimately that’s not bad: Maybe we need to pray out loud for someone today.
Maybe we need to ask God for some of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit to move in our lives.
Maybe we need to choose to be patient when we’d prefer to rip off someone’s head.
Maybe we need to ask for God’s help in our daily living rather than trying to be independent 🙂
My daughter’s basketball game was postponed on Thurs night because of weather complications, so I’ve got some time to work on my self-control efforts (her next game isn’t until Dec). In the meantime, watch this video for how I think about myself with basketball (laugh, laugh, chuckle, chuckle)