Gratitude Day 130 – Period vs a Comma

Wed., Oct. 3, 2018

Psalm 90:4 – because in your perspective a thousand years are like yesterday past, like a short period during the night watch.

Yesterday, I was painting. It’s really a mindless job. Once the paint is picked out (the hardest part of the job), then it’s just taking your time to do a good job and make sure there is good coverage.

While painting, my mind wandered. I began contemplating all the things I could have done in my life … and haven’t. This is a reoccurring theme as of late. Sometimes, I wished I would have put more energy into making sure some these things happened in my life. I wonder, “Can I?” Or “If …” Or, “Should I?”

There are a variety of reasons why I things didn’t happen. Some choices were mine. Other choices were seemingly made for me. But, did I give up too easily? Should I be putting energy into some of these ideas?

Possibly. But then, I also made an interesting observation.

comma & period

“Maybe God put a period in a time in your life when you were wanting a comma, Dianne.”

When we feel let down or short-changed or like we’re on the short end of the stick, it’s easy to go looking for someone to blame. I’ve done this a hundred times. Sometimes, it was possibly justified. Other times, I just didn’t want to face the music. I screwed up. Or I didn’t take enough initiative.

Or maybe, just maybe, the brakes did get put on because it just wasn’t the best choice at the time. Putting energy into something else would have prevented me from putting time and effort into something that God wanted me to do, even if it wasn’t my first choice.

There have been a few times when God was very, very clear with me about a next step. Before I spent a year overseas as a missionary, God made it VERY CLEAR this was what I was supposed to do. At the time I was called into pastoral ministry, God also got my attention in a big way. In both situations, the indications were so clear and in-your-face, I could not miss them.

In light of this, I’ve often wondered when God has spoken to me … and I simply was so unaware that I missed God’s voice. Opportunities that were laid right before me and I was caught up in my own life and priorities that I breezed right by God’s leadings. Maybe this is why God went all out with the big stuff.

And maybe, I was looking for the comma and God made sure a big old fat period was placed there instead.

If you feel God has not been as clear with you as God has been with me at times, please, please, please do not give up hope. I truly feel we have to be in the right spiritual spot to hear God. Otherwise, it’s really easy to assume we know more than God.

And we forget, sometimes, God has already put a period when we’re still searching for that comma.

It’s so easy to assume we know what is best for our lives. To keep running down that road, whether it’s the right road or not. Sometime this day (or this week), set aside an opportunity to listen for God. It’s OK to be doing a basically mindless job like painting. And then, really listen. Maybe everything in your life is chugging right along in the right direction. Or possibly, you’ve just been missing God’s period. Even if God doesn’t speak to you directly in that time, it’s OK. Just be ready for another time.

For God’s wisdom in placing periods when I think it should be a comma, I am thankful.

Lord God, we convince ourselves that we’re the master designer of our lives. And what you yearn for us that we would acknowledge your presence in our lives. Help me to be open to hearing you. And if we’re missing a period that you are trying to put in our lives, help us move our comma out of the way. Amen.

Blessings –

Dianne

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