Last night as I read my Bible Reading Plan I copied and pasted the devotional portion on a note on my phone.
“Solomon summarized all his attempts at finding life’s meaning as “chasing the wind.” We feel the wind as it passes, but we can’t catch hold of it or keep it. In all our accomplishments, even the big ones, our good feelings are only temporary. Security and self-worth are not found in these accomplishments, but far beyond them in the love of God. Think about what you consider worthwhile in your life-where you place your time, energy, and money. Will you one day look back and decide that these, too, were “chasing the wind”?”
I think what Solomon was saying is a lot like what I’ve been feeling and why I’m making changes and new decisions. Honestly, some of them have been HARD. When I make a decision to start something new that’s not that hard for me. I LOVE new adventures and trying new things. When I decide to leave something behind – well, that’s challenging for me. It’s often drilled into our minds that choosing another path is the same as “quitting.” I’ve faced this scenario often in my life. Here are a few examples:
- In high school I chose not to continue playing certain sports. Although I have a competitive nature I also like to enjoy what I’m doing, and they just weren’t FUN anymore! I got lectured by family members, teachers, coaches, etc. about “quitting.” I didn’t quit. I didn’t up and walk out in the middle of the season (and so what if I had?). I just decided it “wasn’t for me” anymore. (I hope I always remember this and never pressure our kids – or any other kids – but rather let them discover the talents with which God blesses them and encourage them to use them rather than TELLING them “you should do this.”)
- I didn’t finish my college degree. WOW was that a hard one! I placed a lot of careful decision into this one. It’s a really long story that maybe I’ll save for another time, but to sum it up – it’s not what I wanted to do with my life! I had a lot of “background” stuff going on at the time as well. All I knew was I was very, very unhappy, and I needed to step back and figure things out! I was told “I wasted my intelligence.” Here I am now – 30 years old – a full-time mom of 3 kids. Have I really “wasted my intelligence?” I’d like to think I’m putting it to use the best way possible – homeschooling my kids!
- Leaving a job that made me miserable. Again, it’s not worded “moving on to a new opportunity,” it’s called “quitting.” Many people spend years in a job that makes them extremely unhappy. I’m not saying that is WRONG, but I knew I didn’t want that for my life, and I knew I couldn’t live to the fullest being miserable. Many people have a wonderful gift of being able to be surrounded by the meanest of people and still have a smile on their face. Although I have been told I have a pleasant personality – it doesn’t stay pleasant when I’m constantly surrounded by negativity.
- And my most recent choices of making certain changes to what I’m doing as far as business, etc. I’m blessed to be married to such an amazing man. When I was talking to him about everything that’s been on my heart as far as businesses, which path to take, etc. I kept saying “I just feel like I’m quitting,” to which he reminds me I’m making these decisions to do what’s best for our family so I can be committed to my calling of a wife, mother, homeschooling, etc. What really matters is how WE view the situation knowing we’ve prayed about it and are following and trusting God to guide us in the right direction. God doesn’t always ask us to stay in the same place!
Those are just a few examples, but I’m guessing at some point in time you were made to feel like you “quit” or “gave up” on something when in reality you were just moving on to something different – maybe a new job, a new business opportunity, becoming homeschooling parent or a stay at home parent or homemaker, or just moving away from something that was affecting you negatively! Like Solomon said – maybe you felt like you’re just “chasing the wind,” and you needed to take a step back and look at what REALLY matters! Here are some things to consider:
- How are you spending your time? Is there anybody in your life that deserves more of your time? (I’m honestly raising my hand right now because I know my husband deserves more of my time!) What about spiritually? Are you devoting enough time to your spiritual life?
- How are you spending your money? Where are you spending your money right now? Are you taking away from a more important area – debts, bills, tithes (*blush* guilty!), your health, etc.?
- How are you using your energy? Maybe you don’t have much. I have Fibromyalgia, and with the right nutrition and a good fitness regiment my energy is much improved, but I have days where it’s still lacking. That just means all the more I have to be disciplined on how I’m using my energy. Are you wasting yours? Do you expend it on less important things to where you say you don’t have any left for your family? I know I have!
So, these are definitely things to consider, and I think this devotional came at the perfect time for me as I have been facing some other things that have been weighing me down or tugging at my heart. So often we fear what others may think of our decisions. Let’s stop and look up. As it says in the devotional above – far beyond all of this is where we find our REAL security and self-worth – in the love of God! Do you think God was “disappointed” that I didn’t get my college degree? I would have been on a much different path if I had – mostly one of danger and destruction! It was a dark time for me, and if I had solely worried about what my family, friends, etc. thought and ignored that tugging at my heart saying I needed to step back and look at the bigger picture I don’t even know where I’d be! I guarantee it wouldn’t be here – married to an amazing man who is my best friend, mother of 3 unique children that I am blessed to homeschool, and I’m not even sure I’d be seeking after God’s heart anymore. Right around that time I had fallen away from him and by His Grace He brought me back! Wow, how different things would be! I’m faced with some decisions again, but I have been reminded of what matters, where my priorities need to be in all 3 areas – time, energy, and money. I know I’m going to focus on what impression I’m leaving on my children spiritually. If I leave this world with tons of money, many worldly possessions, LOTS of acquaintances (the word “friends” wouldn’t be appropriate in this scenario), but my children (and perhaps grandchildren) are spiritually “lost,” then I totally missed the point! I want them to join me and help them build eternal rewards! I know I’ve touched on that specifically, but I can’t stress it enough!
Are you facing some tough decisions and you aren’t sure what to do? Even I KNOW what I should do but this reminder surely helped. Be encouraged! God has plans for you and maybe they’re not what you expect or what others “approve of,” but He does! Maybe you are feeling down and unsuccessful (as I have been), but remember, our definition of “success” is nothing compared to His! He may be opening a door for your right now that you can’t see because you’re stuck on the present. Or maybe He is intentionally trying to shut a door that you’re stubbornly holding open! Sometimes we just need to take a step back and see what REALLY matters! Be Blessed!
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