[The Lord speaking to Paul] "Now get up and stand on your feet..."
Thoughts for Today:I have been in a funk lately. It seems my world is turned upside down. I was in the mortgage banking business for over 30 years -- it has been my career, I've had a lot of fun, endured much stress, built a company, and received financial reward and fulfillment -- but no longer. It seems I need to find something else to do with my life. I've prayed a lot, studied Scripture, talked with my wife, adult children, and many of my closest Christian friends and business associates. I feel better for a while but I'm still left with this question of, "So what's next?" I'm not ready to retire, my health is great, and I can't imagine filling my life with endless errands and hobbies. (Hobbies are a lot more fun when you have to fit them into your schedule rather than becoming the schedule.)
Every time I speak to the Lord about it He tells me the same thing, "Relax, enjoy the time off, be patient." Unfortunately I'm not very good at that. A close childhood friend, who I've known for over 40 years, said to me recently, "You know why God put me in your life? To teach you to relax -- and you're a really slow learner!" Honestly, I am so much more relaxed when I know what comes next. Unfortunately my future looks a little blurry.
In our passage today, I can't help but think that Saul/Paul must have felt a lot of the same ways -- everything he thought about his career and life were about to be changed -- rather dramatically. The Lord spoke to me personally through the same words He used to get Paul's attention: "Now get up and stand on your feet." For my particular situation that means, "Stop rolling around in the pieces of what once was and get up so I can show you what's next." In other words, shake it off and get over it; you can't see what's next if you're spending all your time looking back!
Questions to Ponder:Paul wrote in Philippians 3:13b-14, "But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." I think that's pretty good advice. What do you need to forget about? What do you need to put behind you? My 8 year old daughter Amanda told me she was the slowest runner in school. I asked her why she thought so. She told me it was because when playing tag everyone always caught her. We set up a course and timed two races: one while looking backward as she ran, and the other only looking toward the finish line. Guess which time was the fastest. What is your finish line? What's in your rearview mirror? What's your goal?