Last week I wrote about claiming my mantra for 2017 – Walk Humbly with My God. The image of walking through the year has really caught my attention. For those that know me, I tend to move fast. I bring a lot of energy to the scene. I like to push and make things happen. I play a short game. I have lots of ideas, all the time. I tend to dart from one thing to the next. My pace is a sprint.
Maybe that is why this idea of walking this year is speaking to me. Walking is a different pace. It gets you where you want to go but not at the expense of the journey. Walking gives you time to notice – time to think – time to breath. I want to walk through my ministry. I want to walk through life. I want to walk with my God.
I looked up the different ways that walking was used in the scriptures and I was struck by this image of walking from Isaiah. “When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned.” Walk through the fire!? I would rather walk around the fire. Truth be told I would much rather walk, no run, away from the fire. And here, the scripture suggests, that God is most present to us, when we walk through the fire.
Walk towards the tough stuff. That has been one of most important, and maybe most difficult lessons I am learning. Walk towards the tough stuff. Walk towards the pain. Walk towards the difficult person – the difficult situation. Walk towards the conflict.
By nature I am a conflict avoider. I see a conflict coming, sense difficulty with a person or situation, I would much rather walk, no actually run, the other direction. Ignore it. Hide from it. Trusting, hoping, praying that it will just go away.
Are there any other conflict avoiders out there?
If you are a wired to walk away from conflict, you know what I know, it rarely works. In fact, most of the time it just makes the situation worse. Maybe that is why I find this passage from Isaiah so interesting. “When you walk through the fire, you will not get burned.” God’s protection, guidance, strength – all of this is most present when we are walking through the difficult, through the pain, through the conflict, through the struggle.
So there you have it! Want more of God’s divine presence? Then commit to walking through the fire, not around and certainly not away from it.
As you enter 2017, what the difficult things are you facing?
What are you tempted to run away or hide from?
What conflict are you trying to avoid?
Let me just encourage you to turn around and walk towards the tough stuff.
That is where God will meet us.