Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Play the Game You Know How to Play!

Most mornings I take a 2-3 mile walk around my neighborhood as I start my day. It is a wonderful time for me to breathe deeply, listen to birds, get my heart rate up, notice my neighbors and pray. I walk the same route everyday and it's never boring to me. I like that version because I know exactly how many miles I walk and because I can ponder other things instead of needing to notice and wonder about a new route.

A month or so ago, my thoughts while I walked began centering on a question I sometimes ask myself. That inner articulated question was, "Am I doing what God wants me to do or are there other things I should be involved in along with or instead of what I'm doing now?" And while this question swirled in my thoughts, I began to list possible options to answer the question. Should I look for added employment, should I have greater income to add to our home, should I take on more volunteer work, should I sign up to take a class offered in Community Education, should I teach a class through Community Education, should I... And the list went on and on.

But a half mile into my walk, I "happened" to walk past a parked car. This car was parked in front of the home of people I do not know. I assume they have 2 school age children because I see the names of 2 children on Spirit Placards from local schools which are posted in their front yard. As I neared the car, I could see that a teen aged girl was leaning through the passenger side window engaged in conversation with the driver. I assume the driver was a Mom driving the school carpool that day and was waiting for the other child to come out of the house. The teen aged girl was wearing what I think was the uniform of the local girls' volleyball team. It must be that she was going to play in a game later that day. I say that because of the one brief sentence I heard as I walked past that car that morning. The driver Mom was saying, "Play the game you know how to play!"

I walked on without even hesitating but the short clip of conversation I had just heard shot like an arrow into my earlier stream of thoughts. It was as though God himself had spoken with the utmost clarity a message he wanted delivered to my life. I walked on repeating over and over again those words and gained joyfulness as I claimed that message for myself and my questioning thought life.

Sometimes I get so distracted by the "Shoulds" being shouted into my life that I forget what I know absolutely when I sort through the sometimes upsetting, off-course byways into which my mind wanders. But that early morning walk and its timely word to me has given me affirmation to "Play the game I know how to play" and accept relief from all the times and ways in which I beat myself up mentally for not "doing" enough. It has been liberating!

Another benefit from that "magic moment" along my walking trail is what it reminds me of about God and his extensive creativity and capability. If he will orchestrate my morning walk to be strategically timed so that he can give me a 3 second message delivered precisely as I pass the open window of a parked car, won't he also do that for other children he has? Often times we think we might be God's only voice for some of the people in our lives - family, friends, neighbors... We might worry that if we don't warn them about their wayward ways they won't have any other way to hear what God may want them to be told. But that is such a limiting idea of what God is capable of. And my morning walk is a clear demonstration of that. I can trust him to communicate his message in very creative ways. Until my walk a month or so ago, I would not have listed my "moment" as one of his ways of communicating to his people but now I know better. And his message to others will be just as compelling and creative.

So one of the "Games" I think I know how to play is my writing. I am getting better about believing its something God wants me to do. The experience on my walking trail is one more element causing the spark to burn brighter calling forth my writing gift. I'll close these thoughts with some affirming, energizing words sent to me yesterday in an email from a dear friend after she read one of my recent blogs.
"Thank you so much for sharing your "self", your soul, your fears and your truths because I believe they speak to many and especially to me. I have always thought that you exemplify God's words through your actions and the way you communicate with people - it's truly a special gift from God and I hope you don't stop!"

There's excitement for me as I continue to live in light of "Play the game you know how to play" - a message specially timed and tailored for me from an ingenious, loving, patient creator.

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