But as I've experienced my share of skinned knees, shame for mistakes that harmed others and myself, and broke my heart through my own pigheadedness, I've become a bit more cautious and less impetuous. Working with young offenders has impressed upon me the problems of a failure to consider the consequences of an action married to lack of impulse control. I want to weep when I see someone who is determined to keep doing the same foolish thing while expecting a different outcome because I know the lessons will continue to become more painful as the mistakes become more destructive.
So, assuming I've managed to not react in anger or self-righteous indignation or panic, and I have given myself permission to take time to consider my choices, what am I sensing?
God promises to lead us if we ask, demonstrating trust by listening and waiting. When I'm headed down the wrong path I often feel pushed -- pushed by my own greediness or fear, or the opinions of family or friends who want to make the choices for me, or by a culture that tells us such sweet lies. However, God speaks softly and kindly when I seek God's wisdom and keeps tugging at me if I start to wander off. The World shouts at us and lies to us and says things that are ridiculous on the face of it. I remember a friend saying, "I was mad at God for a long time for things I did to myself. I wasted a lot of time I could have been talking to God and building a different way of life." Been there, sister.
While we can't outrun God's love of us and we can't outrun Christ's sacrifice for us and we can't outrun the willingness of the Spirit of God to inform and instruct us in wisdom and grow our faith, we can wreck a LOT of damage to ourselves trying to outrun God. My recommendation: stop right where you are and turn your face to God. God is longing to lead you to places of peace and wisdom and hope. God stands ready to calm your anxiety, to direct your feet on a path that blossoms into a life of purpose and hope and healing, to demonstrate God's trustworthiness in all circumstances.
Abiding God, Shalom! Still my anxious heart that I might hear You speaking wisdom and comfort into my ear. AMEN