On the heels of sharing the blessings of my aunt, uncle, and my grandparents, I read my Bible study this morning that focused on hindrances that keep us from doing what God has planned for us.
The study looked at three hindrances — others, Satan, and good old numero uno, that’s right, the person in the mirror.
If I’m going to be honest, and by now, you know I am going to be, my chief hindrance has always been … me. Sure, I have faced human opposition. Of course, I have experienced spiritual warfare. But really, Satan doesn’t have to spend as much time on me as he does on others, because I create my own issues.
You already know that my biggest hindrance is my belief that I am self-sufficient, battling through all obstacles, kicking butts and taking names. I prefer doing to being, and I often do so much that I don’t listen to others, let alone God.
In spite of this, God has managed to use me for ministry. It’s usually like an out of body experience when a student or friend comes to me in the middle of my busy-ness, pours out her heart, and asks me for help or prayer. I think to myself, “Wow, God kinda plunked that down right in front of me, didn’t He.” He has to be very obvious to get my attention. There are usually tears involved. I am aware enough to notice tears. Or, a cluster of frantic teenagers saying something like, “Mrs. Rathje, you have to do something!” Ok, ok! You’ve got my attention.
But, in the spirit of the next chapter, I am trying to do things differently. And, in the spirit of full-disclosure, I must remind you that God fully-orchestrated this next chapter. He interrupted my busy-ness to bring me to this grace period. He initiated the chain of events that led me to this Bible study. He has provided my little house by the river.
And, you know, in the last two months (yes, I have been in Ann Arbor two months!) I have been noticing a lot more. I have been able to hear that still small voice, and have even been willing to listen to it. I have been able to see the people around me, and notice what is happening in their lives. I am embarrassed to say that this is a new experience.
When you are in your combat gear, moving at break-neck speed, everyone blurs together. Yeah.
So, visiting my Uncle Louis and Aunt Margaret, remembering Grandpa and Grandma Meyer, and realizing their commitment to loving God and loving me, I am inspired to shift. I see the blessings in fully-embracing this next chapter. I am not sure what all God has planned, but I am willing to watch and see. I am willing to toss the combat gear. I am willing to walk into whatever it is that He has set before me.
Hebrews 12: 1
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,
let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely,
and let us [walk] with endurance the race that is set before us.