I knew better than to toy with that day of warm winter weather, but a little while earlier I'd received pivotal news after much waiting and felt free to succumb to the temptation of leaving my jacket in the car anyway. After all, with this clearer direction, there were people to meet and things to do which a comfortable body temperature and ease of greeting could only help.
For years, I admit possibly misconstruing the parable of the "talents" (or weights) by refusing to choose between what strengths of interest I could maintain a prudent and balanced relationship with. With so many barriers (e.g. doubt, appealing options, financial resources) to the fulfillment of our true callings and gifts or even what we may have studied, I constantly tried myself with questions like Must I write to honor the Spiritual deposits right or was it best to be planted otherwise hoping to avoid the pitfalls that could create a "me" of dimmed purpose.
Rather than realize I'd squandered what I was given, as suggested by loved ones from any of the different disciplines I wasn't active in, if God brought me to an opportunity to teach, I taught. To sing, I sang. To do the laundry or change a bedpan, I washed and changed. To communicate, I stated, so... can you imagine how scattered or shady that could appear, especially as the accuser often commits to mocking or confusing any connections to the Work of the Most High?
While personal knowledge of being called a healer of hellish and Holy (?!) mandate to my face -- as my Lord was -- is foreign, I can relate to the feeling of receiving wrongful judgment and the disappointment of internalizing it. The following day, when the clouds and more seasonal feel returned to complement the Sabbath rest, head congestion from my improper attire showed up too. I shouldn't have been surprised (or, later, obliged) when a party invitation to get out and move beyond that funk followed.
Last week, an online devotional reminded me that God's Will accounts in different ways for what is permissive and perfect. Yes, 1 Corinthians chapters 6 and 10 in particular teach that what we can do isn't necessarily beneficial or equal to what we should do. Truth was, I'd been at my own crossroads and on the fence between two particular disciplines for some time; holding my breath for a literal season to learn whether or not a new program, location and life would accept me -- or if I should accept that which I'd already courted. Either would be good, but the best is what the Lord wants for His obedient own. We should also want the best for ourselves and each other.
More truth was, even that one party was not the relief or celebration I needed as my stomach joined my head in discomfort due to an ambitious mix of curries, strawberry shortcake and what amounted to half a small tumbler glass of wine. Contrary to our popular beliefs, though, the greatest confidence, joy and truth was in having both indecision and indigestion out of my system! I'm still working on the sneezy, stuffy part.
God had used even my mundane moments to encourage vigilant willingness along the "straight and narrow" as opposed to the winding and woefulness of a broader path. I'd grown so accustomed to God being reflected in new, adventurous and sometimes unrelated branches of my life that rightful elimination and focus had become a more effective tool for Divine education and enrichment. The more I disobeyed by striving or being silent out of season, the more God pruned until the simplest beauty of His plan was made evident.
In your own ways, I trust you know something about that process too. We all do -- or will. When those times come, I pray greater respect for the Holy Spirit's leading of our living ministries, that we are guided to add the needed 'mulch' as we grow and not mooch from the best yield He has seeded. Less can certainly be more, but blessed is much!