Thursday, November 03, 2011

3rd November

Well I’ve just done the sums and officially it’s now Day 18. And apart from the mess I feel like I’ve hardly started. It’s the bathroom project that I’ve managed to return to for the first time in a couple of weeks. Setting out with good intentions is not always enough and clearly wasn’t in this case. Am I allowed to make excuses… a wedding, ill health, helping with a house move, whatever? So today I managed to replace a 45 year old piano hinge on my airing cupboard door that had been painted over countless times and eventually died of old age. A fiddly job, climbing on steps twisting to reach awkward old screws with a flat-bladed screwdriver, but so satisfying to complete successfully… I’m aching a bit from the unusual stretching though. But that’s good isn’t it? A workers workout! Better than formal exercise as I’ve achieved something useful, though I really do need to get back swimming as I’m no longer ‘bendy’ like I used to be.

So what is that stops me from pressing through with my good intentions? M.E. is a very real condition, not life threatening at all but if left unchecked totally debilitating. It’s a bit like having the flu all the time with extreme fatigue and the ‘brain fog’ thing always there plus numerous other hindrances coming and going. I’ve learnt to manage the condition quite successfully, I know what I can and can’t do, and I know how to prepare for unavoidable busy days… like the wedding. The biggest trigger for a relapse though is stress and avoidance is what I work on more than anything. I try and ‘go with the flow’, allow few diary dates and aim to keep a hold of God’s peace in all that crosses my path. Trusting that the Lord directs my steps is the foundation of embracing peace, as God is in control of all things, and he only works for good in my life.

There’s another step I want to learn though. Hearing the voice of God, becoming sensitive to his calling. Surely responding to the Lord’s leading is preferable to heeding his correction when we’ve set off in the wrong direction? I make no claims to accomplishment in this area but surely it can’t be that hard can it? God can never have a problem in speaking in a way that we can understand. Indeed, I reckon that there is always something that he is saying to us and for me, that’s probably the same thing time and time again as the real problem is in me not listening rather than him not talking. So it has to be simply a matter of maintaining God awareness, recognising that he is with us in all things and reaching out to him, at least in silent prayer, pretty much continuously. And that’s the challenge; I find it so easy to let my mind wander, to become absorbed in a chain of thought that sometimes leads nowhere very good. It’s so easy to not think about God and potentially  forget about him altogether. Many loud voices surround us demanding attention… the bathroom needs decorating, the motorhome needs mending, I have a book I’m writing, I should go swimming and the list is endless. But what is God saying, what does he have for me, day by day, hour by hour? I want to be where he would have me be, do what he would have me do and then, and only then can say that my life is complete.

Job 33:14 ‘For God speaks again and again, though people do not recognize it.’ (NLT)

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