Monday, April 6, 2015

Think Less; Pray More

Last week, I sat down to start setting up my slideshow for an upcoming ladies' meeting at which I will be speaking.  I was pretty sure I had my topic and points in order, so putting the slideshow together should have been simple.  But as I worked, something didn't feel right.  In fact, the whole message felt wrong.  It felt forced.  Assuming it was just my mood or current state of being, I decided to set that task aside and try to work on it later.

When I did get back to the task at hand, I found that the feeling of uneasiness and uncertainty was still present.  I've prepared enough lessons and written enough books and devotions to recognize the feeling.  What I had come up with for my meeting was exactly that--what I had come up with.  Not that it wasn't good material, but it wasn't the message that God had given me.  It was what I felt I should speak on.  So, I scrapped all my work, prayed some more and started again.

A few days after preparing a second lesson, I sat down to set up the slideshow and was overcome, once again, by that dreaded sensation that the message was all wrong.  Things weren't flowing naturally like they do when I'm following the Lord's leading.  Instead, I was fighting for every thought and idea, struggling to make the pieces fit together.  After several moments of frustration, I set the project aside once again.

As I lay in bed last night, a new train of thought for my lesson swirled about in my brain.  I couldn't help but ask, "Is that you, Lord, or am I trying to invent ideas myself. . . again?"  Evidently, I fell asleep before getting an answer.  Fortunately, I had a few minutes to talk with Jason this morning before he left for work.  I explained what was going on and how I felt so overwhelmed with confusion about the topic of this meeting.  As usual, his advice was brief, but oh so wise:  think less; pray more.

Not an easy task for me, let me tell you.  I'm a thinker.  I'm a planner.  I am supposed to speak at an event in two weeks, and I feel that I should have my thoughts in order and my slideshow prepared by now.  I don't like waiting until the last minute.  So, I've been doing a lot of thinking.  Unfortunately, I have definitely been thinking much more than I've been praying.  And when praying, I've been doing a lot more talking than listening.  Hmm, and I wonder why I'm not hearing the voice of God!  Duh, Dana!

Thinking is good, but sometimes too much thinking gets us into trouble, especially when our thoughts are dwelling on things that are best left alone.  Praying, on the other hand, is never a bad idea.  It is always beneficial.  So, it would seem that once again, my sweet husband has solved, in a matter of minutes, a problem with which I've wrestled for over a week now.  Smarty pants!

Seriously, perhaps you, too, are struggling with a decision.  Maybe you're not sure which way to go or which path to take.  Perhaps you're simply feeling overwhelmed by what life has thrown at you recently.  If so, may I share with you my husband's advice:  think less; pray more.  Stop trying to figure it all out.  Stop striving to make it work.  Instead, make every effort to quiet your mind and open up your heart.  Spend time in God's Word and allow Him to speak to you in whatever way He chooses.  He is our guide.  Perhaps we're confused about what to do and where to go because we haven't sought His will in the matter.  If we ask, He'll make things clear.  He's given us His word on that.

And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them. - Isaiah 42:16

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