Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Week Forty-Five - Consistency Amid Chaos

I started this year with zeal and determination that no matter how challenging 2019 looked like being, my guiding word would be consistency. 
     Well, so far, 2019 has proved to be a full year. My husband and I were traveling across America, living out of suitcases, for the first six months reporting on our mission work to churches and visiting family. Then, in August, only three weeks after getting back to the UK, my father passed away and we were back across the pond for another three weeks. Since then, I’ve had guests in my home – that’s ten solid weeks of house guests plus ministry.
     As I began working on my blog for today, I wondered what in the world I was trying to accomplish.  My crazy year makes me wonder what happened to my pledge of consistency?  I feel like so much is out of kilter; like I’ll never get back to a consistent mode of operation. 
     I began reading Bob Merritt’s, 7 Simple Choices for a Better Tomorrow.  He writes about the need for discipline in a successful life.  Discipline?  How can I be disciplined amid such randomness? 
     His advice is about managing life’s loads.  You’re supposed to narrow your effort and concentrate on things that match your value system, cut out the dead weight, learn to say “no”, and focus on things that build your strengths.  He says to recognize two main factors; the season of life in which you find yourself, and the options that are before you.  This will help you better manage the loads and become more productive and fulfilled. 
     Well, I thought, that sounds well and good, but I don’t feel like I can adequately access where I am, and I don’t think I have the strength.
     As I turned to my Bible reading, I came to Proverbs 10:4 “He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.”  Oh, how I looked for excuses as to my inconsistency, my lack of diligence!  Travel, guests, interruptions, tiredness, etc.  They all seem so legitimate.
     I picked up a book by Amy Carmichael called, His Thoughts said…His Father said.  It’s an unusual little book where the son makes his complaint and the Father gives the instruction.  They are short little paragraphs, but with some profound thoughts.  Today’s reading was from page 47:
     “The son said, I am nothing.  His Father said, Did I ever tell thee that thou wert something?” (This thought alone captured me for quite a while.)
     “The son said, But I do not feel fit for this that is given me to do.  His Father said, Canst thou not trust Me to make thee fit?” (Oh, Lord, I began to pray, Make me fit.  Fit for your use!)
     “The son said, But I am not successful.  His Father said, At the end of the day will My word be, Come, thou good and successful servant? If only thou wilt walk humbly with thy God it will be, Come, thou good and faithful servant.” (Oh, Lord, let me be simply faithful and leave the rest to you.)
     “The son said, But I do not care for what I have to do.  His Father answered, At last thou hast touched the root of the matter.  (Ah…it’s an attitude thing!) Did thy Saviour care for Calvary?
     Then the Eternal Spirit opened to him those terrible scriptures which show Gethsemane and Calvary, till all his paltry “buts” were shrivelled as withered leaves in the fire. And he saw Him whom he followed as He set His face like a flint; and he was utterly confounded and ashamed.” (I rose from my prayer time with a renewed determination.)
     Dear friend, we all have our excuses and challenges.  Disorder, randomness, and inconsistencies happen.  I am learning that even in these times, when I feel like nothing of value is taking place, my Father is still at work in my life.  He sees through the chaos and consistently guides my steps.
     My hope is for a calmer and more orderly end of 2019, but even if that doesn’t work out, I choose to rest in Him.  I choose to look beyond the disarray and commotion of my life to my faithful Father.  In that, I can be consistent!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for encouragement to stay consistent.

    Motivation may get you started, but it is the everyday disciplined consistency that will take you across the finish line. It is easy to be motivated on a bright sun shinning day. It takes discipline to train when the howling wind is blowing and the snow and the rain are pelting you in the face. It takes discipline to train in the freezing cold darkness of night. It takes discipline to keep going even thru the storms of life. You have to train the quit out of you. You have to stay in the now and don't worry about tomorrow. Gods grace is sufficient for today, so just rest in this promise for today, for the here and now. When tomorrow comes, he will give you grace for that day when it comes.