I recently experienced a “God moment” while starting a new entry in my journal. I wrote the date at the top of the page like I always do, but this time I paused because it felt… different. It felt significant. Do you know that feeling when God is trying to get your attention? I wrote the date, and I saw the blank page and rather than diving into the normal writing routine I just stopped and waited. Here was just a page with a date on it. Nothing else was written. I felt a powerful feeling of expectancy and purpose.
My day – the events, the conversations, decisions, meetings – it was just beginning that morning. Scripture tells us that all of our days are written in God’s book before we are even formed in the womb (Ps 139). God lives outside of our linear time, he sees the end from the beginning and knows everything that will ever happen – every decision we will ever make, every event that has happened and will ever happen in every day of our lives – Yet here was a blank page and today’s date and it felt like an INVITATION. An invitation to be present, to be watchful, and to take an active role in the writing of this page in the book.
I did not realize until this particular morning how much of my journal is conversing with God about the past or the future. The last few years have been an intense season of healing and restoration for me personally and that often means letting God take me back through the past. This is also a time of transition so I am looking to the future in several areas of my life. Those are good things. But how much of my thought process and focus is on the past or the future, at the expense of today? Entirely too much. While it is God-ordained to heal from the past and to prepare for the future I feel like he is saying the majority of our focus should be on TODAY. THIS is the day that the Lord has made.
Most of us, myself included, lead busy lives. We work, we have family commitments, social and church commitments, all good things. On any given day how much of your time is already predetermined? Work and sleep alone can account for two-thirds of every day. If I am not careful, I can get into a zone and just put my head down and power through the week and miss opportunities to be a light to those around me. The page is blank. Even though we have commitments, there is a lot of opportunity. This is where I felt the most excitement because being watchful involves other people. God’s kingdom is people, it is personal, it is relationship. Let us be watchful and mindful of ways that God might want to use us to be a blessing to others and be vessels of his love and his deliberate and tender care, even in the midst of our daily routines. Living with your eyes and ears open and with anticipation will breathe new life into each day.
God is shifting my perspective on some things. None of us knows all, sees all, understands all. We are the product of our experiences, instruction and upbringing for the most part. But God in his grace and wisdom has seen fit to take his children, each of us, on a personal journey from the moment we said “I do” to Jesus. And this journey of change and growth has become a treasured thing to me. One subtle yet significant shift of mine (in progress) relates to God’s role and my role together in determining the future outcomes of my life, even in ministry. I was taught to defer to God in all things, which I have tried to do always. Submit to him, stay humble, his ways are higher, he has a plan and a purpose, etc. Proverbs tells us to not lean on our own understanding but acknowledge him and he will direct our paths. Which is all true. But I am starting to see that God does not just want an army of robots, he wants relationship and collaboration on some level. This has been mind-blowing to me. I once got a picture in my mind’s eye of me and the Lord under a tent out in a grassy plain like the Serengeti, and we were pouring over maps together and he asked ME where I’d like to go next. That little vision torpedoed all my notions about how this relationship worked. I take the orders. I do as he says. He doesn’t ask me what I want to do. Or does he, from time to time? I believe there is an invitation to actively engage our own God-given desires and ambitions and together WITH him build his kingdom.
I never finished that morning’s journal entry. I only wrote the date and went out from there, full of expectancy and purpose. Each day we wake up to a blank page. There is a story waiting to be written, another journal entry in God’s book of your life. Yes, he knows the outcome already, but to get there we need to say YES to today and tackle this day with eyes and ears wide open. What has God placed in your hands TODAY? What are you stewarding TODAY? What is on your heart and mind to do or say TODAY? God will meet you where you are planted TODAY, and if you will engage with him that momentum will carry you forward. We are soon ready to start a new chapter in 2021, how that looks at the end will be determined by how you wrote each TODAY until then. Maybe you wasted more than a few yesterdays, I know I did. New mercies are waiting for us every morning, so start again. Write today’s date on your heart and go forth anticipating God’s intervention and partnership, you have a blank page waiting to be written!
Blessings on your journey, Michael Kurtz