I woke up this morning and read an old post from John Paul Jackson. The words lept off the screen like they were written just for me.
My friend Bob Jones says 2007 was the year of discontent. I say that is too light of a term – it was the “Trial of Discontent.” It was a year of trial or test and God was using discontent as the line of demarcation to see who would act, speak, prophesy, or move before He did. Discontent causes us to look elsewhere for fulfillment and it seemingly seizes control of our soul (mind, will, emotions). When discontent hits us, we cannot think, or perceive the way we used to. You see discontent can be a driving force and only those who have God’s agenda can overcome their own – it is one of the great prophetic tests. Discontent is a trial and many have been found, to use an Old Testament term, “wanting.” They spoke too soon, acted too soon, and/or prophesied too soon. Those choices always lead to pain.
What Bob and I have found is that God protects us where He has us. 2007 was, in God’s eyes, a year of protection in the time of our discontent. Many left that protection. When we are driven by discontent, we will always find pain.
Sure, to stay until God sends us is not always a picnic. Joseph ended up in prison by doing this. But, God meant it for good and that is the point. Do not run from that which God means for your good. It is what makes great leaders great!
The antidote to discontent is contentment. One great leader, the Apostle Paul, once wrote, “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound.” Philippians 4:11-12
The Unintended Blogging Pattern
Yesterday’s post about compromising in order to make progress dovetails nicely into this one. I think I’m following a path with this series.
- Establishing a Vision
- Deciding Whether or How Much to Compromise
- Learning to Be Content and Not Look Elsewhere for Fulfillment of the Vision
If I could just wrap up this series tomorrow with “Sudden Answers from Heaven”, I’d feel pretty good about all this. But since I don’t know that God will resolve all my current vision problems by tomorrow morning, let’s talk about today’s topic a little more.
Thinking in Circles
This blog post by John Paul is precisely the kind of rebuttal I would give myself as I spin into a neverending cycle of internal debate. I can always find a problem with a decision. Or at least a potential problem that has gone unaddressed. For me, it’s a question of when to ask questions and when to just jump on the bronco and ride it out.
Led by the Spirit
I’m going entirely by my gut here. My “spirit” or “conscience”, to be precise. My gut tells me that it’s not time… that I have something else to learn or overcome before this rodeo’s through. And then I’m faced with choices. Do I resent the delay and try to force a change because I’m discontent and tired of waiting? Or do I choose to joyfully look for the lesson yet to be learned and embrace it wholeheartedly? I’ll take option #3, Bob, which is resenting the wait AND grudgingly embracing the lesson to be learned. Yes, I AM a super Christian.
Extending Myself Grace
And you know what? I’m giving myself some grace. Some leeway. I’ve been doing this for years. I see an “insurmountable” obstacle in my way and I give myself room to goof around a little while I attack the problem in the way that makes the most sense to me. So, for now, I’m establishing myself as a more faithful 8hr workday guy (instead of 7.5) and giving myself a little room to be distracted throughout the day because it feels like hog tying the moon to make myself concentrate.
My goal is to not take on too much. If I look at the problem and feel overwhelmed, I’m going to fail if I press on full steam. But if I reduce the problem into digestable sections, I can embrace one piece at a time – never letting myself get overwhelmed by the whole.