One of the things I have enjoyed most about this challenge is the sunsets. I’ve witnessed it many times, yet it still mesmerizes me. Most times, I walk while the sun dips beyond the mountains.
God created it all for our benefit. So many times, however, I overlook His creation. I get so absorbed in the things that man has made that I fail to enjoy what God has created.
How often have I been thinking about my problems or listening to the radio and never even glanced into the sky? How many times have I wasted my day trying to live in the past or the future? How many masterpieces has God created that I never even noticed?
In the present moment, I can find peace. When I am fully present, seeking God with my whole heart, I can see Him. The wonder of Him is all around us. Most of the time, I am just too busy to notice.
Lately, I have been working on being present. I love it when I can be fully present at the moment. I love it when I can quiet my mind so that I can hear the still, small voice of my Lord. The more I seek Him, the more He speaks to me. When I’m having a conversation with someone, I want to give them my full attention. When reading my Bible, I want to concentrate and try to understand it. Instead of living on autopilot, I want to enjoy my life.
I wash my hands numerous times each day, but I can’t even tell you the smell of the soap because I am just going through the motions without paying attention. But I want to start paying attention to the small details of life. I want to take time to enjoy my coffee—instead of rushing through it. Sometimes I finish my cup without even realizing it because I am distracted. Then, I felt disappointed because I didn’t enjoy it.
I don’t want to finish my course one day and realize that I rushed through my life but never fully lived it. I want to slow down and allow God to show me how to live.
We don’t change what we don’t acknowledge and measure.
Regardless of how fast I walk or run, the 45-minute workout doesn’t go any quicker. It’s still 45 minutes. Knowing this has blessed me with the gift of slowing down and being present. That has been one of the benefits of the challenge.
When I slip into the stillness each day, it helps me to see my problem areas so I can work on them. There’s something profound about being in cold, rainy, windy conditions that cause me to reflect on my life and where I am. Being in the elements with the Lord helps me see things I wouldn’t have seen before.
God loves a sincere heart. It’s an honest moment, and it makes me feel vulnerable. However, in the vulnerability, I can make changes. I must acknowledge where I am before deciding where I want to go.
One of the most difficult parts of this challenge has been getting to know me on a deeper level. Going through hardships introduces us to ourselves. God knows right where we are. He sees through our facades. While we might be able to impress others, God sees what is in our hearts. And amid the battle, we also see beyond our pretenses.
It breaks my heart how many times I have settled for heartache and tried to convince myself that’s what I wanted. The enemy will try to starve us to death and have us pretend that we are full.
The only way to break the stronghold is to follow the Lord and let Him open our eyes. It’s an excruciating process. Some things are so hard to see, sweet friends. But the wider I open my eyes to the truth, the closer I get to God.
Have a wonderful day!