I know. I’ve been gone a long time. No excuses. I don’t like being away so long, and I’m sorry I disappeared.
I’m sitting in a hotel room in Franklin, Tennessee waiting for the Jerry Jenkins’ Your Novel Blueprint writer’s meet up to start. The event is still 4 hours away. I should spend that time being productive. With everything going on in my life, you’d think I would, right?
But I’m overwhelmed by the “have to’s”, “must do’s”, “should do’s” that fill my mind. Because all the “want to’s” take a back seat, I shut down, click on social media and waste time.
So there I was on Facebook when up popped a memory from two years ago. Two years ago I was in Israel at Tel Shiloh standing and filming from the place where the Tabernacle stood for over 400 years. I was living a dream: traveling to God’s land with His people.
Want to know what’s weird? I live in south Florida and drove to Tennessee (no, that’s not the weird part, although…).
South Florida is flat land. Our only hills are mounds of garbage covered with earth and grass, affectionately referred to by locals as Mt. Trashmore in most cities with such a one. As I was driving over the highways surrounded by hills with roads cut into the rocks, I couldn’t help thinking about the roads in Israel and my time there. Then up pops this memory and I can’t help asking, “What are you trying to tell me, God?”
You see, I got lost along the way. Two years ago I knew the call on my life. Two years ago I was moving in the direction God wanted me moving in. Everything set right in my spirit. Then it all fell apart and nothing was right anymore. I stopped going to synagogue; stopped hosting events; stopped leading Torah studies… even this blog suffered neglect. Everything I was doing for the Kingdom and every creative endeavor came to a screeching halt.
The only thing I’ve done is work, eat, sleep, repeat.
All the while my mind fills with ideas, plans, goals, and dreams but my body is on this vicious cycle of work, eat, sleep, repeat.
The Word says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but desire fulfilled is a tree of life.” My heart is so sick. I cry out for my Father to rescue me, to help me be useful for Him again! Oh, to move and walk in His ways again!
After meeting several classmates at a dinner last night, so many of them finished their novel. While I am thrilled for each one, I came back to the room depressed, feeling like a complete failure. I checked my email and watched a YouTube ad for a course on how to grow your channel (YouTube is another thing I want to do.) While I have no intention of taking another course, the ad spoke to my situation, reminding me how trapped I am in work, eat, sleep, repeat.
Yet, I know my Redeemer lives. He has plans for me, plans to advance His Kingdom. The video ad spelling out my current situation, the feel of driving through Israel, and the memory on Facebook of filming in Shiloh all attest to my Father speaking. What He is saying I’m not sure. But He’s talking and I need to listen – or get “Left Behind”.
What about you? Are you stuck not doing what you know you should? Is God talking but you’re not listening? How can I pray for you?
Shalom Ro! I can relate to your writing. I can only advise you to get back to your journey step by step… maybe reading this book “Everyday Holiness” by Alan Morinis could help. It is about Mussar. I’m reading it right now. It is giving me a new fresh restart
Thank you, Alfredo. I will certainly check it out.
Great article, great insight. One of the things that help me to stay focused so that I don’t forget the blessings or lose my way, is Gratitude. I wake up in the morning and give thanks, and I am grateful. I am with my friends, and give thanks. I hear birds singing and I give thanks, and I am grateful that I can hear their songs. Any opportunity I have I say thank you out loud and appreciate all that I have. By doing this it leaves me with such a beautiful feeling of joy and inner peace. Of course, there are times that I, like you, reflect on what I did or did not do. However, all you have to do is read the paper, or turn on the news to know the terrible things are happening in this world to so many people. So, I may live in a state where the roads are flat, but I am grateful that they are not burning with a roaring fire like California. I try my best not to live in the past; you can’t do anything about the past, that will never change, however, the future is yet to be written and you, Rosemarie, can be the author.
It is always wonderful hearing from you Ro, I do remember the times spent in your home for fellowship. If you ever want to meet for lunch or just get together, let me know.
Thank you for the words of wisdom, Nadia. Thank you for reminding me to be thankful for everything, even the things we are not too happy about. God always has a reason.
