Sunday, December 23, 2007

Seizing the Day

Over the last few months, it seems that I’ve had one person after another sit in front of me and say something along the lines of “I am trying to figure out what my next step is” or “what God’s purpose is for me”. It’s been good for me to have these discussions as it solidifies my own thoughts and beliefs. Perhaps I needed to hear them again as well.

So often I hear of Christians simply finding contentment in the fact that they are “praying about it” and “waiting for God’s direction”. And while that is definitely part of the process, it is not the beginning and the end. Unless we actually go out and “do”, we are failing. It’s a faith issue. I have faith that when I am prayerfully seeking an answer to something such as “what should my next step be”, that God will direct my path. However, in order to find out, I have to first be willing to step out in faith. I’m going to move forward and have faith that if I’m going through the wrong door, God will close it and open the correct one. When I see people that are so scared to make the wrong move, I have to question their level of faith.

One thing I have found solace in is the fact that if I am striving to hit step “10”, I must first achieve and conquer steps 1-9. And each of them is as important as the one that follows. So if I were trying to decide on a new career, I would know that all I have to do is decide to take the first step, not all 10. And when I make that step, God will direct it if I’m in line with Him. And when I make the next one, He will direct that one as well. And I know that the destination may change as I move forward, but if it does, I know who directed it. That gives me peace, and it certainly makes it easier for me to make decisions. I have learned to welcome and appreciate the journey. Sometimes failing at what you thought was the goal is actually part of the lesson you were destined to learn. So embrace it, learn from it, and grow from it.

I believe in the “carpe diem” (seize the day) philosophy. Every second counts. Maybe I’m resting, maybe I’m going for 3 days on no sleep, maybe I’m watching a film, and maybe I’m deep in conversation with a friend. Either way, I’m making every second count, even if it’s momentary silence. I believe that I’m either working for or against God’s plan for my life at every moment; every moment. This does not mean I’m infallible by any means; it only means that I believe that every moment counts, whether I participate in that reality or not.

I have got to get out there and cast my lines, every morning. I’ve got to do the work. One of God’s most holy moments with us is through communion. However, in nature, God does not give us bread and wine. He gives us wheat and grapes. Without putting forth the work to create, we have no communion. Without casting our lines, we catch no fish.

We can sit and wait on God forever. Or we can prayerfully move forward and trust that He will guide and direct our paths. To me, that is faith in action. And if we truly believe that every second counts, either for or against what we are trying to achieve, we must seize the day, or “Gather ye rosebuds while ye may”, as said by the late Robert Herrick.

So we are left with some important questions: 1) Do I believe every moment counts? 2) Do I believe God is in control? 3) Is my inaction a result of laziness, complacency, or fear? 4) When will I know when I’m supposed to act or what I’m supposed to do? For me, I just have to believe that God put me here on earth to do great things, He’s in control, He intends for me to take advantage of every moment He’s given me, and I’m going to continue to cast my lines as long as I’m able, trusting that He will direct me. God has a plan for each of us and we are either following it or we are not. (Thankfully we have a God of grace and mercy that forgives us when we fall.) And when it all comes down, I want to be sure I did everything I could to fulfill that plan. There is no feeling more powerful and fulfilling than knowing that you are where you are supposed to be, serving others and doing what you were put on this earth to do.

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