Tuesday, February 4, 2014

A Change of Stride

Joel and I have been walking every day at the mall or in the church gymnasium during this arctic winter we are having in the Midwest.  This morning I was lamenting on all those who passed us by when I felt like I was walking sooooo fast.  Joel observed my stride and said, "You take very small steps, so you need to take twice as many when you walk.  No wonder you feel you are going so fast!
Try lengthening your stride."  He then tells me he has suggested this once before but with my selective hearing I do not remember it at all. Seriously there is no recollection.

I take his advice and lengthen my stride and it goes well even though my body is now complaining about the increase of muscles that I seem to be using.  We head around the Mall for the third lap and time it just to see if it makes any difference, and of course it does.  We shave a whole minute off the lap!  So, a little at a time I am lengthening my stride...a little at a time because I am feeling it in certain areas and my back is adjusting to it.  At first change is hard, but I am thinking it is not only going to help strengthen those lower back muscles, but get me farther in my goal to walk an hour at a time.

Just that little shift and positive changes are being made.

This made me reflect on how we get stuck in doing things the same way.....Right now I am thinking of congregations and how hard it is for some to accept any change.  "But we have always done it this way" may not be the way God is leading you now. But, lets bring it a little closer to home....I looked at what I am afraid to change or let go of.  There is comfort in doing things the way I always have, and yet in doing so am I missing opportunities that God has placed before me? 

I was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran church.  After going to a Lutheran Bible College I married a man raised in a Christian home just a quarter mile from their Lutheran church.  At age 3 he told people he was going to become a Lutheran minister, and he did.  Our children were raised Lutheran, our grandchildren are mostly being raised Lutheran..........it runs deep in our blood so to speak.  Even though we are open to other denominations and have attended a variety of churches over our lifetime, Martin Luther is as well know to us as the Queen is to England.  But two years ago God made a "slight" change in our stride, when Joel was healed overnight.  This shift in our thinking has taken us into a place of something new, "something more".  What if we had been afraid of the changes that were coming?  What if we had said this is not the way we have always believed or done things.  What if we had used selective hearing when God spoke to us?

I am sure there are areas in your lives where God is making subtle shifts, presenting offerings to change your lives.  God is the God of sovereignty, but He is also the God of change. He sent His only Son down to change the world!  He sent Abraham on a journey with a promise that seemed impossible, Jonah into the belly of a whale when He would not obey God, Moses across the Red Sea after hiding for years as a sheep herder.   He certainly changed Joel's and my life, too.  Oh we are still Lutheran, but now we are speaking-in-tongues-believing-God-wants-you-well-Lutherans.  We do not fit into a neat little package, but we don't regret it for a minute.  Recently God has brought another subtle shift in my relationship "stride" with Him.  I have been once again letting go and letting God in my life, opening up to "something more" that He has for me......for us.  In God's mysterious ways,  He has us on this journey and we are excited to follow Him!

No matter where we find ourselves, no matter what our age or religious beliefs, God has "something more" for us.  Out of love He always has something more.  More love, more wisdom, more Holy Spirit, more health, more blessings ~ more, more, more.  Look for it with expectation....that subtle shift that changes our stride and gets us further in the race to the finish line! 


Anita Johnson said...

I love to come to your blog, Renee!

Gayle said...

Don't you just love those little surprises in life. I backed into Lutherans coming from the pentecostal side. Both are beautiful expressions of worship, one not above the other.