Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Change In Direction

And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”  They immediately left their nets and followed Him.  Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. He called them,  and immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him. ~ Matthew 4:18-25 (NKJV)

Yesterday morning, as my daughter was getting ready for school, I made the decision to head over to our county park. It’s rather large and has a beautiful lake with many places to sit and take in the peaceful scenery.  And in fact, it's where a dear friend, sister-in-Christ and fellow blogger of mine, Toni, often goes to get much of her inspiration for her blog, aptly titled ‘Lakeside Lessons’ (check it out, she’s on my Blog Roll).  Even though my husband and daughter are both gone from our house by 7:30 and my son isn’t awake yet, I still find it can be quite noisy there and with too many distractions: the constant barking of dogs (my own and my neighbors’); the phone and doorbell ringing; the banging and drilling from the guy next door who’s been tearing down his old garage and is now working on building a new one; the seemingly never ending parade of trash/recycling trucks that make their way down my street; dishes in the sink, dirty laundry in baskets, and dust bunnies on the floor, all waiting for me to clean them. There are some days that my quiet times are anything BUT quiet and focused, and I find it hard to concentrate on what God wants to convey to me, and on what I’d like to say to Him.  So before I left to drop off my daughter at her school, I packed up a strap bag with my Bible, my journals, some pens, my camera and my ‘Jesus Calling’ devotional book.

On my way to the park, I swung by a WaWa for some good, hot coffee and then pointed my vehicle in the direction of the park. As chilly as the weather had become, I was looking forward to sitting by the lake, where the only noise came from the flocks of geese and the water lapping up against the rocks. As I pulled onto Hughes Drive, I glanced over at another, smaller park in the area called Sayen Gardens. It’s also very beautiful, albeit much smaller, and the last time I’d been there was in the spring time on the night of my daughter’s school social, when we just popped by for about five minutes to grab some pictures of her by the lovely gazebo positioned right out front. It had been some time since I’d actually taken a walk through it. I drove a little farther and then noticed that the traffic had suddenly stopped. Wondering what the holdup was, I maneuvered my car over to the side of the road and saw the flashing lights of a police car WAY up ahead at the intersection. ‘Ok,’ I thought, ‘I’ll wait it out. How long can it take?’ Quite a long time, I found out. Ten minutes later, I had only moved the length of one house, and there was a long way to go. I changed my mind and changed direction, turning around in someone’s driveway. As I drove past Sayen Gardens again, I felt invited to pull into the parking lot. I accepted the invitation and drove right in


What a difference a change in direction can make. I was so glad I had come! I'd forgotten how beautiful it is in there. So many different trees and plants with vibrantly colored flowers everywhere. I saw lots of strategically placed wooden park benches with carvings of flowers on them; some tucked away and sheltered beneath the shadow of trees and foliage, others out along the path. As I walked deeper and deeper into the gardens, the sounds from the road faded away and a blessed peace and quiet settled in, broken only here and there by a birdsong or some squirrels chattering. I felt as if I’d stepped into another time and place. To me, there was such a special feeling of intimacy with the Lord as I walked along the paths.  I felt as though I were on a mini retreat minus the hefty registration fee.  Finally, I came upon an area with another gazebo, a fountain and then a lovely pond with its own, smaller fountain within.  There was a bench on the other side of the pond with the sun shining directly on it, looking like it was waiting just for me. I crossed over a little bridge and took my place on the bench, where I spent some wonderfully sweet, uninterrupted time alone with my Savior. The morning had turned out SO much better than I had planned. And all because of a change in direction.

I thought about that as I sat on the bench. That's how it is when we choose to follow Jesus.  He longs for us to change direction, to repent from our sins and follow Him.  He wants us to change direction and turn away from those idols we make ourselves believe can fill us up and completely satisfy us, be they people or possessions, places or positions. Because they CAN’T.  Only the Lord Jesus can, because:

His grace is sufficient
His love is unfailing
His peace is perfect
His mercy is fresh
His forgiveness is complete
His joy is inexpressible
His promises are true
His beauty is breathtaking
His truths are rock solid
His faithfulness is great

Jesus is more than enough for me…and He can and will be for those who hear His invitation and choose to follow Him. What He had in store for me today was so much more than I could have hoped or imagined, and what He has in store for us every day is so much more than we can ever hope or imagine as well.  It just takes a change in direction to find that out.

Into the night, in the heat of the day
We’ll probably stumble along the way
On an innocent path, or a one way street
We’ll leave our past in the dust and the concrete

If you’re ready for a change
If you’re tired of the same old thing
If you’re ready for a change, then follow Me;

If you’re ready for a change
If you’re tired of imagining,
Get ready for a change and follow Me. ~ Change (Follow Me), by Dave Pettigrew

1 comment:

  1. Oh, MY! Sweet sister! God is so good! What beautiful pictures you have shared and lessons! Thank you, and I laughed when I read your comment - yes he is leading us on similar but unique paths! How amazing He is! I love the Jesus Calling devotianl as well! SUre wish we lived close enough to have a coffee and chat in person about "God the Bible, Blogs and Stuff" ! I will check out your Lakeside friends site! Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy everey moment of QT you can have. There IS grace for the other moments as well! Your Bloggy Sister in Grace, Dawn @ Beneath the Surface


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