Tuesday, May 7, 2013

New Beginnings- As The Crow Flies

Hello Friends,
 I know, I know, I changed the name of my blog and I promise that this will not be like the constant profile picture change that some of you who have stuck around longer had to endure back in my high school days. But that kept things interesting, right? ;)
             Anyways, I realized after getting used to this whole blogging thing that I wanted a blog name that was a little more visual friendly than the long quote that I had. I find it funny to think back on the time when I first heard the phrase, “As the crow flies” and that some of you reading this won’t even know what that means, don’t worry I didn’t either at one point.  I was at my grandparents house in Temecula and my grandma was telling me how to get somewhere, *disclaimer* my grandma is the queen of using idioms that were often used back in the day such as, “Run like sixty.”, “Cat got your tongue”, and she is known for being able to quote old wives tales as though she helped create them.  Getting back to my story, my grandma mentioned how long it took to get somewhere “as the crow flies”, which instantly had me interested and would not have been helpful when traveling by car. The phrase, “as the crow flies” is the amount of time it takes to get somewhere without any obstacles in the way. According to the online dictionary this phrase is listed as, “the distance between two places is measured as a straight line.”
            Now, I think just about anyone can agree that there are very few places we can go in life where the road is a straight line with no traffic, no distractions, no accidents, or anything unplanned that comes up along the way. I will be the first one to say that I have very little tolerance for traffic, accidents, and distractions in general and I tend to see them as a waste of time, just a couple weeks ago it took me an extra 45 minutes to get to work and I found myself thinking, “Ugh, with that extra time I could have slept in, stopped by Starbucks, taken more time getting ready, gotten to work earlier;” the possibilities were endless. But the voice of the Lord stopped me mid- thought and said, “I want you to pray, pray for these people, intercede on their behalf, pray for the accidents.” And that definitely got my attention, as the Lord always does when I find myself getting too wrapped up in my plans, my schedule, my day, my everything for that matter. The Word of the Lord rings true in Proverbs 16:9 which says “The mind of man plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.” So I found myself praying for these people that I did not know and that accidents that I would soon see the scattered remains of, I prayed that they would experience little to no pain, and the comfort of the Lord and that He would spare them. As I got about 30 minutes into the painfully slow traffic and confused drivers trying to figure out how to turn three lanes into one I saw three cars totaled on the side of the road and one partially detached at the roof of the car, signifying the use of the jaws of life and at this moment I knew that God was using my prayers, and probably those of many more of his children on the road that day who were inconvenienced by the traffic, and late commutes to work.
            When thinking of this traffic situation I thought of other times in my life where I felt so inconvenienced before realizing that I was being used by God, or times where I overlooked an opportunity because it wasn’t convenient for me or because I thought I had something “more important” to do. Linda Hoffman shared a dream that she had at a women’s leadership/discipleship group that I attend and the dream was that she was heading to a wedding and knew that she had to stop at a jeweler to get some fine jewels for the bride and groom on the way to the wedding so, she made sure to set out early to have time to get the jewels and get to the wedding a little early. As she found herself making her way to the ceremony from the jeweler’s shop she ran into a confused looking wedding guest who could not find the jeweler’s shop so Linda took the time to walk them over to the location, then as she started making her way back to the ceremony she found herself continuously being stopped by other guests asking her for directions and assistance. Naturally she started getting annoyed with all of these unprepared people and told herself that she would just walk right by the next person who needed direction and she found God telling her that these people that she would have just passed up are His precious jewels, and that by serving them she was directly serving Him. This story reached my very core and I asked myself, “How often do I look past certain people, or disregard those that the Lord has put before me to fulfill my own prerogative?” Just a couple weeks ago someone had come up to say “Hello” to me at our college group and I practically ran her over on my way to greet someone else, barely even seeing her in front of me, literally. I found myself realizing specifically that all these people are important to Jesus as thought they were His only child, even if they come up to the pulpit every Sunday with the same prayer request, or sing off- key during worship, or don’t take the extra time to do what is required of them, or are a little behind the learning curve. Then I went even further to realize that if I want to strive to live and act like Jesus, then I need to love these people, and at times be willing to drop everything for them as He would abandon 99 sheep to reach out and save one who had strayed from the heard. Instead of seeing these people as “distractions” or “obstacles” to deal with I am learning to see my interactions with them as divine appointments or the end point that Jesus was trying to bring me to, and so far it has been incredible to see where Jesus wants to lead me. So friends, I pray over all of you reading this that Jesus will reveal the areas, or people in your life that are opportunities waiting to happen, someone that you can truly represent the hands and feet of Jesus towards, and please share your findings to bless and encourage others! Until next time loved ones.
<3 Sarah