It was only after I had heard and understood the message of God's grace that my life started to change. It was only after I understood that God's love for me is unchanging that I gave myself freedom to relax and enjoy life. I no longer felt the need to try to earn God's love and attention because I now knew that it was mine simply because I'm his daughter.
When I wrote this post, I was sitting on the back porch of Harbor House, a bed and breakfast in Georgetown, South Carolina, which is situated on the Sampit River. As I sat on the swing, I watched the movement of the Sampit River as it flowed past the yard. The fishing boats were docked and ready to head out to sea. The sea gulls were flying overhead as the wind blew causing the colonial flag to wave gently in its breeze. As I sat on the porch swing, I could hear the soft gurgle of the fountain that was just a few feet away.
Life was peaceful and, as I relaxed in the beauty of his creation, God's presence was more real in a way it had never been in all of the hectic activity that I used to be caught up in. Learning to relax is a freedom that I've come to enjoy. Sitting in his presence aware of the sights and sounds that surround me is a special gift that I've come to appreciate and enjoy.
At one time, I would have thought that sitting quietly and relaxing was a waste of time. I felt that I always needed to be busy doing something for God. I used to divide my life into two separate compartments - the spiritual and the natural - with the natural part of my life being inferior to the spiritual. However, as I've come to know how God has created me, I've come to understand that I'm a spiritual being so whatever I do is spiritual. Now that I understand and am living in that reality, my life is coming into greater wholeness.
Of course, that doesn't mean that I'm free to sin all I want. That's foolish. God hates sin and so should we. However, it does mean that I'm now free to join him in whatever he's doing at the moment. Since my days are no longer filled with hectic activity, I'm now able to hear the quiet gentle nudges of my heart as God shows me where and with whom he wants me to be involved in that moment. At times, it may be listening to someone share their story and encouraging them as they struggle through the brokenness of their life. At other times, it might be heading off to Lowe's with my husband when I'd much rather stay home and do something "spiritual." As I've given myself freedom to relax, I'm more peaceful and what I do is now more effective because I'm doing what I know God wants done in that moment rather than following my own hectic plans.
Monday was my birthday and I'm now 64. Recently, I was speaking to a friend about getting older and she said that we're at the age where we no longer want to waste time. Instead, we want to make every minute count. Looking back, I feel like I've wasted a lot of time that I'll never be able to recover.
Today, my life may seem wasteful to others who are still caught up in a frenzy of activity. However, I'm learning that it's okay to relax and I've decided that this is the only way I want to live. Now, I'm free to be like the wind, free to blow wherever I choose and to change direction as needed.