Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Right and Left (07/31/14)
TITLE: A New Direction
By Chris Goglin
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Resting his legs on the coffee table, he glanced over at me, “Well, what should we do today?”
“Hmmm,” I quickly chirped, “I don’t know, what do you want to do?”
“Well, it’s too hot to go for a walk, we don’t have the money to go out to eat, and the gas tank is almost on empty.”
Sighing in disappointment, “Yeah, guess we could clean up around here and then take a nap?”
We both agreed and went our separate ways.
After resigning from our full time jobs and moving into a small condominium near the Colorado River, our hopes were high to finally get some rest and take the plunge into retirement. It had been three months, and we already missed our former activities and family gatherings. What seemed the right choice in our lives had turned into a twilight zone of confusion and unhappiness. We enjoyed each other’s company, but something was missing. Why were we irritated with each other when we never were before? (Could it be we were together all the time now?)
Living on a fixed income with only our Social Security paychecks to depend on, changed our lifestyle considerably and we started to regret our retirement decision. However, we signed a year’s contract on a home and our weary bodies expressed an urgent need to slow down. Our dilemma was we had little time to do anything before retirement, even though we had the money, and now we had an abundance of time but no money! Determined to reevaluate our lives and not succumb to endless days of napping and watching TV, we felt God had a plan for us, but it was not this. “Laziness brings on deep sleep and the shiftless man goes hungry” (Proverbs 19:15 NIV).
After cleaning an already spotless house, I sat down once more with my husband.
“Honey, we’ve been so busy planning our retirement that we have left out God. How about starting to search for a church in this area?”
“OK," he said with renewed interest, “We will drive around tomorrow and check them out.”
After about a month of “not feeling comfortable” at various churches, we backslid into staying home again, this caused more idleness and depression. It was hard getting to know people in a new area, but we sensed God’s push to keep looking. Our patience finally triumphed in visiting our fourth church.
The minute we entered Desert Shores Community Church, happy faces and generous hugs surrounded us. It was like God had planned a surprise party for us that the whole congregation knew about. Of course, the appropriate sermon was on Philippians, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your request to God and the peace of God …will guard your hearts and your minds” (Phil 4:6-8, NIV). That day, we felt the peace of God within those walls.
Leaving with a new sense of purpose, my husband and I no longer felt depressed or bored. We would not look back at past mistakes or grieve over things not possible, but looked straight ahead at God’s new direction in our lives. We still tend to complain occasionally, but we have a peace about our situation now and know God is handling it. We look forward to meeting new people, getting involved in church activities and rediscovering our love for each other once again.
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