This morning, I ran a whole mile.
May not seem like much to most of you but for a walk-two, run-one lap kind of girl it was quite an accomplishment.
And you know what the funny thing is? I didn't plan on doing it. I went to the track this morning with thoughts of business as usual. Do my time and go home. But when I got there and started running something in me said, "A little farther. Just one more." And then this strange phrase came, "Step into it." Before I knew it my thoughts transformed from 'just get through this' to 'let's do the hard thing.' It's important to note that I wasn't pushing myself. I'm not a good self-motivator. Instead I had the very tangible, other-worldly feeling that God Himself was trying to break through.
It may or may not surprise you to know that I started crying my eyes out. You see, God and I have been talking a lot lately about filling up this life of mine with nothing but Him. About being transparent. About what He wants from me both today and tomorrow. My problem is I can often get swept away daydreaming about the next without fully embracing and filling the now. I'm reminded of Zechariah 4:10 which says, " Who despises the day of small things? Men will rejoice when they see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel". Indeed I rejoice because I see God's hand working in the life of my family and in many ways I realize these are days of beginnings. Of foundations. Of preparations for next in the blessings of current.
I appreciate the message of the book, The Prayer of Jabez. In it, we are told to ask God to expand our ministry boundaries. However, I've always thought that request was a bit presumptuous. Why are we asking for a pasture if we haven't been faithful in the fenced-in back yard? I ask myself almost daily, "Are you ready for more when you haven't blown the gate off less?" By talking about small, I'm in no way suggesting what's next has to be big - just abundant. I want to be like Paul whose flesh wasted away but yet was inwardly renewed day by day. The outside of Paul could scarce hold the Spirit inside. I want a life of ministry that is bursting at the seams from God's work in it. Yes, I want abundance.
I've been meditating on Ephesians 2:10 that says, "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." When I thought about the words "step into it" that played through my head this morning, this verse immediately came to mind. God has already prepared the good work in advance. All He is asking us to do is walk in it and when that isn't enough, to put on our big girl shoes and run. Not because we planned on it. Not because it was the easy thing - but because it wasn't.
I've asked God what running looks like for me. My heart burns for ministry to women, for writing, for speaking. Yet, what seems like the natural 'next' - forming an official ministry -is just not settling in my spirit. You know, I can get a web designer to make a fresh site that could really put a great face on who I want to be and could create opportunity for more - but would it be an abundant more or self-promoting hype? Would that 'more' be to the detriment of my family? And then, there's always the fact I'm scared to death that the inside of the store would be terribly disappointing after the promises of the window. A ministry may be in my future, but I look at Ephesians 2:10 again and it suggests to me that God has prepared a lifetime of work and yet sometimes we find ourselves wanting the whole of it right now. God's 'not yet' isn't because He's withholding good things from us. What in the world are we doing to do ten years from now if we grab ahold of all our ministry today?
So for now, my abundance is in letting God create opportunity, making the most of every single one, and having faith that what comes my way is what He means for me to step in to for the time. That instead of my trying to convince people "how great I am" and "why they should listen to me", God will orchestrate times and places where I can tell you how great HE IS! I trust that on the day He means for me to do something different He'll push me into that thing just like He pushed me into the unexpected mile. Every wonderful thing He has ever asked me to do has been beyond my wildest imagination and I don't expect Him to disappoint the next time - whenever and whatever that time may be.
"Not by might, not by power, but by My Spirit" says the Lord.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008