Or maybe I should say ‘trying’ to recognize the things that hinder you. I am sometimes easily distracted. I can honestly say it is only sometimes because when I do focus, I hyper-focus and the world could be crashing down around me and I would remain unmoved in my own inner world.
But when I am distracted, the things that distract me can hinder me in things I desperately want to accomplish. That’s why deadlines and schedules and task lists (yes, and sticky notes) are a benefit to me. They help keep me on track and avoid at least some of the things that hinder me.
Sometimes a “great idea” will hinder me. I come up with a plan that is amazing (in my own mind) and I start taking the steps to see if that can be a reality and I am reminded by that still small voice to think about whether it is God’s plan or my plan.
An example: After reading an article about the growing popularity of Indy publishing, I started researching starting my own small publishing company for indy writers. The more I researched the more I thought, Wow, I can do this! Think of all the new writers I could help!
My motivation was right. The beginnings of a plan were not bad beginnings. Of course, I wouldn’t have as much time to write, and there would be legal things to take care of, and always money to consider, and additional people to bring in to make it a quality program . . .
And then it hit me. The more excited I became with the planning, the more my sense of peace in the life I now have started to diminish. So, of course, I argued with myself (or was it with God?) that this was a good plan, and I love planning and starting new things and sorting all the details that have to be ironed out and it would help people. . .
But would it hinder what the Lord had put in place for me? A simple life a person like me needs. So I closed down the laptop and prayed. And came away with a sense that once again, I had taken a deter toward something good, to find it was hindering the things I’d set out to accomplish for the day.
I surrendered that small dream that would have become much larger and with gratitude toward a loving God, returned my mind, and my heart, to the path He clearly laid out for me.
But the fun God thing in this short-lived distraction? The very next day, a friend was telling me about another friend of hers who had started writing a book and wanted to befriend someone who would understand what she meant when she talked about the varied things writers face in the process of pulling a manuscript together.
My reaction? I started telling my friend all the resources I could pass along to this person, even some computer programs I could share and my friend just smiled and told me, “You’re as excited as she was when I was telling her about you.”
A gift, perhaps, from God for laying down a dream? A chance to offer help to someone, make a new friend in a fellow believer, and still not forsake my own God-given assignment? Time will tell.
Each of us has our own things that can hinder us. For me, the key to recognizing what hinders has been to know, really know, who God is, what He is in my life, and how He has and is directing my life. Knowing as well what He has brought me out of, and that sometimes we forget the damaging things we left behind, and only remember the limited good things, and find ourselves drawn back into the very thing He delivered us from.
Know God. Know yourself. Know He wants only the best for you, even if you don’t always see it, and definitely, don’t always understand it, His way, in the end, will be far greater than anything your mind can foresee and plan.
Next blog: To whom do you pray?