It’s so strange…I am not a people person, but when I am not with people, I fall into this state of working all the time. Thank you for reminding me that I need friends like you.
Shalom Ro. I have just been brought out of a similar situation after 20 years of trying to pursue God’s call on my life. In my situation, everything I did with one hand was deleted, burned or trashed and pulled down with the other. The Lord finally showed me that due to my family background and forefathers, (none of whom followed the Lord) that I had a very deep seated root of believing it was a sin for me to preach or teach about the gospel. Add the patriarchal attitude in the Church overall that women should not teach or speak (although some may be more liberal, the patriarchal approach prevails) and despite my faith and belief in God’s calling, I could not bring anything to fruition until I renounced this lie. Then it was like things just opened right up.
Then it began to fade again and He showed me that because they walked in defiance of Him, and I had always had a desire to serve Him from childhood, I had to walk in defiance of them and their ways (which were ungodly). I developed a root of defiance. It led to my having backslid for 25 years, but when I returned, that root of defiance also worked in the whole “build and burn’ cycle. When I forgave my parents for what they had sowed to my life, and repented of my own attitudes of defiance, once again things are beginning to flow, only this time they are actually beginning to come to fruition.
Just thought I would share these things with you. It may not pertain to your situation, but there is a spirit in the world that does not want the gospel or Word of God preached or taught whatsoever, and it will also be working against all who attempt to serve the Lord in this way.
Thank you for sharing, Deborah. We tend to forget all the things that go on in the spirit realm that affect us here in the physical.
I tend to think forgiveness and repentance are our most powerful weapons. When we walk in forgiveness, when we repent, and (as Nadia pointed out) when we are thankful, there isn’t much the enemy can do to us.
Glad to see you here again.
Thank you, Rodney.
Thank you, Rodney!
I used to feel just like you. Then, a few years ago, in a different context, a friend/coworker pointed out something. He said you can tell anyone’s passion and priorities by what they do and where they are. Not by what they say. Talk is cheap. Over the next week I took stock of my life. At first I, too, saw work sleep, repeat. But I’m an accountant by trade so I expanded my view. 24 hours – 8 hours’ work – 8 hours’ sleep left 8 hours unaccounted for. What was I doing, actually doing, in those 8 hours? Long list, easily summarized by “aimlessness.” So I flipped my view of my day around. What am I going to do with “my” 8 hours? After eating, commuting, etc. it was more like 5 hours, but still… That’s when I turned my listlessness around. I became assertive about what I wanted to do and voila! I’ve not felt the blahs since. When I retired, I took stock again, and that’s when I realized what I wanted to do when I grow up: write. And that’s how my first book got finished. My experience, for what it’s worth. 🙂
Thanks so much for stopping by, William. I hear you. I am one of those crazy people that usually has my day planned down to the 5 minute mark. Every morning I would get up, make my list (carrying over what I didn’t finish the day before if it warranted importance) then work my list. It was how I was able to home-school 6 children, lead bible studies, work in ministry, and keep my sanity! Once they were raised and on their own, this system enabled me to work multiple jobs, be in ministry, along with various other activities that I love.
Unfortunately, I ended up working a full-time job that takes about 55 hours a week, along with two part-time jobs. I literally wake up between 4 and 5am, intend to write, but the phone dings and there’s some emergency that I have to tend to, or I there is carryover from the day before (because I fell asleep on the couch with the computer on my lap in the middle of working!) BTW – my usual sleep time is 5 to 6 hours a night.
When I tried to reorganize my time, I realized I just couldn’t squeeze another minute from my day, which led to the feeling of listlessness at the meetup.
I commissioned my son, who is an artist, to create a painting for me depicting a woman trying to free herself from entanglement while reaching for her call to write and minister. I am looking forward to what he comes up with because it will be a constant reminder not to get entangled in things that are not advancing the kingdom. And to that end I am re-evaluating my current work situation. I have committed to the other two companies for the holiday season (I’m in retail) so it looks like I am stuck until the end of the year. However, even with that I have reduced what I am doing for them a little at a time, giving them the opportunity to replace me slowly. Being in management, I know it’s not easy.
Your comment confirmed that I am right on the right path. Thank you!