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The Slide

It’s an easy thing to do. You’re going along, living life, meeting the time challenges and life challenges in front of you, putting the nose to that proverbial grindstone. Then one day you look up and notice the world around you has changed and somehow you missed it. Your kid is older, your loved one is distant, your friends have moved on. Life hasn’t stopped because you’ve neglected it, so now it’s neglecting you.

When I’m in the midst of deep challenge, losing perspective is easy to do. What’s in front of me is pressing and very real; there are intense circumstances that have to be dealt with. Still, the needs of those around me don’t evaporate. My children still need a loving, supportive and invested parent. My friends still need camaraderie and conversation. And though it’s super easy to forget, I still need downtime, space to re-energize, and yes – laughter.

How do we balance such competing demands? How do we keep from sliding away from what’s most important in life while still taking care of what’s urgent? There are so many tasks and deadlines and even life or death decisions to be made, it can feel crushing.

For me, I have learned the answer is found in being extra vigilant in my walk with God. I may have 30-40 items in front of me, but God is over each and every one of them. He is the common denominator, the thread that runs through my day and helps me hold it all together. Through prayer and discernment, He helps me know what to let go of; He reminds me of what needs attention. He extends me grace when I don’t get my balance just right, and reminds me to extend grace to myself as well. When I feel guilty about taking time out of a busy schedule just for me, He reminds me He wired me to need that time, and that I am valuable and worthy of it to boot. In short, His guidance helps me stay calm and sane in the midst of the storms of life that swirl all around me.

Unfortunately, when our lives get busy I think one of the easiest things to do is let go of our walk with God. At least it is with me! I can get caught up in the frenzy of the day-to-day and neglect making time for my creator. This can be especially true when times are good in my life. The need I have for God doesn’t feel as pressing, so it’s easy to let it slide. Yet time and time again I’ve seen that if I let my walk with God slide, all the good things start to slide away as well. I get caught back up in agendas and deadlines, in competing demands and goals. I lose that delicate life balance God helps me walk so smoothly. Worse, when the storms hit, I’m not prepared and ready to engage with a quiet and gentle spirit; I’ve left God somewhere in the dust, and it takes time for me to work through the emotional haze and remember He’s always been standing there right beside me.

So don’t drift and slide through your life. Don’t neglect the ones you love and that matter to you. Don’t neglect yourself. And most importantly, don’t allow yourself to drift from God. He is your center, your rock. King David, a man after God’s own heart, said it best: “My God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of mysalvation. He is my stronghold, myrefuge and my savior— from violent people you save me,” (2 Samuel 22:3).

Life is full of challenges, both good and bad, but God is our internal guide that helps us stay on the right path. Let’s tune into our true GPS (God protection system) through prayer and the word. Not only will life not slide by us, but we will engage in ways that are more powerful and meaningful than we ever could have dreamed.

For Further Thought: Psalm 23:1-4 says, “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” No matter how busy your schedule, set some time aside this week to spend with God so He can refresh your soul and help guide your path.

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