Five Minute Friday: Journey

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Gentle Reader,

Morning. Stars still twinkle in the haze above. Leaves dance on the pavement. Red and gold and brown. Bare branches fling their spindly fingers into the deep blue autumn sky, heralding another soon-to-be change in seasons. Bright sunlight bursts out from behind the mountain, bathing the prairie grasses. I squint and breathe in suddenly, involuntarily. The Artist is showing off. He is saying, “Look. See Me. Feel My presence in this beauty.”

And I do.

Kate says: journey.

Go.

All of us, I think, are constantly struggling with who to be in a particular moment. What part of ourselves to express. Almost as if we have multiple personalities, but instead simply different versions of the same person, some more true than the others.

I am pulled in opposite directions. One arm stretches toward ambition. The other toward obscurity. One side full of fire and toughness. The other badgered by fear.

Desiring, in the words of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Alexander Hamilton, to “not [throw] away my shot.”

Yet also desiring to become small so that God may be great.

I do the things I’m “supposed” to do as a writer without formal representation. The Facebook page, filled with new content each day. The book proposals. Keeping the Twitterness fresh. The launch team. The blogging schedule.

It works.

But it doesn’t.

Because I am caught in the middle.

Worried over not putting myself out there enough (the ambition speaks). Wary over putting myself out there too much (the obscurity calls). Ready and able to write hard word. Scared of the rejection that such a voice must bring. What is my motivation? Glorying in self or glorying in Him?

I have a sense of being at a crossroads, but I don’t know why. I don’t know where either road leads. So I’m sitting in the middle. Close my eyes and breathe deeply, taking notice of air filling my lungs and my heartbeat slowing from frantic gallop to contented trot. How there can be the brush of peace in the struggle, I don’t know. I do know that I have been here before. I will be here again.

God shapes me. It is painful. It is never not painful. Perhaps others don’t struggle as I do. Don’t wrestle as deeply over every nuance and possible outcome. That’s okay. We are known intimately. Our Creator understands what must happen for us to become who we are meant to be.

Me? Like Jacob, I roll around with God. I want to know what He knows. See what He sees. Tears gather as I see what must die in me in order that I might live.

This, my journey. The crossroads and the dust and the scars. The beckoning of fame and popularity against the insistent Voice.

And I know what Paul meant,

I’m full of myself—after all, I’ve spent a long time in sin’s prison. What I don’t understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if I can’t be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God’s command is necessary.

But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.

It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.

I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?

The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.

– Romans 7:16b-25 (MSG)

Stop.

Signature

Photo Credit: Mike Enerio
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20 thoughts on “Five Minute Friday: Journey

  1. All the amens for your words. I understand that place of sitting in the middle of two paths going opposite directions and not knowing where either will lead. You are doing a wonderful job in your journey as a writer. You are being you and honestly that is what I want to see and who I strive to be. Represent you and let God take care of the rest. Blessings to you tonight!

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  2. Marie!!
    You are such a blessing! I can relate heartily with being at a crossroads where I want to be small and God to be great and how do we speak publicly without being “us”?
    Thank you for this passage in the Message. I have not yet read it in this translation. This has brought me great joy to read it tonight!
    Loving the journey along with you. You are a delight to journey with!
    Love,
    Tammy

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  3. I feel like you took a “journey” into my head. Yikes! It is somewhat nice to know I am not the only one who feels this way. The back n forth. It keeps us close to God though, daily seeking Him, which is good. You put it all so well! #11 FMF

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  4. You know what Marie? Just keep doing the next thing. HE sees, HE hears, HE knows. And when you do the things He says to do? You wait. WHAT? Wait Hope And Trust. I was a wanter for years in my writing – YEARS – now I’m a waiter. He knows my heart. Now, I just keep on doing what He told me to do 25 years ago. Write His words. Write His truth. Just write. Yes, Lord. xo

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  5. The journey is truly such a struggle with doing whats right but also not allowing yourself be more important. so frustrating when I think about it. I am just glad He doesn’t give up on me like I sometimes I want to do with myself. hope you are well friend

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  6. What a great post today! LOVE this: “…desiring to become small so that God may be great.” That’s me. That’s what I have to be. Thank you for reminding me of this. So blessed to read your words today at #fmfparty. I’m #50. 🙂

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  7. Marie, I also relate to being at the crossroads, feeling pulled in opposite directions and overthinking the possibilities. I’m glad that God sees where the different roads lead and that he guides us one step at a time if we trust him.

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    1. Overthinking! If you look up that word in the dictionary, you’ll see a photo of me. How wise God is, to not give us the full picture, even when that seems like the best thing He could do.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I, too, understand your crossroad, your struggle. Thanks for sharing. When we share we may feel vulnerable but we also find other who share and we feel not so alone. 🙂 #5minfriday #73

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  9. I’ll be honest. Sometimes I really hate the “crossroads feeling.” Because I know it’s usually the beginning of a season where God is asking me to trust him through the hard stuff. Through the unknown.
    May you persevere strongly as you await God’s leading.
    Peace.
    Patricia (FMF#42)

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  10. Marie. I needed to read these words. Badly. Especially the Passage of scripture. Crazy thing? I just read it in my bible study ten minutes ago and in a different version. Then reading it here again in the Message spoke to me again and more. Thank you for echoing the same message again that I only just heard. I will re-read this. 💛

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