As many of you know, I’m on injury leave from triathlon training. Ironically, this is the week I’d be on the road to California to compete in what would have been my first full Ironman triathlon. But, alas, God had different plans! I’m very grateful He did.
Ok, if you could take a big blank piece of paper and there was nothing in your life that had to stay the same, what would you do differently? How would you establish your priorities? What would you want to change? What would you want to stay the same? What would you base all these decisions on? In other words..what would serve as your compass in making the most of an opportunity to start clean and fresh?
Is that too much to imagine? Starting clean and fresh? Well, I’m sure it’s possible! Not easy and probably can’t be done very quickly. But, most definitely possible.
With the 12 weeks off from training, I’ve learned to live my life at a slower speed, I’ve not had any goals, nothing to strive for. Just time to relax, look around and settle in to see, really see. I’ve spent a lot of time reading the Bible, praying on my own and with Robert. As I’ve done this, things I’ve read before and things I knew before became even clearer to me. And as they became clearer to me, I realized that I had to start w/ a fresh sheet of paper and reorient my life as God has instructed in the Bible. Why? Because God is God and He knows best! He’s my heavenly Father, He created me, He is perfect and wise. I’ve got 49 years of knowing that I’m not all that smart. I’ve been following Jesus for nearly 10 years. The first few years were rough, the last 5 years I’ve listened and adjusted and I can’t begin to tell you the peace, joy and happiness I’ve found. Everything is better as I’ve reoriented to the degree I have – truly! But, now, it’s once again time to do another big reorientation to God’s ways and plans.
So, my compass for reorienting my life is God and His word. And based on His word these are my priorities:
1. My relationship w/ God.
2. Robert and I.
3. Family and my Inner circle of friends
4. Church and Discipleship (where I learn more about God with others that want to learn more about God)
5. Work, Passions – talents, hobbies, etc..
Imagine these 5 things as circles. The inner ring is God and I, the next ring is Robert and I etc. Can you see it? Draw it if you need to. This would be God centered living, reorienting my life like this.
By comparison, I’ve been living my life satellite style. Imagine the sun as me and then planets as – Robert, Family/inner circle, church, my relationship w/ God, work, etc. In satellite living, everything revolves around me. Ouch.
So, I’ve got a blank piece of paper and I’m trying to figure just what God centered living looks like in the “real” world, here on earth. There are a couple of verses to base this reorientation on.
Luke 12:29, 30 – And don’t be concerned about what to eat and what to drink. Don’t worry about such things….your Father already knows your needs.
Matthew 6:32,33 but your Heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else and live righteously and he will give you everything you need.
Proverbs 3:5,6,7 Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure everything out on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume you know it all. Run to God!
From these verses I learn that God will meet all my needs. Since 2004, I can tell you that Robert and I have relied fully on God to meet our needs and I will tell you, He hasn’t let us down. As one of my hero’s Joyce Meyer says, “God is usually not early, but He’s never late.”. Robert and I know this to be true. And yes, we have truly adjusted our idea of what we need – American culture really sells us a bunch of bunk about what we need and we’ve learned that the things we own own us!
From these verses I learn that I don’t have to figure it all out – that wears me out. I just need to follow God’s guidance, wisdom and direction. This may not always make sense to me, but if it did it wouldn’t be faith right?
So far on the blank piece of paper, I’ve put continued time w/ God everyday, continued time w/ Robert and God everyday, and more involvement in our church, New Spring. To do New Spring and continue to have time with Robert, well, there’s only 24 hours in a day right? Something has to give. So, after much talk, reading and prayer, Robert and I decided that we would downsize our home. Our home costs money and takes up a lot of time and we need to free up both our time and our money! It was scarey at first. But now, we are so looking forward to it. We trust God to help us sell at the right price and find us the right home at the right price. When we downsized last time – God was there. The price we got for the house we sold and the price we paid for the house we currently own… ask me and I’ll tell you the story. Only God could have choreographed that! So, we know, by history w/ God, that He will be there for us during this downsize.
Next reorientation is with my training and my coaching. See, I have to find time to participate in discipleship (where I learn about God w/ others that want to learn about God). So, truly I have NO idea where training will fit in. But, I trust God, because He alone gave me the passion and heart for triathlon to show me when and how much of this to do.
As for the coaching, I’m getting a better idea of how to shape it. It’s grown and that’s an awesome thing. My athletes have grown up too and that’s an awesome thing. Also, God is really giving me a heart for helping people to keep triathlon in their life in a balanced way. So, I see more clearly how to organize it, how to coach better w/ an emphasis on life balance. One of my athletes told me months ago to start leveraging technology and I’m seeing now how I can do that to both ease up my time and make things more convenient. This is very much a work in progress, but I think that good changes are coming.
It’s kind of like turning a big battle ship around and compared to what we are taught in American culture, much of God’s direction for how we should live is exactly the opposite. But, together, Robert and I are taking steps to reorient our lives to God centered living. Scarey, exciting but, God promises to meet our needs and bless us…what could possibly be better than that?
Does any of this sound interesting to you? Do you think that there’s got to be a better way? Well, there IS. God’s way. When Robert and I became Christians 10 years ago, we didn’t know what we were doing, but we’ve learned and grown along the way. Robert and I continue to learn and adjust, we’re not pro’s; but each time we’ve decided to adjust to God’s ways we can’t believe how much happier we are!
Here are some ideas for you as you contemplate getting out a blank sheet of paper and reorienting your life.
The Bible – there are a lot of different versions out there. My two favorie are New Living Translation and The Message.
Go to Church – Wichita has so many wonderful churches. We love ours, New Spring.
Perhaps as you read this you wonder about having a relationship with God? If that’s something you are interested in and don’t know quite how to go about it or what it entails….I’d be happy to share w/ you how you can have a relationship with God.