I’ve shared with you that I’ve been taking a little break. A mental vacation of sorts from any and all optional obligation. The beginning of the year through May was crazy busy with different teaching opportunities and at the time, I kept telling myself if I could just make it until summer that I wouldn’t read anything but my daily devos, Beth’s Esther study, and maybe some good fiction during the kids’ summer vacation.  The thoughts of mindless days beside the pool with nary a deadline in sight were what kept me going. It’s not that I didn’t love what I was doing – I just got a little overwhelmed and a lot scared about the pace. My sufficiency issues run deep and I’m also prone to be one who – when a thing seems to be snowballing out of control – will slam the brakes altogether in hopes of a do over. I thought coming to a screeching halt would set things aright.

That hasn’t worked out for me so much.

I’m not trying to be dramatic and there is certainly nothing wrong with me other than I’ve discovered I’m a little heartsick. When I began asking the Lord to show me why exactly, He brought to remembrance this passage in Pilgrim’s Progress when Christian is climbing Difficulty Hill and sits down to rest in the Arbor but falls into a long sleep instead. When he continues on his journey, he doesn’t realize for quite some time that he has left his Scroll (The Word) behind. He is greatly distressed when he has to backtrack to locate it. Here’s what happens next:

“He went thus till he came again in sight of the Arbor where he sat and slept; but that sight renewed his sorrow the more, by bringing again, even afresh, his evil of sleeping unto his mind. {Rev. 2:4; 1 Thess. 5:6-8.} Thus, therefore, he now went on, bewailing his sinful sleep, saying, O wretched man that I am, that I should sleep in the daytime! that I should sleep in the midst of Difficulty! that I should so indulge the flesh as to use that rest for ease to my flesh which the Lord of the hill hath erected only for the relief of the spirits of pilgrims! How many steps have I taken in vain! Thus it happened to Israel; for their sin they were sent back again by the way of the Red Sea; and I am made to tread those steps with sorrow, which I might have trod with delight, had it not been for this sinful sleep. How far might I have been on my way by this time! I am made to tread those steps thrice over, which I needed not to have trod but once: yea, now also I am like to be benighted, for the day is almost spent. O that I had not slept!”

I think I’ve told you in the past my favorite devo book is called Daily Light for the Daily Path. Each day has a morning and evening reading of topical scripture strung one after another. Such a wonderful book and it never fails the topic that comes up is dead on. So, as if reading this part of Pilgrim was not enough, my devos for the last three days have been all over being watchful, being awake, being alert for the time that the master will return. Of not being lazy. Of not growing weary in well-doing.

Okay, Lord. I think I get the point. I love you for remembering I am dust and being willing to send the quadruple affirmations I so need.  Thank you for missing me enough to call me back to deep study.  Thank you for commentaries and key word study bibles and blueletterbible.org.  I’ve missed you all so.

I never cease to be blown away by my God, but He put a thought on my mind that I can’t quite get rid of and I wonder if it applies to any of you girls, too. “Lisa, your calling isn’t in the walk. It’s in the run.” And that’s when it hit me. He knows me. He knows I thrive in chaos. He knows when I’m busiest and most obligated, I am happiest and most productive. The long sleep may be what my flesh craves, but my individual Spirit was created to ‘go nimbly’ up Difficulty Hill. That may seem like no big deal to you, but that little piece of self-revelation was just what I needed to wake me from the slumber of the seemingly delightful yet deceptive Arbor.

“But who can tell how joyful this man was when he had gotten his roll again?” I can tell because in some small measure, I’m feeling it with him. There’s no time for grieving lost days or thinking how much farther down the road I would be had I not slept. Today, the smile on my face comes from knowing there is a God in Heaven who has asked me to participate in what He is doing in the lives of people here on earth.

And He doesn’t mind pushing me out of bed to get me rolling again.

“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” ~ Ephesians 5:15-16