This post was written by a good friend of mine (who wanted to remain anonymous) a few months ago who is starting her own exciting adventure today. One filled with a lot of uncertainty and question about the future, but as we’ve both discussed many times, we have dreams that need to be chased down and a calling to be fulfilled. Be encouraged by her words!
Good luck, friend. Seek Jesus through it all.
In the midst of the whirlwind of life, you may be wandering, uncertain of where your journey will lead you. What move to make next; grad school? A new career? Will a relationship grow into something more, or less? Should you move to a new city and start a new chapter? I myself am guilty of being anxious of not knowing what curve in my journey is coming next, more often than not.
Listen in as a paint you a picture…The anxiety of the unknown horizon is similar to when you’re driving into the sunrise and your insect-gut covered windshield (or frost covered if you live in subzero tundra) obstructs your view of the road. It may take a few miles to wise up and turn on your windshield-wipers so that you can see the road with the light your car is casting–with CLARITY. In those few moments when you’re unable to see what is oncoming, your heart falls straight to your gut and a feeling of doom overcomes. “What’s next?”, “I can’t see!”, “What do I do?!” A (high) level of panic sets in. This scenario is parallel to our journey with God. When we allow our windshield to build a layer of gunk and continue to travel numerous miles while still only seeing Him through a deceived and deflected layer of pain—it’s inevitable that we will feel anxious. Lucky for us, we can turn our windshield wipers on to get a clearer view of what is up ahead. Still, the undeniable light may be so bright it’s hard to see what is coming, but that’s exactly what God wants; for us to see the Light and be so consumed by it that it draws us to Him. The key here is the CHOICE of turning on our own personal windshield wipers. Believe it or not we might have to do it more than once on this journey. Just like it is our choice to CHOOSE God and to acknowledge Him (daily and many times through the day), we must also choose to let go of our troubles and allow Him to be our Navigator, therefore relieving our anxieties. (Proverbs 3:6 “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight”.)
Easy peasy. I’ll just turn my windshield wipers on constantly and a get a good scrub at the next gas station so my windshield is crystal clear, without a single distraction or flaw in my view. Yeah, right.
That’s a high standard that none of us can achieve. But even if we could do that all the time, what’s the point of having a spick-and-span windshield if we don’t have a sense of the direction we are going? Let me paint you another picture…We know that the grim-covered windshield is no fun to drive in, but what about when you are driving in complete darkness without any light to guide you? You know, like that time when you thought it was a good idea to turn your headlights off cruising down a back road, going 80 mph. Yeah… that lasted, what, two, maybe three seconds because the anxiety of not having any idea of where you were going kicked in big time. I wonder if some of us don’t have a light to follow in our own lives, not even the faintest glimmer. Just driving around aimlessly in the dark—bug splats and all, without any hope.
This can be parallel to trying to figure out how to read a compass that is spinning wildly out of control (and if any of you are like me you know that directions are already a weakness).
Let me remind you of a childhood favorite of mine: Pocahontas. Remember the “spinning arrow” Pocahontas held in her palm at the base of Grandmother Willow’s trunk? The scene at the end when the compass is spinning wildly out of control, a symbol of our minds and hearts not knowing what direction to go. The compass abruptly stops dead in rotation, sending her in the direction of John Smith. Unfortunately, our compasses don’t work like a Disney movie, we have to learn how to point our spinning arrow north, likewise, steadying our arrow towards God. He will lead us and set our paths straight. He is the Light that guides us and the Light that we get to drive straight to. It takes trust and perseverance to follow the fixed arrow. Trust is a hard concept for a lot of us to grasp, let alone act upon. The act of not being in control. UH HELLO! We love being in control. But trust, in other words means faith; knowing God’s way is THE WAY, even if you can’t see past the Light with your own eyes; surrendering to Him. (Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.) Follow the Light, even though you’re blinded by it, stay steadfast in choosing to overcome the obstacles that will flail themselves at you. (James 1:12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.”) I struggle with the “steadfast” part of that verse–the perseverance I was talking about earlier in trusting God. Some days I cannot squelch my anxieties. My compass is spinning so fast I feel like it might fly away, and my windshield is so muddled that even a sledgehammer wouldn’t be able to work through it.
“But I already prayed about it, looked to God about it and, nothing. Not a darn thing.”
*Just trucking along here, in a big circle* WELL GUESS WHAT. That’s when I need a second or third, or heck a fiftieth reminder–is my magnetic field of my compass pointed toward God? Do I need to use some windshield wiper fluid and do a quick wipe? These are choices and little safety checks we do along the way. I’m here saying that it is okay to check them more than once. I feel that sometimes people portray the repetition of having to seek God multiple times a day as a weakness; but in the reality of it, it means spending more time with Him and recognizing how much we truly need Him. How awesome is that to get to spend all the time in the world with our God? (Philippians 4:6,7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”) You wouldn’t continue a road trip with a filthy windshield nor would you guess about what way you think is the right way to go. Don’t be lazy. Check your compass. Cleanse your windshield. Seek our King.
It’s a wild ride, this journey we are headed on, and we need all the roadside assistance we can get.
Pack a light heart; love heavy.