24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Have you ever stopped and just looked and contemplated a Thomas Kincaid painting? Something about it seems so magnetizing. It draws you to it and you don’t want to stop looking at it. They are all cozy cottages with running water and streams. Sometimes there is a deer sipping water from a stream without caution or fear. You feel refreshed just imagining yourself in this place of total peace and serenity. Why do people love to go to the lake and stay for days on end and groan with disappointment when they have to come back to the “real world”? Because they sit and watch the placid lake and their emotions become the same. They can think because it is quiet, peaceful, and there is a heightened awareness of God and His magnificence and there is peace and quiet! It is in these times we can stop, think, and reassess all the distractions that have slipped so unnoticed into our lives but have added up in the process. We have time to pray and concentrate on God and His word for us that day because there are no ringing phones, schedules, or deadlines. There is just you and God and that is when we are still long enough to hear His still small voice that carries mighty instruction and direction!
We cannot live our lives doing nothing. God made us to be productive! But, if we don’t strike a balance between time with Him and direction on what to do when it is time to take action in whatever area of life He is speaking to us about, we will end up in a place where we were never meant to be! We are running a race with purpose and if we don’t listen to our “coach” we will become aimless! No one ever went into the Olympics, without a coach. They never went that far without qualifying by winning many races before they got there. They never won the first race without rigorous practice. They never practiced without a coach that watched and instructed them on how to get the maximum benefit from the run! The coach tells them what to outright change and what just needs minor adjustments to make them the best possible contender for the gold they can be!
I have a friend that told me recently, “You see a part of things, but God sees the whole picture!” Yes, He does! He can be trusted when we pray to give us instruction and direction!
A few years back my dad was in the hospital. He had developed hypertension and they were looking for the possible root cause of it. Thank God, he turned out to be totally healthy and all tests came back negative. He is doing very well! While he was in the hospital, a minister friend came to visit him. I happened to be there at the time. This man is someone who has a very productive business. He began to tell me how he makes sure he has uninterrupted time with God daily. One day God showed him a scripture he had not seen before. It was Psalm 32:8 which says, “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.” Not long after finding that scripture he and his wife took his three boys to a very large indoor theme park. The boys came to a maze with high walls. There was a set of stairs where the dad could see the boys from the top of the maze and they could see him. In the maze they had to run in different directions to try to find their way out of the other side. His first son ran into the maze and began to try to figure out how to get out on his own. He has always been independent and done things his own way. This man told me that it was his son’s largest downfall and had gotten him into trouble more than once. When independence is carried to an extreme then it is no longer an asset, it is a downfall. It is out of balance! His second son has always listened and obeyed his dad! He watches him in his craft. He asks his dad’s opinions on things and confides in him for his wisdom. This son, as he entered the intricate life-size maze, looked up to his father. This dad never said a word! He simply shifted his eyes on which way to go in order to find an out to the “trap”. When his eyes looked right, the son went right. He again would look up at his dad and if his dad’s eyes shifted left, the son would go left. He knew he could trust his dad’s direction…even if it wasn’t spoken. When you have a deep relationship with someone, such as a parent or spouse, many times words are not necessary. You KNOW them and you know what they are going to do or say before they ever make a move! There is something to be said of relationship in this, too! As the child progressed with his father’s help through the maze in a very short time he was to the other side. The independent, I’ll figure it out for myself son took much longer to get out. The son who looked up for his father’s instruction was well on to other things before the oldest ever got out of the maze!
When we look to God, we realize His eye is on us and He is keenly aware of everything in our lives. He guides us with His eye! Thank God, I am not in this rat race alone! No matter where I am, I can always look to God and His precise direction will be given. Whether it is a trap the enemy has laid for you, or to know “What now, Father?” look up! Don’t try to figure it out! Let God (your life coach, if you will) guide you. Be so acquainted with Him, that when you look to Him, you aren’t straining to know what His voice is saying or even what He sounds like when He speaks! Have a relationship that when God calls your name or prompts you in a way you never thought of going, there is such trust you automatically say, “Yes, Lord!” and you are on to more and better things!
Have a blessed day, my precious reader! See you soon!