He was determined to do it his way. It was only twenty feet across the pool from side to side. He knew it would work. He was sure of it. He stood on the edge, inching closer, then flung his four-year-old body onto the water in a belly flop and began to swim.
Of course, I knew a better way. But, he wouldn’t hear of it. All the other boys did belly flops (ahem—dives) into the pool before they went across. He didn’t care if he was only four. He could do it too.
And so a long summer began. One filled with high hopes and vivid dreams. One strewn with disappointments each day as the crashing onto the water knocked the wind out of him, leaving him nothing left to make it the additional fifteen feet.
Finally, exhausted from his slow success, about two weeks before summer ended he decided to try another way. My way. The more gentle, albeit less attention-getting approach. Starting off in the water, pushing from the wall, and gliding. Success! His blue eyes sparkled as he jumped up and down in the water on the other side of the pool with his hand touching the wall.
Our way always seems best, doesn’t it?
Time and time again, we make a plan in our lives, devise a way to implement it and push out into the world knowing we will achieve our goals. Our goals are good ones. Maybe important ones. Ones that we are sure God has given us to accomplish for Him. But, we like to do it our way. The way we are most comfortable with. Maybe, the way that will garnish us the most attention.
Then we get a few feet into our decision and find that it’s not turning out as we expected. Sure, we know that there are other ways to do it. But, I mean, we can handle it, right? We don’t really have to do it the way we’re being nudged. Our way works too, and we’ll eventually get to the same goal line anyway.
Have you ever set out to accomplish something only to be stilted again and again for reasons you can’t understand? When you went to God for help, did you feel like He was somewhat absent from your conversations?
James 1:5 says:
“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that you faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.”
We all do that, right? I mean, we’re good Christian women. Of course, we take it to God.
But, after doing so, are we divided?
Weeks ago I would have shouted a resounding “No!” Of course I’m not divided! I worship the one true King. The great I Am. I would never consider another.
Except, maybe . . . myself.
I mean, there are times that I can handle it on my own. You know, take some things off His hands. I’ve been around the block a few times. I’ve walked some hard and lengthy roads.
James 1:5 is the go-to verse when making decisions, is it not? Of course, much like the decision itself, we tend to focus on the immediate beginnings, and less of what follows. Like this part of the verse:
“But when you ask him, be sure that you faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.”
If you are battling a tough decision, and feel that God has left you in it, consider this: Maybe you are aligning with yourself, instead of God. Check the choices before you:
- Is one more “glamorous” than the other? Does it involve an enticing compensation of some sort? Does it thrill you, but leave you uneasy?
- Does the choice you don’t want seem as if it is a solid choice, but maybe a little longer path? Does it give you peace, but no immediate thrill?
You may have a divided loyalty, sister. Your Way vs. God’s Way.
Both paths may be in His will. Both may lead to the same end result over the long haul. But, ultimately, His way is best. He knows the whole story, after all. While all we can see are the fireworks blazing above the choice we are pushing for.
So before you fling your body into that glory filled pool, seek wisdom, sister. Then, be wise enough to follow it.