In the Fog
Happy places - our travel plans may be limited or altogether cancelled, but that's not stopping us from going to these “happy places” together.
And even though they may be altogether happy, they still require something of us.
Time away from the inboxes and notifications, carpool lines and fundraisers, meetings and practices. Time away from the entertainment of shows and posts and videos.
We need time away.
If you haven't read the other posts, go ahead and do that. It's time well spent.
A happy place for me is when I get to put my feet up! So a kayak is one of my happiest of places.
Today is the Day
I'm an early riser, but waking up before 5am is not normal for me. This morning in particular, I found myself waking up, assuming it was 7am-ish.
Looking at my phone, I realized it was 4:44am.
What in the world?!
But, as you will understand after last couple of posts, my thoughts are the first part of me to wake up. Before I open my eyes or I stretch my legs, my thoughts are up and running!
Accepting the fact that I will not be dozing back to sleep, I spent a few minutes in prayer in the stillness of the early morning and then decided today was the day for a sunrise paddle in my kayak.
Yep! Today is the day!
I’ve been wanting to do a sunrise paddle for months but haven’t made it happen yet. But now, I’m up. Since I didn’t even have to set an alarm, today is for sure the day!
I throw on a tank and shorts, a baggy pullover, and load the kayak in the car.
Yep, in the car.
I intentionally bought an eight-foot solo kayak for this reason. It’s so convenient!
I get to the river about thirty minutes before sunrise and I'm taken by the stillness around me. No one is out on the water. A collegiate rowing team is warming up in the boathouse, but for now, I have the Oklahoma River to myself.
But soon I realize, today is not the day.
The fog is so thick, I can’t even see the overpass in the distance, let alone the sunrise.
A few more strokes in the water, and I realize something more - maybe this is on purpose. Maybe God is teaching me something.
I lean in.
Low to No Visibility Due to Fog
If a "happy place" is when we get to see God, then it makes sense a dark place in our lives is when we struggle to see God.
After all, God is light.
Sometimes we long to see what God is doing right now or what He has in store for us, but we can’t. It’s as if there’s thick fog blocking our view.
We sing songs about Him being a way maker and how He is moving when we can’t see it or feel it, but I guess I need to experience something to truly understand. Sitting in this kayak gazing into the east with no glimpse of the sunrise before me, this truth is settling in my heart.
This has been a recurring message for me lately. It's been finding me in songs and scriptures and conversations. But, finding it in this moment of stillness, it seems to finally hit home with me.
Just because we can’t see God moving in our lives doesn’t mean He’s not there. It doesn't mean He's not moving in big ways on our behalf. It only means that we can’t see Him.
There's a difference. A monumental difference!
Not only did I desire to see a sunrise that morning, I had been longing during this season to see a sunrise in my life. I had been telling God, “I’m ready! Let's do this thing!"
And if we think about the sun for a minute, I think there’s something powerful here for us. Although we may not always see the sun's rays or feel its warmth, it's still there.
The sun is self-generating. It's changeless. It is constant.
God is like the sun. Self-sufficient. Changeless. Constant. The center of it all.
Or, said in another way, everything and everyone revolves around Him. If He's not the center of your life, maybe it's time to think about this and ask Him to become the center.
So if the sun is constant, then the earth experiences day and night not because the sun moves, but because the earth turns.
Maybe if we're having a hard time seeing God in our current circumstance - maybe it's similar to the way the sun and earth relate to one another. It's not because He's not there, but because we've moved our focus. Like the earth, we've turned our focus away.
We need to refocus our eyes on Him. He's still there. He's still moving.
But similar to the half-time games at football stadiums where they hide an object behind one of three cups and then mix it all up, we have to be intentional to keep our eyes fixed.
We live in a world of distractions. The enemy knows if he can distract us one thought at a time, he can take hold of our minds and soon our hearts and our lives.
We can't let him. We need to take time away each day to recharge in God's word and His truth.
We must decide where we focus our attention, and then set it there. Fix it on that one thing.
Set our minds on things above, not on things that are on earth. - Colossians 3:2
It's like core-strengthening exercises which require me to lift one leg in the air. If my focus is on everything going on around me, I'm a teetering, anxious mess and my body is not engaged for the activity. But, if I fix my eyes on one spot, I am engaged and remain perfectly still regardless of what is going on around me.
So, we gotta know, where's our focus?
Today will hold turns of challenges and changes and uncertainty. Where are our eyes fixed?
Let's seek strength to overcome the enemy's tactics with time in God's word each day. Let's seek joy in the constancy of His presence and peace as we continually choose to rest in His power to set us free from distractions as focus on His truth.
The good life, well it starts with a good day. Then another. Then another. Let's choose to live #TheGoodDay one day at a time.
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