Have you ever had one of those moments where you felt like you were just on auto-pilot, just going, and once you finally came down you looked around and hadn’t done that much? Or hadn’t gotten any further than where you previously were? This was me for the past few months. While this year has been so busy for me, it seems like I have been the most busy in the latter months of the year. One thing that seems to happen very often when I get busy is that my time with God gets neglected. I was recently listening to my favorite podcast, the Great Girlfriends, and one of the co-hosts said, “anything that is not nurtured gets neglected”. This is so true and let me tell ya’ll, neglect doesn’t feel good at all.
I can often get so wrapped up in goal setting and achieving, calendar dates and appointments, tasks and budgets that those things consume me. In the midst of all of this I forget that my talents, my drive, and gift has nothing to do with me as God is the source. While I’m rushing from task to task, God is just sitting in the back waiting for me to acknowledge Him. I was at a point where I looked up and wondered what I actually accomplished in the midst of this one man race. It’s like you have these ideas and goals you want to see come to life, but when you are on that journey, or so you think, without God then you are literally going nowhere fast! You look up and all this time has passed, you’ve been so busy, but you ask yourself, where are the results you envisioned?? The problem with that is it’s only YOU in that equation. You may feel empty, unfulfilled and even question yourself. Yup, that was me! God reminded me, as He so lovingly does, that I’ve been going and going on my own and left Him behind.
What I’ve come to learn and re-learn in the hustle and bustle of pushing myself to be greater and live out my purpose is that I can’t do it without Him; it’s absolutely impossible. I don’t know how many times and how many different ways He has shown me that when I’m struggling physically and wavering spiritually, it is Him and Him alone that keeps me going – not my caramel brulee (my new obsession at Starbucks 🙂 ), not that extra 30 minutes of sleep in the morning and certainly not relaxing in front of the TV for hours. God needs to be front and center at the start of the day if there is any success to be had, any dreams to achieve, or any mess to get through! He’s the one who provides lasting strength, energy and power.
I recalled a time period this year when I was in daily devotion with God, spending personal time in His presence. I found myself doing things I could NEVER do in my own strength. Being vegan?? That was God! Motivation to exercise and actually enjoy it?? That was God! Unexplainable energy? That was God! Daily peace and less worrying? That was God! Motivation and excitement to write and blog? That was God! However, the moment I began to sacrifice that intimate time with God, I could feel a difference. Maintaining my vegan lifestyle became more and more difficult, that gym time seemed like such a huge task and I lost my motivation, the worrying and stressing returned and I just wasn’t interested in writing (if you receive my weekly devotions I’m sure you noticed a decline in the amount you receive – just pray for your girl). Basically I became powerless without God. That’s literally what happens when we sacrifice our personal, intimate time with Him. We become powerless and those things we set out to accomplish become impossible, so we end up working overtime and working harder to produce these God-sized results (seriously?!). Then we end up running a race we’re never going to finish, putting much energy into something that won’t prosper, and coming up with many ideas that we won’t see into fruition.
What I’ve come to truly understand is that we have to get to a point where we find pleasure in building and maintaining a relationship with God. Just like anything we do that we love, the feeling or joy we get from it, a relationship with God should bring us so much joy that we can’t go a day without being in His presence. He is the influencer of our aspirations and plans. He’s the driving force behind those great ideas, but His plans and ways won’t align with ours if we are not constantly chasing after Him. We have to be just as intentional in our walk with Him as we are in mapping out our goals for the New Year. The wonderful thing about God is that He doesn’t seek to take anything away from us. Spending more time with Him does not take away from our daily to-dos, it doesn’t slow us down and it doesn’t hinder us; it actually does the complete opposite. I think we are foolish NOT to invite God into our plans whether it be the normal day-to-day, business endeavors, finances or relationships.
To get back to my first love, I decided to finish the year with a month of fasting. Each week I’m fasting from something whether it be food, social media, TV time, just anything that has taken the place of God in my life this year. I’ve decided to use the rest of the year to really focus on my relationship with God and realign with Him. No waiting until the New Year, I’m doing it now. One thing I’ve learned from fasting is that it helps you to rebuild your power within Christ. Even though you are giving up something, you gain so much more and those things you thought you needed become less important in your life. On the days I fast from food, I find that I’m not really as hungry as I thought and any hunger pains I experienced I’m reminded of God and the reason for the fast. On the days I fast from social media and TV, I find myself more productive in my business endeavors and my mind seems to be a clearer and more focused. I also find myself just resting in the presence of the Lord and there’s no better feeling.
I just want to encourage anyone who’s been feeling like I have and literally just running and running but going nowhere, to slow down. My business partner said, “if we don’t slow down, God will slow us down” and I think it’s better to go ahead and do it yourself before God intervenes – just saying. There’s nothing wrong with taking a step back and getting realigned with God before getting back on the road. You can’t do it on your own and you know it. Those feelings of unfulfillment, that emptiness that just won’t go away, and that tiredness are all symptoms of what’s lacking in your life. Social media won’t make it go away, your significant other can’t fill your cup and all the relaxing in front of the TV won’t give you the rest you’re seeking. It’s time to reconnect to your source otherwise you will continue going nowhere FAST!
Until next time…