"Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" - Matthew 6: 26
**Photography by Melissa Talbot**
I often panicked on test day and as the class in which the test was being administered approached, it was like a tribe of drummers were beating on my cerebral cortex. My palms got sweaty, the heart raced, and it became really difficult to swallow. You could say, for the most part, I choked when it came to tests.
As much as I disliked school, I disliked tests even more but there was always something inside that made me try harder to memorize the material that was tested on. Special attention was given to the items that the teacher made reference to. Granted, I never bombed a test but came awfully close...many times. The only classes I excelled in were the easy subjects of physical education and typing. Those were no brainers, thankfully.
These days, there isn't really anything that causes me to panic, well, almost anything, Recently, I got some disheartening news that something I thought had plenty of time left on, had just run out. Without warning, a security blanket disappeared. I was shocked and in awe of what had happened.
Panic came. My mind started to race and what seemed like a million things, were rushing through my head all at once. How could this be? How could my time be up? It was unexpected and, seemingly, unfair. In a way, I was prepared for this but not fully prepared. It's difficult when the squeeze of a timeline comes to an end much earlier than anticipated.
One of the key components that calm my mind and heart is a long walk. Out here in the countryside, there is no shortage of quiet places to be or long, deserted roads to walk on. The fresh air clears the mind and soothes the racing heart. It was exactly what I needed.
As I walked and pondered what had happened, an incredible peace began to set in, like it usually does on a walkabout. My focus turned to the simple crunch of my sneakers against the crushed rock on the road. Even though it was a power walk, my heart slowed and mind cleared.
Thoughts began to change into realistic and practical steps that would have to come next. That with great care and prayer, the questions sitting at the back of my mind would show up with answers. I knew that the calm wasn't just me, it was from a far greater source.
It came from the years of experience I had with God, being through numerous and far worse situations, that told me, "It's going to be fine." In those moments, I knew that God's got this. There has never been a difficult situation in my Christian life that God hasn't been there and always brought a solution. I just had to wait.
So, that's what I did. That's what I'm still doing, knowing that things and thoughts will come together for the next steps in a new direction. In a way, it's pretty exciting and freeing to not know what comes next in life. Not to say there isn't a wee bit of fear deep down because there is, but in having no fear of change quickly dispels the dread-like fear.
When time is up on things in our lives, it can be a challenge to not give up on ourselves or others. When you feel like the time is up for your marriage or a long time friendship because of a simple misunderstanding. When you feel like you have gotten to a stage of your life where you perceive to have no real purpose.
When there is nothing left inside of you to try and make ends meet, yet another month, as the bills outnumber your income. When all you want to do is stop what you're doing and cry. It's okay to do that. It always makes me feel better to have a good cry when difficulty strikes.
In reality, time isn't up on your situation. There are ways to make a difficult situation, work out. In a misunderstanding, things can be talked out. In a seemingly purposeless life, you can spend time with others who have no one in their lives. In a money crunch situation, there are ways to make some extra money.
For me, the time may be up on one thing but the clock has, actually, been re-set for another. I know things will turn around as long as I stick close to God and make the most of this next chapter of my life, no matter what lies ahead. I know that while you might be feeling like you're in a mess, where the clock has run out, it hasn't. It's been fully wound and is ready to count off the moments of a new and brighter direction.
Encouragement for the week:
Do you feel like time has run out in an area of your life? Let me assure you that it hasn't. In fact, it's more like a pause before setting out into a new, uncharted territory. There are better things ahead that you never thought possible.
While I still don't know what is to come, because of my relationship with God, I'm ready for whatever is ahead with wonder and some excitement. My prayer is that you will feel that way too.
If you are a Christian, this life is one of adventure and excitement. It is also one of the unknown that can be scary from time to time but we have a great God who only has great things in store for His children. Don't hug the shoreline too tightly.
If you are not a Christian, look for Jesus and you will find Him and all the adventure He brings in following Him, without fear that time is up.