As I’m growing older, I hope I’m growing wiser. As I’m losing speed, mental sharpness, physical strength, and memory, I’m gaining greater awareness of God’s presence, power, and purpose. I’m also becoming more people and trauma informed. I’m discovering what impacts and changes people and relationships. Although I’m incredibly ADHD, I’m becoming increasingly attentive to what motivates people and what causes us to move forward or to shrink back into our comfort zones and addictions.
I used to be driven by fear and anxiety. Pleasure. Performance. People-pleasing. Sports. Because I feared depending on people, being let down, or hurt again, I became increasingly independent. It was a lot easier to do it myself, not really. Life is so much harder when you go it alone. But when you do trust people, you will be blessed and connected, as well as hurt and disappointed.
We all have people in our lives who rub us the wrong way. Presidents. Pastors. Parents. Teachers. Students. Bosses. Coworkers. Spouses. Kids. Relatives. Neighbors. But getting rid of the people who bother us doesn’t really solve the problem. Why? Because the more I get rid of the annoying people in my life, the more people will get rid of me when I annoy them. Our decisions to trust or mistrust, forgive or build a case against someone, build up or tear down, move forward with people or sever the relationship, ask for help or go it alone set in motion patterns that become lifestyles. Our decisions result in greater connectedness or increasing loneliness.
As I inspect my life, my boundaries, my decisions, my relationships, and my heart, I see patterns. I give more than I ask for help. I’m motivated by God’s love. I invest in and journey with people until they find greater freedom through Christ to be and live by God’s design. I live outside the box. I’m a misfit. I creatively teach, counsel, and influence people by inviting them into heartfelt conversations about what matters most: loving God and loving people and not holding anything back. My passion is for developing relationships, people, tools, and community. I’m an advisor and a calculated risk-taker. But I’m learning to live more by faith.
Today, as the Holy Spirit was sharpening my life through Exodus 18-20, I became increasingly aware that I need to ask God and people for help. I’m only to go to the people and places where God calls me. I must set and enforce boundaries with myself and with the people around me. Although people around me may grumble and complain, I’m called to stay focused and positive. I must keep moving forward. And I’m called to teach God’s Words and God’s ways to people who have been in bondage and slavery. Slavery to addictions, perfection, power, performance, pride, pleasure, greed, passions, more, food, work, sports, movies, technology, selfishness, anxiety, comfort zone management, entertaining, and the list goes on and on…
As you grow awareness, be careful you don’t become distracted by what’s wrong. It’s everywhere. Instead, ask the Holy Spirit to help you be aware and tuned into what He’s doing in and between the lives of His people. Ask Him when and where to get involved. Listen and lean into your calling. Say yes to only the things He’s calling you to say and do. Say no to everyone and everything else. Enjoy the people around you. And enjoying being you. Let God refine and refresh you through Scripture, people, and life’s experiences. And live with a grateful heart. Because every day is thanksgiving time, even when you’re the turkey someone is trying to eliminate or eat for their next meal.