As I drove down the road thoughts of deadlines, worries, fears, unfinished projects, family issues, bills to pay, and commitments yet to be fulfilled were swirling in my head with the same wind force found in the vortex of an F-5 tornado. It was all I could do to keep my mind focused on the task at hand—driving. Breathe. Focus. Relax. I kept whispering these words to myself.
I'm sure the person in front of me was grateful for my forced concentration.
If the truth be known, my expectations for myself sorely outmatch the reality of who I am and what I can accomplish. In plainer terms, I fall short and this frustrates me, eroding my peace, confidence, and sense of purpose.
As I continued to drive, out of the corner of my eye I caught a blur of ruffled feathers, a lost goose with all the gusto of an Olympic athlete was running for its life down this road. I could sadly relate to his plight. I too get wildly lost, but mine comes from preoccupation with the myriad of life's commitments, worries, and problems. I forget why and where I'm going, but I keep running because that's all I know to do; it's a defense mechanism when I feel overwhelmed or unwilling to deal with my life. And all that running zaps every vapor of passion and purpose I possess.
I run so hard, my heart gets left behind in the dust fury of my futility. I so often live miles apart from my purpose that it is ; no wonder I often feel lost. God continually woos me with His gentle whispers,Come home, child. He softly beckons me home like the comforting familiar voice of a mother calling her child in from play. Deep calls to deep (Psalm 42:7).
The road home comes in the way of retreating—finding stillness before God. It is only in the stillness of His presence that I find rest and refreshment. It is here that God clarifies my purpose. I'm not enough for all this world throws at me. The world I live in is problematic, loud, demanding, busy, and full of distractions. Sometimes all I can hear is its static-white noise, which offers no comfort–no direction–no peace.
Sisters, we all need the stillness of His presence to remind us that there is a better way, God’s way. It is here that our hearts catch up to our bodies, minds, and souls. It is here that God can clarify, direct, comfort, and bring peace to the swirling thoughts of our minds and hearts. It is here that God realigns and purifies our desires and priorities. It is here that God can order our worlds. But most importantly, it is here that we find the only love that can truly sustain and satisfy our searching hearts.
In the stillness of His presence, God so graciously teaches us how to live well... love well...
Life with all its complexities doesn't have to be a wild goose chase that leads to nowhere. There is a better way. God's way…A life that is lived on purpose.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside the still waters, he restores my soul. (Psalm 23: 2-3)
Thank you for your willingness to meet us in the middle of the wild goose chases of our own making. We can get so hopelessly lost under the weight of life. Thank you for your grace filled direction that always clarifies our path and teaches us to live life on purpose. We are grateful. Amen.
Author: Maryanne Abbate