Directionally challenged

Direction is like gold – rare and in high demand! What do I do with my life? Where do I go from here? What should my focus be? How do I accomplish all these tasks? Why is there nothing to do?

If you could bottle direction, you would make a fortune. And then there are times when you may have accidentally absorbed too much direction in your life, and you have too many opportunities. How do you narrow the playing field of very good options?

George Herbert wrote a poem that seeks direction, with a surprisingly funny tone!

Begin by imagining Alan Rickman reading Employment (I) in a clipped British accent:

If as a flower doth spread and die, (God, I am like a flower…I only last so long!)
Thou wouldst extend me to some good,
Before I were by frost’s extremity
Nipt in the bud;  (I have so much potential pent up inside…don’t you want to use it?)

The sweetness and the praise were thine;
But the extension and the room,
Which in thy garland I should fill, were mine
At thy great doom.

For as thou dost impart thy grace,
The greater shall our glory be.
The measure of our joys is in this place,
The stuff with thee.

Let me not languish then, and spend
A life as barren to thy praise,
As is the dust, to which that life doth tend, (You created us from dust…with limited lifetimes)
But with delays. (Life is like a speedbump… don’t delay!)

All things are busy; only I
Neither bring honey with the bees,
Nor flowers to make that, nor the husbandry
To water these. (Life cycle/food chain)

I am no link of thy great chain, (circle of life)
But all my company is a weed. (I’m a flower surrounded by weeds…)
Lord place me in thy consort; give one strain
To my poor reed. (even river reeds can pipe a tune…let me play for You!)

Yeah, God, so here I am. Like a flower; or dust just waiting to rejoin the earth; or a highly perishable life-form that is set to expire soon! So God, where will You use me? What part do I play? Why did You create me?

Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

God has a plan for our lives…but wouldn’t it be boring if you received an instruction manual on how to live your life? God lets us ask those around us, pray for direction, seek which doors will open, and try something.

Micah 6:8, “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

God, thank You for the opportunity to learn, grow, and enjoy the adventure of the unexpected. I keep wanting a three-ring binder of “life” laid out for me…but how boring is that? Thank You for inviting us to be creative with You and pursue different avenues. Thank You for direction, and options. In the end, we have the good news of how You have stormed the stronghold Sin, and busted the gates – everybody can come out with Your help! So please continue to guide me, help us see where You want us to go, and let me pursue things for Your glory, not mine. Amen!

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