Blessed are those who make You their strength, for they treasure every step of the journey. On their way through the valleys they stop and dig wells to collect refreshing spring water, and the early rains fill the pools. They journey from place to place gaining strength along the way, until they meet God in Zion.
— Psalm 84:5-7 (The Voice translation)
Journeys involve twists and turns, don’t they?
This journey to study happiness is no exception! One book leads to another (thank you Amazon recommendations!), one sermon meshes with one book and suddenly you are thinking new thoughts. I love how God literally orchestrates those connections. He sculpts your experiences to build into you — into me — just what he wants you to know, just who he wants you to be.
Not every twist or turn is a welcome one. Life is like that.Today is one of those days when I’m glimpsing a few twists I wasn’t counting on. But I’m OK with that. God reached deep inside me and let me know that I am His. He knows me. He called me into being, and He has a plan for me. And that, my friends, is why we can choose to be happy.
Even in the twists.
I found this video today. It spoke to me about how God knows. us. What a joy to be fully known…and loved anyway!
I know this is a little tacky sounding, but I learned something about life on a jet-ski today. We’ve been playing with two waverunners on the lake, taking turns flying around the islands and negotiating boat wakes. I enjoy driving them, but I’m having a hard time learning to be a passenger. This afternoon we set out from our dock with me riding on the back of David’s waverunner. For the first 15 minutes I squealed at every wave and gripped the seat as tightly as I could. Fresh in my memory was my ride from a few days ago, when I snapped one of my nails off I was gripping so tightly. For you guys out there who may not know, that’s a painful experience.
After awhile, in the normal course of time, my muscles got tired of gripping so tightly and I just gave up. I stopped fighting every wave, and just sat there. To my surprise, I didn’t fall off the back. In fact, I discovered that I stayed on equally as well if I had the seat in a death grip or if I was wiping water out of my eyes and not holding on at all. I realized that I just needed to stay on the waverunner long enough to trust the machine and its driver. After that the ride was pure adventure and fun.
So isn’t that kind of like life? This faith journey that we are all on is very similar to hanging on to the back of a waverunner on the middle of an unknown lake. Intellectually we know that God is in control and we are not going to fall off. We know that we are called to impact this world, and that if he calls us we can trust him. But the waves of life look awfully big even so. I think the secret might be to hang on. Step out in faith on the first part of the journey and hang on. Wait until your “muscles” tire out, and you trust God because that’s all you can do anyway. Once you’ve developed your ability to trust, the waves are irrelevant.
Out in the middle of the lake today I realized that I need to stop wondering what the whole journey is going to look like. It’s not my call to make, it’s God’s. I just want to let go a little bit and see if the ride is as thrilling as I think.