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.
Him,Proverbs 3:5-6 KJV
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. Sometimes, it comes to me the moment I’m walking away, knowing I didn’t quite get it right. Yesterday, as I hung up the phone with my teenager, I realized something wonderful; in that moment, chatting with her, I’d won. I was present, listening, and encouraging. I DID IT! Of course, since perfection is a moving target, she was sullen with me by the end of the day, and I was back on my quest. Occasionally hitting a moving target is not the description to which I aspire. I want to be right more often than remorseful. I’m making a fresh commitment to follow the map.
|with the right map, I’m never |
shooting entirely in the wrong direction
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 woman 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. The Book of 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!
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 going to be mindful of acknowledging Him. For me, that means thinking before I act, considering before I speak, measuring my words and my actions prospectively.
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, in writing “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 going to do better. Hit the target more regularly, because by pausing to measure, acknowledging the proper model, perfection may still be a moving target but with a map I’m always going to be moving in the right direction.
So, I’ll still miss. I’m human. But with the right map, I’m never shooting entirely in the wrong direction, 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.