Monday, June 15, 2009

Day 15: Pulling back, taking in the big picture

"I forget who I am. Would you lend me a hand? I'm not myself..." -Ryanhood

I'm thinking about perspective this morning, and how easy it is to spend our lives focused in on tiny details. I get obsessed with how certain pieces of my little puzzle are/aren't fitting together, because that seems like the responsible thing to do. Isn't it my job to do everything I can to get it all to fit, to make my life work?

Yesterday, out of the blue, it occurred to me that it's been a long time--days, maybe even weeks--since I pulled back to look at the whole puzzle. Because of this, I've lost track of how much progress I've made in certain areas because I'm so honed in on one or two pieces that aren't fitting.

A few months ago I was talking to a friend who was afraid her big career dreams would never come true. She was new to the promises in the Bible, and ran headlong into that wall that says (insistently and with great authority): Those aren't for you. Don't get your hopes up. It will never happen...

I HATE that wall. Just because a prayer's not answered now does not mean the answer is no. It might be no. It might be not yet. Or it might be, hold on--something better is on the way.

God's timing makes hindsight. Looking back, I'm usually glad things worked out His way, rather than mine. The tough part is remembering that feeling and applying it forward, to the prayers I'm still praying (when I'm wondering where God is and when He'll be back from vacation.)

"Give God 5 years," I told my friend. "See what He does..." I don't think it reassured her, and I wasn't suggesting we give God firm time lines and demand He adhere to them. But giving Him time and space to work in our lives is helpful: not to God, but to us. I can't tell you how many times I've said, "Well, I guess I can't give hasn't been 5 years yet." John Wimber, one of the founders of the church I'm a part of, used to say, "Don't talk to me about how God doesn't use your prayers to heal people until you've been at it awhile. Pray for 500 people, then we'll talk..."

Not all of my prayers have been answered within a 5 year time frame (the statute of limitations just ran on one of them) I see God working in so many places, bringing answers and miracles and joy...I'd be nuts not to sign on for another 5 year extension. But I can only see that when I take a minute (or a week) to focus on the big picture, how life is different, and how I'm different than I used to be.

Today's reading is three stories of celebration over lost things that are found. Jesus talks about a sheep that wandered off, a coin that got misplaced, and a son that takes off for fun and adventure only to fall on his face. There are many points here, but the one that might help us most today is this: Jesus is on a rescue mission. We're lost. We might have wandered off course without knowing it (the sheep), we might have no idea (the coin), or we might have told God we've had enough of His boring plan and stormed out to take on the world on our own (the son). Or we might be the older brother who stayed home and did everything right and now feels furious that someone less deserving gets the party. No matter what our personal story, Jesus says, "Here I've come to save the day!!!" (like Mighty Mouse, only better, because he's real. ) Let's let him.

In the meantime, today, let's practice taking in the big picture. When we see how far God has brought us, it's a lot easier to imagine that we're going somewhere :)


Sarakastic said...

I was thinking about this last night and then you wrote the blog post with the answers. Thank you.

heiress said...

"When you see how far God has brought you, it's a lot easier to imagine that you're going somewhere."

Trish, this statement just resonated inside me and I will keep it close to my heart. Thank you...

Stella said...

A girlfriend and I were having dinner last night and got to talking about the places we seem to be "STUCK" in each of our lives. Great thing about being girlfriends is we each remind each other that at least we're NOT where we used to be--HAHA!


Breeza said...

This really resonates with me too. I've been struggling with awaiting an answer from God since last night and reading this just made the little voice inside me that is telling me "no, there's something better coming," be reaffirmed. I know it's God, not just me, regardless of what others say. And I know God is working on a long-term plan with me and although it's slow, He is working!