Feeling empty or lost?

““Cat: Where are you going? Alice: Which way should I go? Cat: That depends on where you are going. Alice: I don’t know. Cat: Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.” ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland”

 

I don’t think anyone likes to feel lost, or empty. I know I don’t. My kids don’t. One of their favorite things to visit game reserves, and whenever we have an opportunity to do so, their GOAL is to spot as many different animals as they can, and check them off their list.
I usually end up being the GUIDE, and while we haven’t really got lost before, their questioning of my choice of turns leads me to the conclusion they have a built in fear of getting lost! It’s definitely better to have a game ranger be the GUIDE, because not only do rangers know all the roads in the reserve so their is no risk of getting lost, but they also have inside info of where the animals are, and help the kids achieve their goal! Also, rangers generally make sure their game vehicles are in good condition…Once, on one of our self drive outings on a game farm, I decided to head up a 4×4 track to watch the sunset. The problem was the fuel gauge in the vehicle we had borrowed wasn’t working at all, and we ran out of fuel on the very steepest part

of the climb! In the end, all turned out well once the tank was topped up, and the kids found it to be a great adventure.

Here’s some wisdom from the game reserve

Without a GOAL, your next step will be directionless. 
Without a GUIDE, your navigation will be guesswork.
Without a GAUGE, your next stop will be a surprise.

In life, in the areas that matters most, often we feel directionless and  disorientated. We may be relying on less than adequate guidance, and relying on a faulty gauge, kind of just hoping for the best. While may have an idea of where we want to get to, intuitively, we know it is not enough just to wish, to want, or desire to get there.

On the flip side,

With a GOAL, your next step will be directed
With a GUIDE, your navigation will be guaranteed
With a GAUGE, your next stop will be strategic

Here are some thoughts for reflection:

GOAL

In the areas that matter most, what does winning look like? In other words, what is the mark you are aiming for? Have you defined what the Goal is? Is it more than not losing? Are you living to win, or living not to lose? Are you going to life, waiting for life to come to you? It’s hard to know if you are winning if you haven’t clarified what a goal looks like.

I have decided for this season, my Winning in Life goal is: “To live well, even when life doesn’t go well.” I’m sure you can come up with a better one than this, but you’re welcome to adopt it. There’s a lot in there, but the essence of living well is to live in such a way that brings glory to God. Keeping this in mind helps me put things in perspective when I’m making a decision. Is my decision going to lead to living well, or not?  Here’s how Paul the apostle explains his goal. A key part of moving toward a goal is to say NO to the past and YES to the future!

GUIDE

Who, or what, is your guide? Which voices are you listening to? There are so many opinions out there, and in our heads. Yet, God offers to be the guide, and we can humbly choose to follow Him.

5 Trust in the Lord completely, and do not rely on your own opinions. With all your heart rely on him to guide you, and he will lead you in every decision you make. 6 Become intimate with him in whatever you do, and he will lead you wherever you go. 7 Don’t think for a moment that you know it all, for wisdom comes when you adore him with undivided devotion and avoid everything that’s wrong. Prov 3:5-7 (TPT)

Dallas Willard said ” God will guide us, but he won’t override us”.  We have a choice to follow his leading. My Winning in Life Guide in this season has been to read and pray through Psalm 23 every day. Doing this reminds me of who to look to for guidance.

GAUGE

This is a tricky one. In a game, or race, there are other competitors, you can see how you are doing, what the score is, or how far till the finish line. In life, there’s no clear scoreboard. We can try to measure ourselves by things like how many followers we have, what our bank balance is or how we think we stack up compared to those around us. The problem is that this is all about performance, measured against less than ideal indicators. The GAUGE I’m talking about here is way more about positioning than it is about performance. When we position ourselves in God’s grace, we are filled to overflow by Him. In the passages above Paul made it clear he didn’t operate by his own strength, and the writer of Proverbs goes on to say a few verses later than we can experience an overflow  from an un-containable source of inner joy.

So the questions are, where am I not living under and from God’s grace, and why?

I find it easy to identify where you I am not overflowing, but harder to understand “why?” Usually it has to do with  having made some unwise decisions, carrying some offense or bittterness, feeling stressed or anxious, being distraction, ruminating in guilt or shame. Basically, there is something blocking my connection to the un-containable source. And the quickest way back to grace and overflow, is through repentance, humility and honour – just as the writer of Proverbs says

7 Don’t think for a moment that you know it all, for wisdom comes when you adore him with undivided devotion and avoid everything that’s wrong 8 Then you will find the healing refreshment your body and spirit long for. Proverbs 3:7-8 (TPT)

Whether you like it or not, your life is moving in a direction. It may be toward a goal you have set, or you may be drifting, feeling defeated.
God didn’t create you to live defeated, because of some unwise decisions or circumstances. You get one shot at this life, and you have a choice. When it comes to the areas of life that matter most, don’t be directionless any more. No matter what your story, it is not over. No matter how lost, or empty you may feel, disorientated, overwhelmed, or exhausted, you may just be standing at the crossroads of a divine decision. Let’s  His Glory be your GOAL Let His Word be your GUIDE and let His Grace be your GAUGE

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