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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Follow the map…

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6(KJV)

Choose mindfulness in acknowledging Him.  That means thinking before I act,
measuring my words and
my actions prospectively.

Oh, and praying before, during, and after.
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I always know where I want to go, even if it’s not where I’m headed.  I consistently visualize the optimal way to handle a situation, with calm, measured words, encouragement, to leave everyone feeling uplifted, better.  I always see it.  Though I’m sure this isn’t always the case, it often seems to come to me the moment I’m walking away, knowing I didn’t quite get it right.  Once in a while, there is a beautiful synchronicity… as I hang up the phone with my teenager, I realized something wonderful; in that moment, chatting with her, I did it!  I was present, listening, and encouraging.  I DID IT! Of course, since perfection is a moving target, she is sullen with me by the end of the day, and I am back on my quest.   Hitting the occasional moving target is not the achievement to which I aspire.  I desire to be right more often than remorseful.  After all I’ve been through lately, I’m doing another reset. I’m making a fresh commitment to follow the map. (yes, it’s about surrender again.)

Those who know me well know I channel Claire Huxtable in my best mothering moments.  There are other, real people in my life that set the example for the kind of Christian, women, and friend I seek to be. Each of us, I am sure, has people we emulate, for any one of a number of reasons.  While that’s generally a good thing within reason, we’ve always had a reliable map available.  Proverbs teaches us many things, not the least of which is, while we think we may be very smart, and we thank God for his Providence, we should not rely upon our own grey matter.

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” Yeah, you’re (we’re) smart and all, but it’s so much better if we’re not driving the bus.  Here’s the best part, with only an acknowledgement of God and His Divine Grace, He’ll drive the bus!  

I see a very practical application for me as I seek to follow the map.  Have you ever noticed that acknowledging someone or something requires energy and focus? Merriam.com defines “acknowledge” as “taking notice of.”  If you paused to take notice before speaking and acting, regularly, would you likely be more or less proud of the things you said and did? I’m choosing mindfulness in acknowledging Him.  For me, that means thinking before I act, considering before I speak, measuring my words and my actions prospectively. Oh, and praying before, during, and after.

Prospectively.  You see, I am a remarkable Monday morning quarterback. I sometimes get it right on time, in real time, but I need better stats.  I’m no longer accepting close, but not close enough.  I’m following the map.

Yolanda Adams, singing “Open My heart” gives me the self-talk I’m intending to master. 
“So show me how to do things Your way…Don't let me make the same mistakes over and over again.  Your Will be done and I'll be the one to make sure that it's carried out…and in me I don’t want any doubt, that’s why I want to talk to You, and ask You for Your guidance.”

I’ve got the map.  I’ve even got a soundtrack for the road.  I’m doing better; hittin’ the target more regularly, because by pausing to measure, acknowledging the proper model, perfection may still be a moving target, but I’m always, with a map, going to be moving in the right direction.

I will still miss.  I’m human.  But with the map, I’ve never shooting entirely in the wrong direction anymore, and that’s an abundant blessing. So, for all those who were wondering, having a map is a good thing.  It is certainly more evidence that the map maker, God, is good.

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