|Photo Courtesy of Serge Bertasius/freedigitalphotos.net|
The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever Isaiah 40:8 NASBAh, the holidays. Have you ventured out into the malls yet? Have you managed to get lost between the anchor stores in some random corner of the mall which may be lined with independent kiosks in December, but will hardly be traveled the rest of the year?
I once worked in the Mall of America; yet, here, I find myself all turned around in the Meadowood Mall which doesn't remotely compare to the MOA in size. It's unfamiliar territory, as is most of Reno, but it is becoming home now that we've been here for six months.
Isn't our life's journey very much like a trip through the mall? Some stores are intriguing and enjoyable, as are some stages in our life. Some stores are crowded, crappy and overpriced...as are some stages of our life. Some stores are downright overwhelming...um-hmmm...just like life.
Thankfully, every mall has a map, and so does every life. Do you choose to use the map? Well, that's up to you. I'm a frequent flyer by the maps in Meadowood Mall. I desperately search for the blue or red dot which says, "YOU ARE HERE." Then I have to (as Joey Tribiani in the TV show Friends would say) "Get in the map."
If I'm here, and I'm facing the candy store, then the aisle down to my right will lead me to Macy's; to my left I'll find JCPenny's...okay, okay...now I get it.
In our life we have the Bible. What a gift. But it's a gift that many will refuse to open...they won't even go there. But it's a MAP; our MAP! It's our guide for getting us through this chaotic, overwhelming, and often painful life!
Look, Tammie, I told Jonah to go to Nineveh, but he wouldn't...and what happened? Tammie, you need to go where I'm telling you to go!
Look, Tammie, Jesus was righteously angry when they turned the temple into a den of thieves, the feelings you have about an injustice in society is also righteous...I need you to stand up for that person.
Tammie, you are here...you followed me out of Egypt (Wisconsin...but don't misunderstand, I know I wasn't bound in slavery in Wisconsin, this is a metaphor)...and I'm leading you through the desert (hmmmm...not as much of a stretch when you're talking about Reno...it is the high desert)...it feels uncomfortable, I know that, but you have already changed so much on this journey, that you can not go back at this point. You have to continue to grow and become who I want you to be.
Tammie, you are here....you are the mother of a child with special needs...you are a wife...you are a daughter...you are a friend...you are a sister...I have called you to be each of these things. I will give you the strength to get to the next "store" in your life, but you have to keep walking to get there.
Tammie, you are here...well done, my good and faithful servant.That's really the point, isn't it? Following God's map for us so that some day we can hear those words; well done.
I forget to check my map on many, many occasions. I think, "Well, I can just walk through the mall, and I'll eventually find the store I'm looking for." Then I become distracted; I might wander into a store that I shouldn't be in because the temptations are so many. I might wander aimlessly, wasting time that I could be spending doing other things that really ought to get done. Or, worse, I become so lost that I no longer care where I am or what I even came to the mall for in the first place. I may even MISS the store that I was supposed to be in altogether because I was too lazy to check the map.
Don't forget to check your map. Don't let this season overwhelm you, or any other season in your life; God has a plan and it's better than your plan could ever be; so crack open that Bible today and find that special dot which says YOU ARE HERE. Then Go.With.God.
Pray: Dear Lord, you have given us the greatest gift we could ever hope to receive. Your guidance through our life is only clear to us when we listen for your voice and read your Word. Help us to keep you at the TOP of our list of priorities so we can finally hear you say, "Well Done." Amen.