Do you sometimes feel like your life is in a holding pattern; as if you were on autopilot? Things are same-old, same-old. Nothing new; nothing exciting. The day-to-day humdrum of life doesn’t seem to stop, ‘but it could be worse, right?’ you rationalise. ‘I could be dead’.Wow! However true that might be, if the next thought beyond humdrum of life, is ‘death’. That’s got to be telling you something. Listen, I can relate. When we move through life in a state of inertia, our lives seemingly have little or no purpose at all. We simply go through the motions as if we were a train on rails with no choice as to where we place our wheels. Not true! As Children of God, we are called to be more than just robots on autopilot. We have a choice to get off the rails! All it takes is a decision… your decision. It really is true that without vision—without hope for the future, people perish.
Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
Proverbs 29:18 King James Version (KJV)
So if that is the case, the answer to life is a hope and a future (which by the way, God promises us in His word).
The other day my sister and I were discussing the word Inertia. Inertia can be defined as a ‘tendency to do nothing or to remain unchanged’. In physics, according to the Oxford dictionary, it refers to ‘a property of matter by which continues in its existing state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line, unless that state is changed by an external force’. Hmmm, sound familiar? We’re back to the holding pattern mentioned earlier. Oftentimes our life is a mere reflection of our internal state. So if we are in an internal state of ‘rest’ or simply moving in a straight line with no deviation from the path, we need some type of external force or stimulus to interrupt that holding pattern in-order for a change to take place.
Sometimes life forces us to change when a crisis occurs. We end up in reactive mode as we try to pick-up the pieces and move forward. The question is, move forward toward what? Toward the same undetermined target you were coasting behind before the disruption? Isn’t that what put you in autopilot mode in the first place? You weren’t focussing on a target, an objective—a purpose.
What if instead of having every changing wind determine our direction for us, we decided to make our own changes toward a positive future. When God gets a hold of us and we have a better understanding of our life’s purpose, we can immediately set ourselves on a course towards that vision God placed within us for our lives. Each person has been given a unique plan and purpose to serve God and humanity with. It is God’s desire that you would be fulfilled by using your special gifts, talents and life experiences (reserved only for you), to serve Him and others in the process.
Sometimes we need to deal with the baggage we’re carrying through life in-order to get out of that holding pattern. Picture this: You’re running through a busy airport with oversized, overstuffed luggage—even the term luggage suggests you are lugging—dragging—heaving stuff around. You have convinced yourself that you’re being adventurous by choosing to fly last minute. At this point you’re trying to catch a flight to a ‘yet to be determined’ destination (hopefully to somewhere you packed well enough for). You feel you’re as prepared as you need to be since you are carrying sooo much ‘stuff’ with you. Fumbling with all your baggage, you acknowledge out loud that you’re not going to make the flight… any flight. As you rummage through your purse and pockets you suddenly realise that you forgot one of the most important items, your wallet.
‘But, how could this happen?!!’ you cry out. ‘I was so prepared’, or at least so you thought. Yet here you are. With no decision made on the destination, you were forced to over pack—you were prepared for shorts and sweater weather, just in-case. You took everything you had, even though it was slowing you down. If you knew the destination and the purpose of your trip, you would have been able to focus your efforts on only packing and bringing with you on your journey, that which was necessary and desirable for your trip. Instead the distractions win by a landslide and you end up on a fast track to nowhere.
Well, thankfully there’s good news as the story doesn’t have to end there. I mentioned earlier that all it takes is a decision. A decision that aligns you with the good plans and purpose God has already created you for. It’s time to turn off the autopilot and start living the abundant life Jesus sacrificed His life to give us.
After all, don’t you at least deserve to give yourself a fighting chance? If this resonates with you, perhaps you’ve camped here too long and it’s time to make a decision to move forward. Make 2014 the year you truly submit to God’s will in your life and allow Him to show you the good that can come out of it. Word to the wise… it probably won’t look the way you expect it to. Don’t stress yourself trying to figure it all out, just recognise God is God. He is not a man that He should lie; nor a son of man that He should change His mind. (Numbers 23:19). Know that He always has your back and will not steer you wrong. Trust Him to get you to your destination on time, every time.
Image courtesy: Microsoft Clipart