Sunday, January 29, 2012

As Though The Curtain Parted

Last week, as I read my devotions (I have been fairly disciplined in that so far this year), I came across a couple of sentences that really spoke to me. They said:

Don't waste energy regretting the way things are or thinking about what might have been. Start at the present moment - accepting things exactly as they are - and search for My way in the midst of those circumstances.*
When I read those words, it was as though the curtain parted and I could now see what I couldn't before.

For several years now, I've often thought and wished that I still had those same feelings of wonder and excitement that often accompanies a Christian when s/he first accept Jesus as Saviour. It's the time when you feel invincible, that nothing and no one can deflate the swelling of your heart as it fills to overflowing with desire to be like Jesus, to make Him proud of who you are, and the fire burns bright and strong.

I wish I could say that I know the exact moment or time when the fire diminished,but I can't. Along the dimly lit path I walked, I was aware of becoming tired and worn out. I wondered if I was actually following the Lord's leading, or if I was setting off down the road and leading myself.

I grew weary. I held back. And instead of calling out for support from the One who leads, it seems as though I let Him go on ahead while I sat to catch my breath. Now, I know that He does not go off ahead and leave us behind; He stays with us and waits. He's there to help carry us, to guide us, to lead us. But my problem is, I don't think I ever accepted His help in that matter. I never asked. And it felt like He left me on my own.

I think what I did was to try and carry on my way on my own merits. I didn't stop to say, "Hey, I'm a little winded here. Can you help me along?" or "Carry me until I catch my breath again." Think of a little child walking beside her father. She's tired from the journey so he reaches down, picks her up, and carries her until she gets her strength back. That's how I felt...only I tried to keep up the pace without being carried. It didn't work very well. And, there are still times in my life when I feel that way - tired and weary on this path.

In the last couple of years I have often thought, ""If only I felt the way I did in the beginning; If only I had the fire I had back then." And that's really the crux of my situation.

I shouldn't be thinking about what it was like then. That's the past and there is nothing I can do about it. If I'm living in the past, I'm certainly not living in the here and now - and certainly not putting my focus on what I could/can be doing for the Kingdom.

As the devotion says, "things are they way they are now" and I need to seek the Lord in my current situation and take it from there. Start fresh and anew. I can't get the past back, and I certainly won't get the fire ignited again if I don't tend to it.

I need to discipline myself into not thinking/worrying about the past, and put my focus on today. God can do great things in and through me if I'd only let Him. And by focusing on the past, I'm not allowing Him to work in my life.

Do you focus on the past, present or future?

* Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, page 23