Careless Endeavors

Yesterday I made sure of my plans. I measured several times. I wrote down the dimensions and then drew out a diagram of the project, and measured and did the math all over again just to be sure. I made a list of materials, I made a list of the cuts I would need, the sizes and the quality, the number of pieces and then I compared them to my diagram to ensure I didn’t miss anything.

I didn’t want to invest in something that wouldn’t work. I didn’t want to put my money and my time into a careless endeavor.

I want my project to be done right, I want to have a finish I can be proud of.

Ephesians 2:10 “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”

He is no more a God of careless endeavors than we are.

Genesis 1:27 “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

He desires a finish He can be proud of.

And He is proud. He loves His work…He loves us.

I believe He is immensely satisfied by our joy.

Over the past few years, I have found myself without that joy. Often, I was without anything I could call hope. I didn’t like my view of the future and I was frustrated with my view of the past. I loved my children, I loved my husband, I loved my new occupation of educating my boys at home, but I wasn’t happy with the way I had handled many aspects of my life. The decisions I had made, the attitudes I had taken, the words I had said, or left unsaid were like thorns pricking my side. I wasn’t sure how badly I had failed, but I felt that I was curator of a mess, and I didn’t want it on display. I couldn’t hide though. Unfortunately, in my soreness of heart, things just got worse. My days were one careless endeavor after another. I said things to people, to their faces, on social media, over the counter, under the shadows, and behind the backs that were inconsiderate and I couldn’t seem to get control of it. As if opening my mouth was sure to make a spill that stunk of selfishness and an oblivious nature. I wasn’t oblivious once it was out though.

Regret of wrong words is a painful song, that plays and plays in the mind.

1 Samuel 3:19 “Thus Samuel grew and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fail (fall to the ground).”

He couldn’t have done that if the Lord wasn’t with him. Why wasn’t the Lord with me?

My carelessness was not in the mouth, it was in the mind. I allowed myself to believe the whispers of an enemy. I allowed myself to replay hurts of the past. I allowed myself to walk upon the path of pride, and my own rightness in certain areas, and it ruined me for hearing the voice of God.

Ruined me.

Recovery is a long walk up, and I am realizing just how narrow it is. I see certain faces that smiled on my way down, who have looked away as I attempt to walk back. They have no idea the path I’ve taken, nor how difficult it has been to turn around, but I don’t blame them.

Matthew 7:14 “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

It is not just a small path. It is intricately narrow. The way that leads to life isn’t a smaller list of options. It is one. It is His voice leading my heart through the gate that only fits my surrender.

I want this path. I want mornings of faithful surrender in the Word of God. I want moments of wonder as the still small voice of the Spirit tells me which way to walk. I want to sit up in my bed at night and say as Samuel did, “Speak, for Your servant is listening.” (1 Sam. 3:10)

I know that upon this narrow a way, I must be diligent. I must tread carefully. On this path there is no room for careless endeavors, but I am not afraid. On this path, no matter how narrow, I am able to walk with my dearest friend. On this path, I walk with my Savior.

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