“Our movement needs an aim and a destination.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – May 6th, 2021
Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go. Oh that you had paid attention to my commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea. Isaiah 48:17-18 (ESV)
As the world slowly recovers from an extended season of crisis and begins to return to previously known rhythms of life and commerce, we as individuals are faced with a similar set of questions and decisions that lie before us. What does it look like for you to emerge from this extended season of winter?
For some, this spring feels endless in possibility, bursting with life and pent up energy. For others, while the world may spring to life all around, you remain in the depths of a dark winter, overcome by the grief and loss brought upon you and those you love during this pandemic. Perhaps you find yourself somewhere in the middle, neither joyful nor despondent, but suffering from the general malaise of apathy and exhaustion.
In times like these, we know that we are meant to move forward, yet it can be difficult to discern where exactly we are meant to go!
Life is a journey, and movement is an essential piece of the puzzle, but movement in and of itself is neither virtuous or the point. To be redemptive and life-giving, our movement needs an aim and a destination. And so, before any one of us launches out into this new season of life, we must ask ourselves a fundamental question: am I being led?
In our desire for change, renewal, and growth, we must never assume our desire for these things means we know where to go to find them! As the old country song says, we so often are “lookin’ for love in all the wrong places.” Our ability to see clearly is often hindered, and this is especially true in times of extended crisis, grief, or exhaustion.
Just because you desire something, even your deepest desires and longings, does not mean they are for your good or the good of your neighbor. For example, coming out of a season of economic loss and uncertainty, it is easy to justify excessive spending in the name of self-care or self-improvement. Cancelled vacations or long-anticipated experiences may leave us feeling wronged or slighted, with a goal in the coming season to make up for what was lost.
It seems to me our greatest temptation in this moment is and will continue to be a heightened move towards self-preservation and personal fulfillment. Understandable as this may be, our first impulse as followers of Christ should not be towards “getting what is ours” but towards humility and daily repentance. Let us have a heightened attentiveness to our own motivations and desires in this season. Realize that your exhaustion can become a daily temptation to shut yourself off from the needs of others. Pay attention to this, but more importantly, as Isaiah reminds us today, pay attention to the Lord, who loves us and leads us in the way we should go.
Father, help us to come out of this pandemic season with hearts of humility and sacrificial love for others, we pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.
What do you want most deeply in this season? Can you acknowledge it to the Lord in prayer, yet also surrender it to him and resolve to follow as he leads?
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