There is a place I like to travel. The first leg of the journey is sort of fun. It seems exciting. And it gets my blood pumping. It makes me feel better in the beginning because I never travel alone. In order to take this trip, I must convince someone to come along with me. Often times, I will have two or three travelers and we will take turns discussing all that we see.
It begins by packing the necessary supplies. A little injustice goes in the luggage first. Someone who has mistreated, taken advantage of, or manipulated me in some way becomes the primary target of the trip. We “rake them over the coals,” then “sift them like wheat,” and if there is anything left we may “preach their funeral.” It all seems somewhat safe at the time, because, as one of my friends jokes, “It’s okay to judge other people if you are right!”
It happened again this week. I wasn’t planning to travel, but I also wasn’t planning to be interrupted, inconvenienced and then imposed upon. So, I set my sights on another trip…around The Mountain.
You can read in the Old Testament Book of Exodus about Moses leading the Israelites around a mountain as they trekked through the desert on their way to the Promised Land. When I hear that story, I always seem to paint myself into that picture with Moses and his wandering tribe as the one who would surely have known better than to turn an eleven day trip into a 40 year fiasco.
We start with what the person did, what they said and how they were wrong. Then we move on to how we feel, what they should have done or what they should have said. And the further we travel, the angrier we become, the more justified we feel with our multitude of words.
But eventually, what some might call a conscience and others might recognize as the Holy Spirit starts to make me feel a little sick inside. I forge forward more determined than ever to “beat this dead horse” before I have to accept it and move on. I try to let go of the part of this trip that “no longer serves me”, but I keep on track until bedtime.
I get up the next day still burdened by the weight of leftover luggage. And then I convince another person to help me unpack a little more. But by mid-morning, there seems to be a transformation underway as my heart starts to soften, and I realize with a familiarity of sadness what I have done, AGAIN! It brings tears to my eyes as I finally admit I have been down around this judgmental, critical, condemning, gossiping, slandering mountain one too many times.
I want to take the next exit ramp. I want to find the road less travelled. I ask God to help lead me off this WILDERNESS TRAIL! I ask for forgiveness, again, for enticing others to come along with me on this miserable journey.
I can’t change what happened, what was said or what was done. But I feel certain this is no longer a place I want to travel.
Psalm 19:14 NASB
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock, and my Redeemer.”
“You can tell you’ve created God in your own image
when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.”
We are escaping for a little Spring Break renewal.
A much-needed time of refreshing.
If you need a getaway but can’t seem to find the time,
I highly recommend Even God Rested by author Kim Thomas
I try to read it a couple of times a year as a reminder,
and a permission slip,
for the people pleasing person that I am, to take time for rest.
It’s available on Amazon.