My sun porch

My sun porch

Monday, August 8, 2011

Change...a pilgrimage away from ourselves and toward God

This week's memory verse:
"Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage." -- Psalm 84:5

A friend of mine spoke yesterday of all the many changes our grandparents have experienced in their lifetimes...from traveling by horse to cars and planes...from party lines to rotary phones to cell phones...from tv with 3 channels to satellites and computers that bring hundreds of channels from all over the world into your living room. Dealing with all this change had to be very challenging sometimes. All of these changes must have seemed to be happening TO them instead of changes that they were creating. Yes, most of them made life easier, but changing habits and the way you do things is a scary thing. How do you deal with all of those things in one lifetime? 

Our lives are changing too...I find that it IS scary sometimes. We get comfortable...predictable...and that seems fine to us. We know what to expect. BUT...sometimes, you have to CREATE change on your life to make it better. Thinking of those changes as an adventure, or, as our memory verse says, as a pilgrimage...that takes courage that only comes from God.

The word pilgrimage comes from a Greek word that means "people who spend their lives going somewhere." That's what we are...Christ followers who spend their lives going to God. I would rather be going someplace than sitting still....or at least I do in my mind. My lazy body sometimes is more comfortable sitting still...but that leads to unhealthy habits and stagnation. I don't believe that's what God wants for his people.

I am wanting to start out on another adventure...or...I should say, I am wanting to do a better job on the adventure that I have started many times...a healthier lifestyle. What "new" thing do I hope God will do in my life? I ask that he help me tap into HIS strength to be able to do what I haven't been able to do before...stick to and follow a plan to get healthier. This means change that I create. I KNOW the changes I need to make...but I have been too weak or too scared to follow through with them. While I hope for God to help me with this...I need to pray about each step and stop relying on my self and my own strength to get me there. I believe God wants me to live healthier...although I don't really know God's thoughts and plans for me, I believe his Spirit is in me, showing me what God wants for me. (1 Corinthians 2:9-10)

God's spirit is in me, wanting me to see beyond what is right now.  He wants me to see what COULD be. We get so mired down in the here and our frustrations and problems...that we don't look at what COULD be...That's why we just need to trust God to get us through right now...rely on him for EVERYTHING...rely on him for every ounce of strength we need to move forward...rely on his strength to help us make the change in our lives that we need. WE CAN'T MAKE THAT CHANGE ON OUR OWN!

Augustine made the following prayer that I think we should all join together in praying:

"I commit and commend myself unto you, in whom I am and live, and know. Be the God of my pilgrimage, and my REST of the way. Let my soul take refuge from the crowding turmoil of worldly thoughts beneath the shadow of your wings; let my heart, this sea of restless waves, find peace in You O God. Amen."

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