It had been one of those days. Well, to be honest, it had been a couple of days. Life was taking its toll - the business of the daily grind, the planning of the days ahead, the understanding that what I could get done in a work day would never be enough and just too exhausted after many hours at work to endeavor working at home any further into the night. I was tired. When I get tired and the busyness of life moves forward in my life, my patience wears thin. It wears thin with people, it wears thin with situations, it wears thin with myself. Please tell me you've been there too; maybe you are there now! At the end of those couple of days, I had realized what had happened. Busyness had bullied its way through. I don't mind being busy. In fact, if you ask my family and friends, they will tell you that I thrive on busy. Yet, when busy becomes a bully, I change. I say and do things that are not what Christ has in mind for me - I am not living out the person He desires me to be.
So here I was, a couple of days into "Bullyville" and getting nastier as the moments progress, I'm sure. What had changed, why was I here? I had made a very strong commitment about six months ago not to let the stresses of everyday life succumb me. Although I had many "stressful" situations arise during those six months, I had chosen a different road and my life had truly changed. I felt peace, I felt assurance, I felt God. The strength I found to get through some of those difficult situations by focusing on the one who could truly relieve my stress, Christ, was overwhelming.
I then realized there were a couple of things that drove me to the path I was on. I had lost focus. Although I had a new-found strength and was living it with zeal, there were other things that had taken a side step. One of those was truly stopping and enjoying the beauty of God's world. In my zeal to "get it all done", I had forgotten that He is there to help, He is there to lift us, He is there to provide us with beautiful moments for us to stop, take heed, and breathe. I had forgotten to breathe. As you read this, take a moment. Breathe - deeply. Close your eyes and realize that God has given you this wonderful life to live - in this moment.
It may be a busy life, a chaotic life, one by which it seems as if the list is long. I had taken my stress and had given it to God. I had taken two steps forward and was enjoying the journey I was on. During this past week, I took a step back. I took my eye off the cross, focused it more on "my" agenda and less on God's agenda. When did all of this occur to me? When did I realize that busyness had bullied its way into my life?
I was driving home from work one evening. As I came up over the hill, as I always do, a steeple on one of the churches I pass every day silhouetted the sunset. It was absolutely breathtaking. So much so, that I stopped in the local apple orchard lot and sat. I asked God to forgive me for stepping back into my own agenda instead of focusing on His. I looked at that cross and all that it meant: pain, suffering, joy, forgiveness, eternity, happiness, love.
The true beauty of it all (as if the incredible moment wasn't enough)? I knew that while I had stepped back for a few days, the God of love, grace, and mercy was there waiting for me with open arms. He has so wonderfully forgiven me my sins, forgiven me for losing focus, and has graciously guided me back - to peace, love and hope. Know many good things in your heart. When we take a step back, whether it be on our journey with God or in our sinful nature, God is waiting for us to come back. Bring your repentant heart to His forgiving heart. I have - it is a peaceful place~~
"...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." (NIV) Romans 3:23-24