Good morning, friends! Thanks for stopping by before heading to work or school. If you’re off today or doing a little Christmas shopping, I won’t keep you long. If you’ve been following my blog since its inception in 2015, you know that I love telling stories about how God speaks to me. He just meets me wherever I am and starts a conversation. A few weeks ago as I was driving into work, I stopped at a traffic signal long enough to see a little lady from a nearby neighborhood walking her dog. I’d seen them before, but I’d never spent any time observing them until today.
Let’s call the woman Martha and the daschund mix Skippy. Martha walked at a steady pace–bundled up in a wool peacoat, hat, and gloves. Tethered to an extra long leash, Skippy dawdled behind a bit looking at cars and buses and children en route to school. Martha appeared to be on a mission to take Skippy out to handle his business so that she could get back to her warm, cozy home. Perhaps she had something in the slow cooker that needed her attention or laundry in the dryer just waiting to be folded. Perhaps she was just cold. After all, temps were in the 20s and breezy that day. Despite the chill in the air, Skippy just refused to keep up with Martha — looking left, right, and behind him. What I found to be a bit peculiar is that Martha gave him so much room to move instead of keeping him close to her. As I turned the corner, though, I saw her tug at the leash to quickly pull Skippy closer. She noticed that he had veered a little too close to the road, so she practically dragged the poor, little guy to her side.
Our relationship with the Lord is a lot like Martha and Skippy’s. He gives us so much room to grow and explore life while still connected to him. Think back to your teenage years, your 20s, or even your 30s. We get off track and become adventurous (to our detriment at times), but we are quickly reminded with a gentle tug at the heart to come closer. As long as we’re connected to the vine, we’ll feel those tugs. God wants us to live and grow and bear much fruit, and that requires staying connected to our source at all times.
There’s something familiar about that extra long leash as it relates to our connection to God. One might call it free will. Even though Abba Father gives us plenty of room to roam, he also knows the plan, the direction, and the purpose of each person’s journey. That’s probably why he goes before us — to ensure that we get there. As we look left, right, and behind us, we tend to dawdle much like Skippy. It’s hard to leave places where we’ve flourished or where our friends remain. We fear looking ahead at times because this is uncharted territory — a place we haven’t been before. Like Skippy, we tend to move ahead while looking back. When God is doing something new, we need all body parts facing the same direction — eyes forward, not behind. Whether it’s a new job or a termination, a birth or a death, or prison or freedom, keep moving forward. God goes before us. All we have to do is continue to move forward, and then watch for signs and wonders. God’s gonna surprise you. My prayer for you is that as the terrain gets rough, may he fill in the valleys and level the mountains, straighten the curves and smooth out the rough places (Isaiah 40:4). May blessings abound!
Before you leave, take a listen to my Music Monday selection by Mercy Me entitled “Move.”