Wednesday, June 10, 2015

formulas and anchors.

"We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God where Jesus, running on ahead of us, has taken up his permanent post as high priest for us, in the order of Melchizedek." Hebrews 6:19 (The Message)

This past Christmas I began reading two books. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. It is wonderful! However the practice of "tidying up" landed me in a bit of trouble and so I still need to finish reading. The second book was Love, Skip, Jump  by Shelene Bryan- equally as wonderful. 
Marie Kondo is single. And single is awesome - especially in deciding what items fill your space (or the lack of items in her case). In Love, Skip, Jump - the author had what seems a lucrative career before doing what she does now, and her dream home (due to smart planning on her husband and her part) was already built before she jumped into what she is currently doing. Her kids go to prom in limos, and it doesn't look like that is a big deal… Which is awesome and I am knocking taking limos to prom - but where I am standing - that would be a very unwise decision because our bank account would not appreciate that kind of extra expense, much less multiple trips across the ocean - I recommend you read the book(s).

Both books are applicable to real life. Both are full of compelling reasons to clean, de-clutter and jump into hard and new places.  All of which I believe in one-hundred percent. Even before I began reading both books, I had already been practicing jumping into new situations, and attempting to de-clutter…. but as the months have passed and I have struggled with how the words within their pages applied to my life actually work out - well, that is where there are some discrepancies that really can not be ignored. Sometimes, formulas are so lovely. Formulas have the ability to give us a course of action. When we do not detour from the planned course, we end up with the exact answer to our problem… sometimes. Sometimes, that formula may not have been the right one we needed. 

There are moments when the minimalist home; and the ability to go hop on a plane and improve the lives of others, makes me think I am too late to "the party." And then I mentally move from satisfied to dissatisfied that can lead to a rabbit trail of "what ifs." Possibilities that would never have allowed God to shape me to this point in my life. And I can tell you, I have needed, and still need, a whole lot of molding and shaping… 

Which leads me to this remark from Hebrews 6:19 "We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain." (The Message) The Message paraphrases the anchor as a "steadfast lifeline".  

The thing about a lifeline is that unless someone is looking and reaching for it, it could hit them in the head, and they could still miss it. When I start to become focused on formulas that deter me from my lifeline, instead of keep me moving directly toward it, then I start to become dissatisfied and overwhelmed. 

I have come to realize that even when I stay in His Word, if I do not take time to fix my gaze and to listen for Him to speak, and open my mind and heart to His ways, then I begin to lose sight of His anchor and start to reach for formulas. Formulas that may not be His answer for me and my family at the moment. 

How about you? Have you ever been more tempted by the formula with the outcome you could see, instead of the anchor?

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