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Where the Sidewalk Ends

Updated: May 18

Sometimes I find myself walking along in life, doing my best, striving to stay connected to God and to those I love around me, when all of the sudden it feels like the sidewalk ends. I’ve run out of direction; I’m low on drive. My time with God has become scattered. I start to wonder why I’m doing what I’m doing to begin with.

I have some choices at that point. I can keep running full steam ahead, rationalizing in my mind that it’s just for a time; it won’t always be this way. It’s just a phase. I can choose to break down, and start snapping at the world around me, looking for excuses and reasons to vent out some of that internal steam. Or I can do a little Jetson walking. Remember the Jetson’s cartoon? They had conveyor belts they would walk on. They felt like they were moving, but they never actually got anywhere different.

One of the best things I’ve learned to do when I’m losing perspective is to simply take a moment and stop. I know that seems simplistic, but for me, I’ve found it can actually be hard to do. My brain will immediately want to go to the laundry list of items in my to-do pile, or start regurgitating back up all the negative garbage from my past, or, if I’ve really pushed it, my brain just feels numb. For me, stopping requires I take a moment, recall my worth before God, and acknowledge I need Him in this space. I remind myself of the value of our relationship. I think of it as a spiritual time-out, not because I’m in trouble, but because I need time out of the free fall I’m in to get centered again with God.

I take a deep breath. I let the stress of the here and now melt away. I center my thoughts on God’s deep, abiding love for me. I remind myself of all my many blessings. I thank God for them, and for His remarkable care for me. I pray to Him, pouring out all that’s in my heart, both good and bad. I ask Him about the sidewalk, about how I lost the feel of it under my feet. Then I listen. Listening for me can be the hardest part, especially if I don’t sense God’s presence right away, but I wait patiently, receptively for Him to answer.

Sometimes the answers come in a deeper sense of peace about my path, and a confidence that though I’m moving forward in the direction I should be, I need to be sure I’m still creating space for what most matters and letting go of what doesn’t. Sometimes it’s in an awareness of where I may have taken a wrong turn, a direction I took that led me away from God and back onto that Jetsons walkway. My favorite times are when I sense God directly answering me, encouraging me with either scriptures or new ideas and thoughts about my path, my growth, or anything in particular.

However God answers, I find it’s always worth the wait. As I set aside the moments I need to re-engage with the creator of the sidewalk I find myself on, He has an incredible way of setting me out in the right direction again, centered and ready to give.

For Further Thought: Proverbs 22:5 says, “Thorns and snares are in the way of the obstinate. He who guards himself [with godly wisdom] will be far from them and avoid the consequences they suffer.” Let’s fact it–sometimes we’re the ones who are obstinate! Make some time this week with God to evaluate your path and be sure the sidewalk you’re walking on is headed in the right direction.

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