Friday, October 12, 2007

Seize The Day

by Donna L. Watkins

Saul was zealous in his religious state and yet he was wrong. He was persecuting the followers of Christ believing he was doing what God would have him do. How could that be? How could he so desire to do the will of God and miss the mark so badly? Saul was a very intelligent man and I'm sure he was a great thinker. One who's mind is always flowing with details, ideas and thoughts.

I'm one of those busy-minded people also. It's so easy to move through life following my own thoughts and desires and spend my days doing what I "think" is good and of God. My life has changed so greatly since the rheumatoid arthritis began progressing. It seems that the thinkers and doers of the world need a Damascus Road experience to get them to stop doing and really tune in to what God is trying to do in their lives.

It's so easy to keep on doing. The list of tasks, projects and activities are endless. Is being busy a sin? After all, doing good things is what God would have us do, right? Maybe our mind is imagining stacking up points in the great bank of Heaven to redeem for rewards when we get there.

Good things are not always God things. Would I ever find out what God really wanted me to do if I didn't have the rheumatoid arthritis to slow me down enough to change gears? I'm so grateful that God uses all the evil the devil does against us for our good as He promises in Romans 8.

I like what Smith Wigglesworth writes:

"I can see as clearly as anything that Saul, in his mad pursuit, had to be stopped along the way. After he was stopped and had the vision from heaven and the light from heaven he instantly realized that he had been working in the wrong way. And as soon as the power of the Holy Spirit fell upon him, he began in the way to which God wanted him to go. And it was wonderful ow he had to suffer to come into the way. (Acts 9:15-16) A broken spirit, a tried life, and being driven into a corner as if some strange thing had happened (I Peter 4:12), these are surely the ways in which we too get to know the way of God."

Where in my life am I missing the mark so badly that what I think I am doing for my Lord is not what He would have me do at all? Now that I've left the business world there's a lot more room in my thinking cap for God to get in. Busyness sure does fill up our minds with details. As I look back even during my quiet times I was making mental lists of what I needed to do for the day at work.

I left the business a month ago so I'm not quite adjusted yet, but I delight in the extra time with God and I can only imagine that I will enjoy this slower pace so much more than the busy one, which for most of my life would've been unthinkable. I'm realizing more and more how much I valued what was "done" rather than was "is." Even in the garden where I adore walking with my Heavenly Papa, I see more of what needs to be done than what is finished and available for my enjoyment NOW.

I've given up so much of the present while planning for the future. "Carpe Diem" is Latin for "seize the day." I've always liked that because for me it meant that I should get more into each day, and so it should be. But the definition of "more" is the word in question.

More tasks or more life?

This new realm of living that I am now in has been like entering a whole new world! I'm not quite sure how to function in this world. Even as I type that, I grin as I hear God's gentle voice tell me that function is not the word He's focusing on. Being is the word. I have had so much doing in life, it's time to think about simply being. That's all God created man for. He placed them in a garden to be and to delight in His Creation and to fellowship with Him.

It's a totally different culture and way of life. Taking the last pieces of the rush-rush out of my day has brought a peace that I've not known before. Although I did not know that the peace I had was not enough. It's like finding a gold coin as you're walking a new path. It entices you to stay on the path to discover what other treasure you may find.

Who would've thought that I could say, "Thank you, God, for allowing the rheumatoid arthritis into my life" and truly mean it. The Bible tells us in all things to give thanks (I Thess. 5), but usually that's simply an act of obedience for me, it's not a heartfelt conversation.

Life is truly short and what we do with each day does matter.

As you grow older, you'll find the only things you regret are the things you didn't do. ~ Zachary Scott

The question is did I do the things that I really wanted to do? The things that nagged away inside of me that I didn't take time to do. Those things are my regrets now, but God in His mercy will provide the time for them as I turn towards obedience to that small voice that got crowded out with my many tasks in the past. Although I had great satisfaction when I went to bed each night, there was always a knowing that I was not following my heart.

If something rings true with your soul and spirit, maybe you'll want to consider painting your life's picture differently. What meaning will you apply to the phrase, "Seize the day?" I pray you'll go with your spirit on this. Don't let the devil have his part in the matter. Seek God and obey that small voice ... today!

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