If you have been following my blog for any length of time then you know that I am a firm believer in accountability. And while truthfully I don’t always walk the talk, I still believe that there are some things that God placed in us from the very beginning. There are some things that we just don’t have to pray or plead with God to bring into our lives because quite frankly He has designed/created us in such a way that some of what we need is within us —or within our ability to obtain.
Side note: Isn’t it funny that we pray to God for things that actually require us to take some action ourselves but don’t pray for the things that require Him and Him alone? Peace and joy can only come from the Father but we will skip over those things in favor of praying for material things that sometimes only require some sweat equity of our own. My pastor, Rev. Alyn Waller, made a powerful point not too long ago, “Sometimes it is not about us waiting on God. Sometimes God is waiting on you.”
Anyway, in a previous post, I talked about how God has known us “even in our mother’s womb.” So it makes sense that some of what we need in this life…we already have. And yet, I think what often happens is we allow our hurts and pains and experiences to become like sediment that over time covers the precious gems that make up who we are. For example, after being hurt by your parents, you decide that you can’t trust anyone in authority. Therefore, while you know that going back to school will help you obtain the job you desire, you refuse to put yourself in a position again where someone is telling you what to do. Then you pray to God that he will open a door for you to get a better position or a higher salary. The problem? The doors ARE open. Right downtown at the college.
Sure. God could crack to sky and make things happen for you. I do believe that His divine intervention happens. That He “makes a way out of no way,” as grandma used to say. But I also think that we should consider whether or not it reasonable to scream, pray, and plead with God to give us a house when we are unwilling to change our spending habits or do what it takes to better our 400 credit score. Or…and I’m in the middle of this now…beg God for better health and a baby but be unwilling to live a healthier lifestyle. Let’s make the first steps toward action and then trust that God, in that supernatural, omniscient way of His, can fill in the impossible gaps.
This became even clearer to me when I was swimming at my gym. Don’t laugh. Yes, I swim. Kinda. 🙂
Swimming laps has always been a great form of exercise for me. At least it has ever since I learned how to swim four years ago. I still have real trouble with deep water but since my gym’s pool only goes to five feet, I’m good. I’d actually stopped swimming for a while because I have locks and it became difficult to care for them swimming 3-4 times a week. However, now that I’ve found an extra, EXTRA large swim cap, I’m back in the pool and, of course, making the experience all deep and revelatory, as usual. 🙂
If you think about the act of swimming, it really can be a metaphor for how we should operate in our lives. The biggest thing that stands out to me is the fact thatYOU HAVE TO KICK TO MOVE!!!!
YOU HAVE TO KICK TO MOVE!!!!
When I swim laps, I move the fastest when my feet are kicking in a calculated manner and in concert with the rest of my body. If I stop kicking, then I slow down and eventually stop. If I kick awkwardly or improperly, I move…but it is usually in circles or backward.
God, the creator of all, has provided the water of your life…the avenues by which you can reach your destiny. But, if you don’t kick…if you don’t ACT using what you have available to you (in this case: feet), then you won’t move forward. This is a shame because most of the time you have been placed into an environment, no matter how good or bad you perceive it to be, that is conducive to forward movement. The ebb and flow of your life, just like water, is designed by God to carry you to your destiny. It’s up to you identify the environment God has placed you in and to kick in such a way that you achieve His purpose for you.
Don’t get it twisted. You can’t operate in your own strength. Don’t try to leave God out of the equation. God will provide or allow the context, situation, or environment AND He will direct you as to what kind of “kicking” you need to do. Kicking alone won’t move you forward. If that was the case, I could kick myself right on out of my office chair. Not going to happen. My office and this chair is a context where that kind of kicking is not productive. What also won’t help is kicking wildly; without proper form as they say in swimming. Without direction and purpose, you could end up spinning or going backward.
Another thing. Sometimes we stay in situations or environments longer than God intends. I’m not a fish. I have to get out of the pool some time, right? That environment serves its purpose and then I move on to the next. Same thing happens in our lives. Sometimes we ARE kicking purposefully but still find ourselves stagnant; not going anywhere. Well, I would challenge you to check your environment. Is your job conducive for your kicking? Is your church conducive for your kicking? Is your relationship conducive for your kicking? In other words, if you kick where you are…will you move forward? Does every area of your life support your energy, passion, or actions? Is there any progress or are you going in circles or even feeling like you’re going backward? I can assure you…that is a surefire way to exhaust yourself.
What do you think? Are you not moving forward because you are not kicking? Are you kicking wildly without God’s direction or purpose? Are you kicking properly but in the wrong environment? Or maybe, just maybe, there’s a few of you out there that are moving through life…swimmingly. 🙂