In Part 1, I discussed how we tend to take a “wait-and -see” approach to tough times, allowing ourselves to victims of circumstance. Yet the best way to get past the challenges we face is to “step into the deep water.” We tend to wait for God to make His move, when in all likelihood He is waiting for us to just get our feet wet.
What are you trying to get to the other side of?
I have become a huge fan of author and emergent church leader Mark Batterson. His books “Wild Goose Chase” and “In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day” continue to inspire me and inform me, in both my life of faith but also my business and life as a professional. “In a Pit with a Lion…” Batterson references a quote from famous psychiatrist Carl Jung saying this about how he helped people:
“Most people came to me with an insurmountable problem. However, what happened was through our work together they discovered something more important than the problem and the problem lost its power and went away.”
I find that amazing. I also find it to be true. My coaching clients tend to “solve” their own problems when I help them refocus their attention to intention. That’s why I tell them, “No one knows your circumstances better than you. Know one knows the right answers better than you. My role is to help you with the right questions.” Sometimes the most valuable service I provide is that I help you recognize how the outcome of your life is determined by your outlook on life. Batterson refraims the issue in this way:
“the circumstances you complain about become chains that imprison you. And worship is the way out.”
And worship is the way out… How does that work?
As Christians, don’t we say that we follow Christ and that he is in charge of the direction of our lives? Sure, but when we don’t like the direction He seems to be directing us, we ask God to change our circumstances, right? Yet, very often, God is behind the very circumstances we find undesirable. “Worshiping our way out” is shifting our focus from what’s wrong with our circumstances to what’s right with God. Batterson likens it to hitting the refresh key on your computer. “It recalibrates your spirit. It renews your mind.”
It’s not easy praising God when nothing seems to be going right, I know. I tend to pray that He “make things right” when He already has made things right for what He has planned for me. He’s helping me with the right questions. But things sure don’t seem right. I want to measure God’s love by my current circumstances. That leads me to doubt God in bad times, even to doubt God’s existence, let alone His everlasting love.
What if your praise for God wasn’t so circumstantial? What if you mixed things up a bit, instead of thanking God for the circumstances you appreciate and begging Him to correct those you cannot appreciate, what if you praised Him throughout – knowing that He IS in charge of your direction?