It is my pleasure to tell you about the miraculous signs and wonders that the Most High God has performed for me. ~ Daniel 4:2
I’m on the road quite a bit so the car is where much of my prayer time is spent. The prayers of my morning travels are ones of seeking, asking, wondering, pondering and oftentimes – complaining. I have come to understand and appreciate God’s unique sense of humor through my personal time with Him. For some people, God speaks through donkeys. For others it’s a burning bush. For me, it’s signs. Yes…I’m serious. You’ve heard of Guidepost – well this is more like Signpost! May you too be inspired by what I share here.
IT’S NOT FOR EVERYONE
During a particularly challenging growth spurt, I had been wrestling with my calling to be a writer. Short of fabulous inspired e-mails, the occasional Facebookupdate or Twitter tweet, I hadn’t been writing much so I was feeling a bit self-conscious (aka doubtful) of my actual ability to carry out more than a few sentences. During a 20 minute cycle of lamenting (I call it prayer) I tossed up challenge questions to God like bullets at a gun range,
“Who, in their right mind, would ever want to read my book? Who do I think I am that I would have anything of value to say? Who can possibly relate to the way I write?” I no sooner finished my last glass of proverbial whine when God flashed me a sign. A 20 foot tall electronic sign flicked words of 65 mph wisdom through my windshield…It’s Not For Everyone! Crash! Well…not literally, just figuratively, but that’s what it felt like when I saw those words through my tears. It was as if I had just hit the center divide.
Immediately, I did a u-turn in my heart and began to pray for those whom God has pre-selected already to read whatever I am called to write. I declared, with confident trust, that it is not I but He who has something worth saying. And I believed out loud the call He has placed on me and the gifting of my own unique voice which some will identify with. No…it is not for everyone. But it is for some. And with that, I can press on toward my destination.
I’ve felt this call on my life to write for some time now. My problem is I often find it difficult to carve out the time to actually sit in the seat and write. After all, like many Americans, I lead a busy life. I have a part-time job at a hospital, my youngest child is a senior in high school preparing for college in the fall, I have 4 active and very needy dogs, a husband who can’t really cook and several volunteer ministry activities. See…busy.
So it only made perfect sense that I should cry out to God about my frustrated lack of available time to devote to my writing. As I was listing reasons off one-by-one, God immediately brought to my mind all of the television shows I sit down to watch each night (don’t get ahead of me). Since I am so busy, I am also often tired. Watching TV is one way I can detach, unwind and relax at the end of a busy day. But on this particular morning, God made me do the math (something I’m not particularly fond of). I calculated that, on average each week, I can easily watch enough television to equal a second part-time job! What?! I asked God for forgiveness and to show me the solution.
That’s when it happened. Right in front of me to the left of the freeway was a billboard which said simply this: Every Night Has Potential. Oh. You mean it’s really that simple, God? Yes…it’s really that simple. So I started watching a little less TV and writing a little more. This is what I have learned in the process…when God places a call on your life, there is always time to see it accomplished and even though days are busy and full…every night has potential.
IMPROVE YOUR BOTTOM LINE
As I get older, my need for and definition of friendship continues to morph. I have always been a bit more sensitive to perceived feelings of rejection and while I do well one-on-one, group interactions can be a bit uncomfortable for me. That’s the dominant introvert side of me overriding my extrovert desires. It often seems as though I initially make a big splash whenever I first meet someone but then, somewhere along the way, something changes and ends with a thud! Enthusiasm wanes…conversations become awkward…contact becomes less and less. It’s not always like this, but when it is, it leaves me with a perplexed questioning and unmet longing in my heart.
I am in another season of wrestling these feelings. Normally, I would simply withdraw and isolate away from everyone until the feelings disappear completely or move on to find a new crowd if necessary. Neither are God’s design for relationship. If that were the case, Jesus would have stayed in the boat or eventually moved on to another species all together. I found myself asking God one morning, “What is it I need to be doing differently to have better results in relationships? To have stronger frameworks?” And there it was – jumping right out at me in marigold yellow lettering – Improve Your Bottom Line!
My first response was, “huh?” But then God showed me the sense and practicality of it all. In business, the bottom line shows the strength of a company. It defines the net worth and is the main or essential point for a business. If I want to have better results in friendships, then I need to improve my bottom line. I need to make sure my profits are greater than my losses. I need to speak and act in ways which demonstrate strength. I need to better define what my net worth is to the other person. I need to keep God as the main and essential point of the relationship at all times. No business or relationship could possibly ever go bankrupt with a solid bottom line. I have decided it is worth the investment.