Guest post by: Angel Downer
Traffic is heavy this morning on my commute in to work. Cars are merging into a gridlocked lane blocking the lane they are merging from (which happens to be the one I am in). I left the house early with a long list of to-dos on my mind and now I am running late. The brake lights beam and I slam my free hand on the steering wheel for the third time. This is day number two that I have forgotten my travel mug at work. I sip my now lukewarm coffee from a regular coffee cup too large to fit into my cup holder.
I pull into the first space I can spot and reach my desk at 8:01A.M. The tasks pile in before I have time to get a much-desired second jolt. As I go through the day-to-day routine, I lose patience with the work. My voice is raised. My frustrations are verbalized in front of the team I lead.
My husband texts me that he is late for his shift; worry creeps into my already stressed spirit. The thought of either of us losing our jobs fills me with fear. I find myself annoyed. I want to nag him. Then I feel it. Conviction.
Once upon a time, there was no traffic because there was no car. There was no lukewarm coffee to drink because there was no money for coffee, because I had no job. Support from a husband was a fairy-tale. There was not a house to leave early from; in fact, there was no home at all. My day-to-day routine was spent simply trying to survive.
Why do I always forget in a moment who I used to be? Why do I expect more from others than I do from myself? Forgive me Father. How easily I forget the ways that You have changed me. You are the only one worthy of my praise. Your name has value to me
The atmosphere is shifting. The truth is I can never be grateful enough for the life I get to live every day and the people I get to do life with. The truth is I am proud of my husband every day for the way he provides sacrificially for our family. The truth is I am honored to lead a team of talented individuals and I desire to create a work environment that is fun and positive
The atmosphere of my present reality can shift when I acknowledge the truths that already exist in my life.
During this busy season of my life, I am thankful for this truth: God does not want me to do anything for Him. Sounds strange doesn’t it? Isaiah 64:6 says:
“All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.”
With life pulling me in so many different directions to do so many different things, this is a difficult concept to grasp, but if I can apply this truth in my life, it has the capacity to change everything for me. My job pulls me to work late. My family pulls me to leave early. My friends pull me to get away from family and work to hang out with them. When I attempt do it all to please everyone I’m pulled apart.
God is speaking into my life that He did not save me to add to my to-do list.
He does not want me to do anything to try to earn my way into His good graces. No amount of good I can do will ever be enough to earn my ticket to Heaven. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says:
“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
Our righteousness is not enough! Instead I get to live my life based on what God has already done. It was finished at the cross. There is freedom in this. There is joy in this.
When life is busy, when the calendars are full and our schedules seem to never include a moment of peace, remember the blessings behind it all. There is a blessing behind the traffic, a blessing behind the chores, and a blessing behind the cries of your children or the complaints of your employees. Acknowledge with gratitude the blessings in your life and God will use you in everything you do every day. When you acknowledge God, the atmosphere will shift.
The atmosphere of your world will shift from frustration to joy, from complaints to peace, from stress to trust, from never enough to overflow, from shame to acceptance and from chaos to rest…
God did not send his son to save your death. Our life’s purpose is not to get to heaven. There was never a cosmic checklist in mind when he created and numbered each hair on your head. He created you to be, not to do. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says:
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you1 do, do it all for the glory of God.”
God sent his son to save your life. Your purpose is to glorify God. He loves you not for what you do but for who you are in Him. When you kiss your child’s booboo for the ninth time, it is God’s love through you embracing your child. When you work diligently and without recognition at your job, it is God working through you to be a light to your coworkers. When you are patient on the road, it is God’s grace reflecting from you.
Busyness without purpose has an atmosphere. It drains you and it drains those around you. When your atmosphere shifts, it has the potential to change not just your world, but your husband’s, your neighbor’s, your boss’s, your kid’s, your kid’s friends. To shift your atmosphere, first acknowledge the blessings in your life, then acknowledge the person you are because of God, and then acknowledge the purpose God has called you to—reaching every life you come across for God’s glory.
About the Author:
Angel Downer is the wife of Johnathan Downer of Johnathan Downer Photography and a full-time working mom of two. She is a team leader of the Kennesaw preschool room at Freedom Church (freedomchurch.tv) and has been writing poetry, short stories and inspirational blogs since the age of twelve.