Picture yourself driving behind someone that is leading the way in an unfamiliar place.
I bet you are praying for all green lights and no traffic and ‘please God, no left turns’.
Anxiety and nervousness kick in.
You’re not sure where you are going and you are fully dependent on the person ahead of you to lead the way and wait when needed.
This is how I once pictured God.
He is leading me in my life. He knows the direction of my life and me? Well, I’m just anxiously trying to keep up.
Striving, hyper-aware of anything that would get in my way and praying “please God, no distractions or delays that would separate me from You”.
Living life anxious, nervous and to put in plainly: living in fear.
What if I lose track of his will?
What if I make a wrong decision?
What if I am not enough and I can’t keep up?
Queue in stress…
Fear is not of God.
It is the enemy, the devil, distorting our thoughts and our view of God’s leading.
This past fall our family and some friends went for a hike along the Niagara escarpment. It’s one of my favourite local hikes. There are many amazing cliffside views and interesting caves for kids to explore.
My kids are getting older and they love to run ahead to see what they can explore next. Us parents walked behind the kids chatting and keeping an eye out for the adventurous ones who liked to get too close to the edge.
I found so much pleasure hearing their giggles, their amazement and their wonder at what they found along the trail.
As parents, we ensured that the kids were safe and remained ahead of us and going in the right direction. No child was ever behind us. They were always in front of us exploring with joy and curiosity the wonder of creation.
This is how I feel God leads us.
He never lets us get behind him. There is no striving to keep up.
There is no worry and anxiety that we will make the wrong decision. We live our lives amazed by his creation and seeking out adventure.
Every once in a while during our family hike I saw my older, more cautious child catch my eye to ensure I was there and without fail I was there, watching, guiding and enjoying every moment.
There were a few bumps and scrapes. They were not a result of going the wrong way or disobedience.
Just like in life, bad things don’t happen because we are out of God’s will.
Scrapes were just a part of hiking and cave exploring and as parents we had to run forward to get to our child. There was no delay, no scolding, no detour. A quick dusting off of the knee or a scooping up for a shoulder ride and off we go.
Striving, searching and anxiously hoping to keep up with God’s will can be exhausting.
It takes away the joy and wonder of life.
As we chase God’s will we can become anxious and worry becomes a habit.
Am I going the right way?
What if I make a mistake?
What if I can’t keep up?
The vicious cycle of thoughts, worries and anxiety spins in your mind.
Take a deep breath. I’m serious. Right now. Inhale… hold… hold… exhale.
You don’t have to live your life striving.
Or living in fear that you are going to miss God’s will or try to keep up with Him.
God is on the path watching you live your life. Hoping you will find adventure and explore.
Listen for his voice and know that you don’t have to be anxious to keep up. He is there ensuring you never get left behind.
What causes you to worry and stress?
For me, the old irrational fear of being out of the will of God creeps up. It causes me to want to, strive and anxiously try to be good enough.
Truly… I would love to hear from you. Let me know what is that old fear or worry that can creep up and distract and cause you anxiety.