My mind has been going ninety miles-per-hour for quite some time. I’ve been challenged to have more “doing” to match my heart and my mouth. It is hard to know where to start. One of my greatest struggles is thinking too much. As I’ve said previously, my heart gets full with these thoughts. I always want to know the who, what, when, where, how and why’s of everything. I tend to try to get a handle on the big picture before I jump into something. I would venture a guess that I do this because it’s comfortable. It’s the “don’t take a step until I know where I’m going” mentality. A lot of times, my fullness of heart paralyzes me. I see too much in front of me, too much suffering and too much need, and I wonder if measly me can even put a dent in it. I calculate, research, think, pray and sometimes I still remain unmoved. My heart is moved but my fear and questions keep my feet stuck.
I had many confirmations and convictions in this past year loudly hinting to move forward. One conviction lead me to finally join a small group and get plugged in with other women to learn from and be in community with. Another conviction lead me back to work to be with those in crisis, the brokenhearted. There are countless other examples of specific places I have been lead this year that felt like big steps for me. Sometimes, when I take big and uncomfortable leaps, I forget about the significance of taking small steps. In a sermon (that felt like it was written directly for me), I was challenged not to overlook the seemingly small steps that are right in front of me. In my life, these include (but are definitely not limited to) loving my family well by consistently serving them and keeping up with my personal relationship with Christ. These are the easy steps for me to forget yet they are the foundational steps.
One story that helps me understand how to do this is in the Bible where Jesus feeds the 5,000 in John chapter 6. That story always brought up so many questions for me. What did those hungry people do for their next meal when Jesus wasn’t there? How did Jesus do that with 5 loaves and 2 fish? Jesus didn’t grab a calculator to figure out how much food he would need to feed them or question whether this meal would put a dent in their hunger or fix their future need for food. No. He knew that the gifts he had been given could take what he had right in front of him and meet a very present need. He wanted to fill those bellies sitting right in front of him and he didn’t pass up the opportunity. Translated into my here and now, that story encourages me to take advantage of the opportunities I have sitting on my lap and trust that God has or will give me the strength, ability and resources to “fill those bellies.” Occasionally he may call for a mass feeding of the 5,000 where many people are impacted, but most of the time those that are right in front of me to love and serve are not strangers – they are my God and my family.
I don’t always get answers to my questions. I am learning that to live life to its fullest I have to balance my planning/preparing/safe side with my trusting/spontaneous/uncomfortable side. Here’s to slowly experiencing more of the full life!