Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Walk a Straight Line

"We can make our own plans, but the LORD gives the right answer." Proverbs 16:1, NLT

The words practically jumped off the page at me. I had just reviewed the items listed on my calendar for that day and determined that I would not succumb to the temptation of feeling overwhelmed.

But... God might just override our plans anyway? Why bother making them then? Oh, right... because He wants to work with me. Because He gave me the grey matter that fills the space between my ears for a reason. He wants me to use it. He wants me to plan. But He wants me to seek His guidance both through knowledge of the Bible and from advise from trusted and respected people. He wants to work with me to determine my goals and He wants to show me exactly how to get there.

The next night as I settled in for my evening foot rub and cuddle time, my Sweet Man tuned in to MythBusters.  In Walk a Straight Line (Season 9, Episode 15) Adam and Jamie attempted to swim, walk and drive in straight lines while blindfolded. Before they were blindfolded they placed themselves at the starting point and took time to evaluate their surroundings and their target finish mark, their end goal. They were (ahem) highly unsuccessful and confirmed the myth. It is not possible for a human to travel in a straight line while blindfolded.

Kinda sounds like parts of my life.

Later in this episode Adam and Jamie mimicked the effects of walking in the forest in a snowstorm (with limited visibility) by walking with buckets over their heads. Adam (who has no outdoor survival training) made quite the circular trek. Jamie, on the other hand, had the advantage of such training and was able to use it to successfully navigate a straight line through the trees.


"in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:6, NIV

I know where my goal is, but without God I am blindfolded. I do not know the terrain. It is not possible for me to know for certain what obstacles I will encounter. But God knows. So if I take time to seek His guidance, I won't wind up travelling in circles aimlessly. God wants to be my guide. He wants to open my eyes. He wants to show me the way - and usually not much more in advance than one or two steps at a time. (Though there have been times when He has given me glimpses of the big picture.)

So what does this look like in my daily life? How do I apply these lessons so I won't have to learn them again?

It means I work like it all depends on me, but I trust like it all depends on Him. It means I still fill those (extra large) calendar blocks with my list. It means I still review that list. Every. Day. Sometimes several times a day. But it means that I refuse to open the door to panic and anxiety. It means I pray, asking God what HE wants me to do first. It means I only have tabs for email OR my blog OR Facebook open one at a time and when it's time to focus on my family or my home my laptop is closed. No more checking for email or Facebook updates every time I walk past my computer. In most situations, it means I spend my time focused on one task at a time rather than multi-tasking and running around like the proverbial chicken with its head cut off. It means I must measure quality over quantity.

And I'm never sorry when I do it.

How do you successfully navigate your days without feeling overwhelmed?

This post is part of a series Timeless Journey. 


  1. What a great word picture! I know I am feeling overwhelmed right now and I realize some of that is because I am trying to muti-task too much...time to slow down and focus on one thing at a time.

    1. Thanks Jen. I used to be a believer in multi-tasking, but that is changing. Too many things going on at once only increases my stress levels. I have not perfected this art of focus yet, but I'm working on it.

      Praying for you, friend.

  2. It is so difficult to take the time to stop and listen to what God is asking you to do in a day, and even harder sometimes to obey if He is asking you to change your plans! Yet it is so very rewarding when you can succeed.