Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Learning Curve

I went to a different grocery store today.  I love the adventure of learning something new but I'm not sure I appreciate the learning curve so much.  It took me over an hour and a half to find what I need.  Usually I'm in and out in about 20-30 minutes at my regular grocery store.  It's usually pretty quick unless I run into a friend and chat for awhile! I always make a list in my mind knowing the order in which I will find everything because I know the layout of the store so well.  It's productive and efficient.

Not today.

Today I was up one isle, down the other, on the wrong side of the store from where I should be and the olives were nowhere to be found.  I could not understand the layout of this store and honestly it was overwhelming!  I was taking mental pictures in my mind of what was on the shelf so it wouldn't take so long the next time.  I think one lady thought I was stalking her because I kept going up and down the same isle, hoping what I was looking for was there.  I was so frustrated at one point I looked this older gentleman in the eyes and said "I can't find anything!" He smiled and looked at me like "Yeah, been there, done that!" but I could tell I freaked him out a little bit.

By the time I checked out, I had made so many compromises, I couldn't even remember what it was that I was initially there to get.  I bought things I didn't really want because I couldn't find the things I really wanted.  My mental list had changed, my stress level went up and I began to wonder what the heck I was thinking by going to a store I didn't know!

I remember feeling the exact same way before I began reading and studying God's Word as a new Christian.  I would find myself in situations where I wasn't sure what to do.  It was new territory and because I'd never been there, I would find myself wandering around, wondering what to do.  I would tell other believers "I can't find anything!" and they would smile, remembering they had been there before, and show me the scriptures to help me in my time of need.

As I began to spend more time in God's Word, I found myself navigating more through life like my trips to my familiar grocery store.  I knew where to find things and the stress levels decreased.  I found myself not compromising more and more as I would find God's perspective and learn His ways through His word.  It's actually quite wonderful, this learning curve.

Jesus tells us in John 14:15 "If you love me, you will keep my commandments."  But if we don't know what His commandments are, how will we know what to keep?  As believers, the Holy Spirit is the One living in and through us, teaching us the Way and the Bible is a very important resource He uses to do that and if we don't know what it says, we will not know what to do.  Being in His word teaches us God's ways, His desires, His provision, His likes and His dislikes - His heart.

I pray that you find the time to get into God's Word.  There is no better way to get to know the layout of the Christian life! The benefits of reading and studying God's word are listed in Psalm 119 - a great place to start reading if you haven't yet.   If you need accountability in this, we offer that on our Facebook Fan Page and you can join us by clicking here.  We are currently reading through the Bible in a year and jotting down thoughts, observations and questions along the way.  We're helping each other navigate through, I suppose you could say.

Now, I want to help others who may be wandering around, wondering where to find things!  Been there, done that.   I still have so much more to learn, as it seems there is a bottomless well of truth in the pages of God's Word!  But I'm finding more and more that the things He is teaching me are helping me to navigate through this life with more victory each day, through Christ.

Psalm 119:1-2 How blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord.  How blessed are those who observe His testimonies, who seek Him with all their heart. 

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