Here we are. It’s the end of January. The month started with resolutions, goals, and a bundle of hope. A few weeks have passed. The temperature has dropped, and some of that fervor is gone. The weather makes it hard to get outside and get some sun, and it feels like winter will never end.
I’ve been feeling like that this week. Many of you know I was at Disney last week. Disney is definitely designed to make you feel like you can do anything. (As long as you’re willing to pay for it.) Want to ride rides? Want to meet characters? What do you want to eat? You can search by cuisine on their website. You can golf, or get a princess make-over, or learn to animate from an expert. Coming back from such a happy, warm place where everything was possible to the grind and cold of Ohio winter was…well it was shocking.
I've been writing this weekly blog for nine months. On Thursday, when all my kids were at school, I sat down to write and for the first time, I had no ideas. Not one. I thought, "Well, it was a good run. I knew this day would come and here it is." The more I thought about it, I knew it was significant that I didn't have anything to write. It wasn't just the weather or the disappointment of leaving Disney. I’d been in a funk all week and I couldn’t figure out why. I took a nap, then a bath, and did some laundry and cleaning. I still felt the same. As a last resort, I turned to scripture. I googled “scripture for encouragement”and the first hit was Hebrews 12:1-3.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
Reading these verses caused me to have a “well, duh” moment. Not only is it crazy to think of scripture as a last resort, but I’ve been focused on vacation and getting back into the swing of being a wife and mother and not at all focused on Jesus. I forget to run the race marked out for me. We did a lot of walking (and some running) at Disney, but that’s not the kind of running Paul’s talking about here. Instead of running the race He set out for me, I’ve been wondering without purpose.
Getting out of the routine of being with Jesus makes me to feel hopeless, depressed, and just off. When I’m off with God, I feel like I’ve lost my source of power. There’s a real reason for that. He is my source of power and I’m like a refrigerator that someone unplugged. I still look like a refrigerator, and I can hold magnets, but inside, things are rotting away.
How beautiful are these words: “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” In other translations, "pioneer"is called: author, initiator, source, or originator. No wonder I’m in a funk. I’m not connected with the author or initiator of my faith. I can’t manufacture faithfulness on my end because the source is Jesus. That changes my perspective of morning devotionals. I’m not just checking something off my list of to do’s. I’m connecting to the source.
If I stopped charging my phone, I’d never expect it to work. Yet, I feel like I can still function without connecting with the author, initiator, source and originator of my faith? That’s madness.
The sermon at church this weekend was written for me. I often feel that way, but this week…seriously. The question Pastor Keith asked was what’s making us so unsettled? The answer? Maybe our plan for our lives isn't His plan. Then he hit it home with this zinger. I won’t find His peace on my path. He's with me in my path, but His peace is only found on His path. So, am I on His path? Only He can answer that and I won’t find out if I don’t spend time with Him.
If you're in the same boat, wondering without purpose, please join me in making a plan to spend more time with Jesus. It's Monday which is a great day to start a new habit. Let's not make a habit for the sake of having a habit. Let's make a habit of spending time with Jesus -the source of our faith.