To Fight or Follow
by Debbie OConnor
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To Fight or Follow?
I had a phone call from God this morning. He spoke quite clearly through my friend, Julianne.
I’ve had a tiring week. Add minor phyiscal difficulties to the stress of coping with Katrina, homeschooling and preparing for Christmas and you’ll have some idea. I slept in this morning. At 8:45 a.m., the phone jolted me out of a deep sleep.
Julianne called to check on us because she didn’t see us at Story Time or Homeschool PE this week. I told her what had happened and said, “…but we’ll be there next week.”
Julianne laughed and said, “Now, we have to be careful with that, don’t we?”
I knew exactly what she meant. Prior to the advent of Hurricane Katrina my family and I had planned to go to Disneyworld.
We were careful about spending money and our kids were very aware of our preparations. One day, we decided to spend some other money we had saved on a new TV. My eight year old daughter, Kayla, was concerned, “We don’t want to break the bank. We want to go to Disneyworld!”
“Don’t worry, baby,” I said through my giggles. “We have money set aside for Disneyworld. We are going to go.”
Even as the words came out of my mouth I felt a check in my spirit. Prov 27:1 flashed through my mind, Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth. I gulped down my pride and hoped that I hadn’t set my child up for a big fall.
We haven’t been to Disneyworld, but the money we saved got us safely to Atlanta, where we rode out Katrina. Fortunately, Kayla and Daniel have been very understanding.
This discussion led me to think about some issues I’ve been having lately. I have been a slave to the rules. I’ve lived by a planner and felt like a failure if everything on my list wasn’t crossed off at the end of the day. There is nothing wrong with planning and submitting to the rule of law helps us to be productive, contributing members of society. However, we need to make sure that our plans leave God room to work. They should always be submitted to God and open for Him to change them.
My to do list is not God. I am not a failure if I do not achieve every goal I have set, as long as I am hearing God and living by his two all-important rules. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind. Love your neighbors as yourself.”
Am I loving my neighbor when I shove my homeschooling agenda down my children’s throats? Or when I guilt my husband into being more involved in church? Or when I ignore the fact that someone is hurting because I am too busy teaching math to stop and care? Am I loving God with all my heart and soul and mind when my plans keep me from listening to Him? Sometimes my agenda needs to be thrown out the window. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” Prov 14:12
I want to follow God! I want my children to learn to follow God, not their own plans, or their perception of the expectations of others.
Isa 55:9 "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. God is everywhere, working all around me. He wants me to use my time wisely and simply follow Him.
I’m sure glad He called!
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What a fit word for me today! I want to follow God, not the schedule that always disappoints. You forgot to end your quote from Isaiah. :)
Debbie, An excellent column about trying to juggle living life with our eyes on the next world while attending to the necessities in the "NOW" world. Very well written. May God bless. Sincerely, Dan Blankenship
Ironic how the Lord will often speak of the same things to a multitude of different people. A recent article of mine, ("So-called 'Little' Things") though I didn't actually quote Proverbs 27:1, was based on the same principles about making plans... especially without God's consent. Just to quote myself here, "I want to live every part of my life by Your divine direction." So, what about when we aren't clear about His directions? I think it is safe to say, "If it is the Lord's will, then..." and simply trust that His will always turns out to be for our good. I was very blessed by your article. God is so good!