Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Hugging the Curb

Driving with my Dad has become an interesting adventure. Each excursion is different than the one before. Age has made him cautious. His eye-sight isn't what it once was and his confidence has waned with the years. He has definitely become a "curb hugger". Sitting on the passenger's side, I sometimes feel like we're going to be jumping the curb! Dad likes to drive as close to the right side of the road as possible and seems hesitant to face any on-coming traffic. Given that he will be 83 shortly, I suppose none of this is overly surprising.

As I was reflecting on this earlier today, I thought how often my life is that of a "curb hugger". I can be hesitant to face new situations. I can be fearful to move out into the fast lane for Christ and run with the enthusiasm that should characterize a Christ-follower. I can hold back, be silent, remain seated, ignore holy nudges and turn away from God's promptings. Fear too often keeps my seatbelt on, the door closed, the windows up and the door locked. Instead of journeying into all that God desires for me, I'm on a safe track like those little cars at amusement parks. Restrained by a self-imposed security bar, it's impossible to venture off the road and experience wonderful adventures with God.

God doesn't want me foolish, but He wants me free. I'm not going to take ridiculous risks, but I do need to embrace and enjoy the adventures He has in store for me. I have to leave the comfort the curb affords and drive in the traffic, trusting God.

As I've been contemplating what this means personally to me right now, this morning my heart was stirred by one in a series of posts on Tracie's blog. Today I read a challenge where she encouraged the reader (that would be me) to take a "leap of faith" and embrace the call that God has placed upon my heart. Now, I have a choice here. I can keep 'hugging the curb', or I can seriously respond to what I have felt God speaking to my heart...not just today, but over the past weeks, months, and yes, even years!

You know, it's so easy for me to write words on a piece of paper or craft together a beautiful, thoughtful writing that will encourage hearts, but it remains only mixed letters on a page if it isn't followed by action. Most of you reading my blog only know me through the computer screen, and I can write anything I want, share insights, formulate stories, highlight truths, but if I'm not sharing the reality of what God is doing in me, the good and the not so good, I remain by the side of the road, letting life pass me by. Words can be hollow, nothing more than a sounding gong and a tinkling cymbal. So...

Tracie's challenge today has spoken deeply to my heart. With my job coming to an end (my last day is tomorrow), my family will begin two weeks of vacation. I sense I already know what God is calling me to do, but fear has kept me from following. My mind recalls a saying that goes, "It is better to have tried and failed, then never to have tried at all." I don't know that it's failure I'm afraid of. I'm more afraid of wasting my time because I'm traveling down a "Joy path" instead of a "God path". I want to live my life in the center of His will. I'm going to take these next two weeks to really pray about His leading. I'm not going to make a move until these next two weeks are over, and then, I'm driving in!

One thing won't change though. Just like when I travel with my earthly Father, I must remain in the passenger's seat and let the Lord take control of the wheel. He will steer me into the God-adventures He planned for me before I was born.

Are you hugging the curb or daring to drive in the direction God leads? Gutters and garbage are curb fare. Won't you join me? I think we're in for the ride of our lives! I know I am!!!!


tiggerdaisy said...

Oh, I don't want to be a curb hugger! But all too often, I think I am. ARGH! I don't want to always play things "safe." For My Father will keep me wherever I why play safe just to keep me comfortable? Oh, I don't want to do that. I don't want to keep up with the gutters and the garbage. I want to cruise down the highway to wherever the Lord leads!

Thanks for the encouragement, Joy!


Anonymous said...

Thank you Joy...
This was what I needed to hear. Working through some things with God right now, and just felt last night like I needed to deal with God alone, and not do a post until I have done that. Hoping for some time this weekend...
I need to get the junk out of the way, so that I can look up and see God not the idols in my life... as hard and painful as it is to let some of them go.

THEN I need to focus on what He wants me to do, and what direction He wants me to go. Like you said, I want so much to be in the center of His will. I feel so unfocused, that though I know there are things I need to deal with, things I want to ask Him, things I want to wait and listen to Him for, I just don't know why I keep getting so distracted... hmm, maybe I do... sigh. I think tomorrow is going to be a big day of working through stuff.
Thank you for the encouragement to follow the dreams that God has planted in our hearts, and to get away from the curb.

Love you, and have a wonderful vacation, and may God bless your time with Him,

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I'm so tired today and haven't had time to read any blogs. Yours is it for tonight.

I'm excited for this new chapter in your life. I'm a curb hugger too! But I'm learning to worry less about the middle of the road. I find that regardless of the decisions I make (whether impulsive or prayed over) Jesus always find me on the path. He will find you on yours. Just ride it friend. He won't leave you behind. I think it's going to be a wild ride for sure!

Keep me posted.

Love u...


PS: You can find Alicia's book on her website or on Amazon. The study, however, is only on her web.

Leah said...

Sister, I have done both and it is far more exciting to let Him be in the driver's seat. Those curbs do nothing but skin you up and hurt and to think we don't have to feel all of that.

Enjoy your vacation and expect to hear from the Lord during the next 2 weeks.

Take care


Runner Mom said...

Hey, Joy!
What things to ponder!! I am a curb hugger--I admit it. I am trying to let go and let God...but it's not always easy.

45 minute break in the comment--had to tak child #2 to the pool to meet a friend!! Sorry!

I can't wait to see what HE has in store for you, my sweet friend! Hope your last day at work went well. Enjoy that long awaited vacation. Looking forward to hearing from you when you get back.
Love ya!

JMBMOMMY said...

I am way too often a curb hugger too-ugh! But what thrill it has been to make a quick jerk of the wheel to the left at times! I am still on this journey....