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Monday, January 10, 2011

The Next Step

Over the last 10 days, I've found myself overcome with emotion. As I've reflected on 2010, I've shed many a tear remembering God's faithfulness and the mountains He's moved in my life. To say I’m bubbling with excitement at what the future holds is a vast understatement!

I'm still in the process of praying about my goals for this year, writing them down, and developing strategies for accomplishing them. But after I’m done praying and planning, I’ll be pausing. And asking God to show me the next step.

Not the next ten steps. Not the next two steps. Just the next step I’m supposed to take.

You see, I often forge full steam ahead, juggling my resolutions while speed skating through life. I develop a Superwoman complex and then pretend I’m the maven of multi-tasking. I attempt to manage multiple goals in addition to staying on top of everyday life. But before I know it my resolutions coupled with my responsibilities result in burnout. And instead of accomplishing one thing, I end up accomplishing nothing—no thing!

Although we’re often focused on the big picture, God usually illuminates our paths just like a flashlight does— one small sphere at a time. He knows we’re prone to wander rather than walk hand-in-hand with Him. He beckons us to seek Him first and love Him with all our hearts, souls, and minds (Matthew 22:37). He invites us to rest in Him because He knows the plans He has for us, and those plans will be accomplished in His perfect time (Jeremiah 29:11). He urges us not to worry about tomorrow because tomorrow holds enough trouble of its own (Matthew 6:34).

Proverbs 16:9 reminds us that “we can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” This year, let’s ask Him to determine our steps just one at a time. Once He does, let’s focus our efforts on completing the task He gives us each day and leave tomorrow in His hands.

That way, we’ll never become so focused on the destination that we miss the blessing of the journey. We won’t forget the value of the process because we’re too fixated on our progress. Instead, we’ll rest assured we’ve done only what He’s asked of us and that Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant will one day play like music to our ears.


Jennifer Johnson said...

This is such a great message for all of us women! Thank you for sharing. :)

Holli Ratcliffe said...

That old saying "don't forget to stop and smell the roses" certainly rings true sometimes in my life. Thank you for reminding us to enjoy the journey...I too often put the focus on the destination and forget to soak everything in along the way...and that's usually the good stuff:)

Mariel said...

just had a conversation with my boys this morning about the adventure being part of the fun! God is not just after the end..but He is in every moment along the way!! Praying your year is blessed :)

Dakota said...

Hey, I just came across your blog by doing a bit of blog-surfing, and I'm glad I did! I've added myself as your newest follower, and I hope you'll check out my Christian devotional site as well: wwwnocondemnation81.blogspot.com

Have a blessed day!

In Christ,

Stephanie Shott said...

Hi Steph, it's Steph!
I loved this post! You and I seem to be two peas in a pod. :-)

Stephanie Garneau said...

Thanks Jen! Holli, I constantly need to remind myself that life's not about the destination, but the journey. Mariel, thanks for the prayers! This is a great truth to teach our children as well. Dakota, what a joy it is to see you firmly founded in Christ as a young man! Yes, Steph we are two peas in a pod. It must be the name! LOL!

HeatherLea said...

I love the flashlight analogy:) and I'm thankful He let's us see that much while we're holding His hand. January 12, 2011

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