One night, I dreamed I had to give up writing so I could work. I don’t remember much detail, only that I felt overwhelmingly sad. I sat in bed and silently cried, and asked for a scripture.
The Lord led me to Psalm 54 and 55, lamentation Psalms about when David ran from Absalom. He lamented to God about his enemies and then, in usual David style, said, “But God, I still praise you because you are great!” (paraphrased). As I read, the Lord whispered, “So you think you have problems?”
I realized my ‘woe is me’ sadness was greatly out of proportion. And yet it lingered, and I continued to silently weep…all the way downstairs, as I got dressed for my morning walk, and as I started up the street. I felt burdened by writing, and like a failure because I wasn’t writing enough. I needed to sacrifice relaxing time so I could get my book out by spring, keep my blog posts up, and wow, what about following other’s blogs? I am woefully behind in reading and networking and sharing in the lives of my fellow writer friends.
I cried out to God, something like, “I’m so sad, I just don’t know what to do”. You know, those moments when you don’t even remember what you prayed, your heart just desperately reached up to Him.
In that moment, the confusion stopped. The weight lifted. Hope began to rise in my spirit. I felt His presence, and His acceptance. Yes, I can give myself a break – take a Sabbath from my writing for the rest of this month. It’s OK to do that. Then I can come back fresh next month.
I had a plan.
I still hadn’t learned.
God quickly showed me that my plan was still, well, a plan. In other words, a way to keep control and keep everything neatly organized.
I can plan to take off this month. But what happens next month? What will be different? My job and everything else will still be there waiting for me.
I want to honor God with the gift He’s given me. I circled back around to the need to sacrifice more. I felt guilty for not writing more every day.
God waited patiently for me to finish pondering, then gave me a revelation on how He viewed my sacrifice:
I sacrificed being led by the Spirit for being driven by a schedule!
I had to laugh. Only God could break the tension of a heavy moment with truth that brings a relieved giggle. Whether I plan to write, or plan NOT to write, I’m still trying to make a schedule. Don’t get me wrong, I think schedules are important and we need to have order in our lives. God is a God of order and not chaos.
But when that schedule replaces God as our guide, it becomes an idol that we worship by giving in to its demands. We lose our joy, our patience, and most of our other spiritual fruit as we lash out at anyone who messes with our schedule. Instead of walking hand-in-hand with the Lord and allowing Him to lead us at His pace, we march in strict time to a relentless schedule of demands that can never be fully met.
I had lost my joy and my peace. I should be writing more, I should be relaxing less, I should be…you name it, I should be doing it. My priorities were all out of order, and I had no idea how to determine what was most important.
But God – He knows, and He is faithful.
I sometimes forget that Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice so that I can enjoy freedom in relationship with Him, being led by His spirit. I don’t need to panic over what might come tomorrow, I just need to be thankful I know the One who knows.
I may write next week, I may not. I may write a long post, or a short one. I may write every day. Or my next blog post may be next month.
Only God knows….and He’s not telling.
I will sacrifice a freewill offering to You; I will praise Your name, O LORD, for it is good.
(first photo curtsy of Freedftiatilphotos)
Mary Graziano Scro is an inspirational author and speaker who intuitively weaves analogies and personal testimony with practical biblical teaching. A graduate of Christian Communicators Conference, Mary’s mission is to encourage others about the awesome life God has planned for us, IF we are willing to choose wisely in our everyday lives (John 8:31-32). Mary’s first book, Intentional Fitness: Working Out Your Salvation. is available on Amazon.com.
You can reach Mary on her blog, www.LifeIsNotAFormula.blogspot.com,
…but it IS the sum of our choices!