Mrs. Blake and I are preparing for our twice-yearly migration pattern: south to north in five weeks and then north to south at the end of summer. This will be our first entire cycle of migration. One thing you always see when driving the highways is ubiquitous “orange barrels.” They seem to sprout up like tulips this time of year. We like the finished project and the accompanying improvements, but the process can be challenging. So imagine my surprise as I was preparing to exit my subdivision this morning to discover they are widening 75th street in Bradenton, Florida. It is down to one lane, making entering and exiting our sub a challenge of significant proportions. So, construction season is not limited to the interstate highways we will travel this spring but also to our front door!
Road construction usually happens for a few reasons:
1 The roads have deteriorated and need to be fixed.
2 The road needs improvement necessitated by changing traffic patterns: More people = more and wider roads.
3. The coffers have enough tax money to upgrade infrastructure.
Improvement is the operative word. Improvement is usually in the eye of the beholder. As difficult as the road widening outside of where I live will be, I will appreciate the finished project, not so much the weeks and months until completion. Roads are not the only place where improvements need to be made, and my life needs to be updated and improved. Why, you ask? You must not know me!
Some call it discipleship, spiritual formation, growing in grace, and numerous other terms. The walk of faith involves learning, growing and trusting, and stretching.
Allow me to look at each of these words as they relate to my walk with the Lord:
- Learning. This is the definition of a disciple, “one who is a learner.” Jesus stated that if we take His yoke, he instructs us, “come and learn from me.” Learning from and about Jesus is a life-long endeavor. I want to know more and more about Him and learn to love and reflect His love and grace in my life daily.
- Growing. Am I growing in grace and knowledge? Do I think I have arrived? I want to grow in Christlikeness. Sometimes, I could have shown His love better in several situations. I am not giving up. I am going to keep sensitive to His Spirit. I am going to continue to abide in Him.
- Trusting. There are times when we take matters into our own hands. I think I know what needs to be done or said. How often have I run ahead of the Lord? One of the challenging lessons I am learning is that when I don’t know what to do or how something will work out, I know He does and knows what is best for me!
- Stretching. This implies that growth in grace involves being uncomfortable. I am reaching just beyond my grasp. We all develop habits and stay with things that are comfortable and familiar. Just as Jesus instructed the disciples to push their boat out into the deep, He calls us to move into deeper water. We are in over our heads when we sail into the deep water. Just as physical stretching leads to temporary discomfort and muscle fatigue, moving into new areas can be unsettling.
Just as the orange barrels symbolize major construction in progress, perhaps a confident humility illustrates a surrendered and growing relationship with the Lord. I must be open and eager to learn from the Lord. Periodically I must assess whether I am growing in my faith or have become stagnant. I have been learning to trust Him with and in everything for a lifetime! He keeps stretching me, and this keeps me from settling for the status quo and calls me to keep serving Him where He leads.
Watch for the orange barrels and look for growth areas in your life!
Enjoy the journey, and remember to pack your patience!
One Thought to “Road Construction Ahead!”
I am open to road improvements in my neighborhood and will endure the present inconvenience. Yet repairs and alterations in my spiritual journey must take place too. My mind and heart are desiring spiritual improvements. Come Holy Spirit and make we what I should be for your glory.