The day was like any typical day. I got up at 5am to spend time in prayer and to settle myself before the rest of my family woke up. Each day I ask God to teach me a lesson, to open my heart and spirit to recognize what He is speaking into my life.
What would you like to teach me today, God? Little did I know the lesson would come from an unexpected place.
I peeked through my patio blinds. As the brilliance of the morning sun slowly filled the sky, my dog woke up. She stretched her long, slender dachshund body, and happily greeted me with licks on my hand. Her eyes filled with anticipation as she watched me put on my Nikes. She instinctively knew it was time for dog walking at sunrise!
As I gathered her harness and leash, she paced anxiously back and forth near the front door.
We trotted down the front porch stairs and so began our morning stroll.
God Speaks Through Everyday Life
My dog and I walked side-by-side for a little while – until she got distracted. In the distance, she spotted another dog across the street. Her body grew tense.
She began to pant, restlessly tugging at the leash that restrained her. Because my dog is deaf, she was oblivious to the roaring pickup truck that quickly approached. The moment she tried to lunge toward the street, I firmly pulled on her leash to regain her focus.
As I snatched her back from the curb, she gave me an evil side-eye, not realizing that I had just saved her life! I laughed to myself as I took a mental note of her cluelessness to the potential danger all around her. As we approached the crosswalk, her steady stride came to a complete halt. She dutifully glanced up at me for direction. After I assured her that the coast was clear, we started our walk again.
Nose to the ground, my dog explored every inch of the neighborhood around her – the grass, fire hydrants, even tree trunks. Our walk slowed as she investigated the tumbleweed of fallen leaves and twigs that blew across our path. Small squirrels fascinated her in the yard in front of us. In that same moment, a runner sprinted past us and took her by surprise. I was amazed at how many things caught her attention in such a short timespan!
As we continued our hike back home, I began to reflect on the day’s adventure with my dog.
The lesson unfolded as we walked and my early morning prayer request was answered.
The Lesson from the Master
“You start out with me in early morning prayer, walking beside me, depending on me for direction. As the day goes on, you get distracted and begin to drift away from me. When you’re so focused on what’s going on around you and the journeys of others, you become restless and dissatisfied with your own life.”
I hear you, God.
It is in these moments when I walk on my own path that I veer off the road God has for me. As I focus on what others are doing, it delays my pursuit and realization of my own goals. Just like my dog, when I take my eyes off my Master, I unknowingly put myself in dangerous positions.
One of those positions is in the seat of comparison.
See, the enemy would like us to believe that God plays favorites and that we are last on His list. Comparing my walk to others causes me to forget the amazing things God is doing in my own life.
Ultimately, I realize my walk with God does not depend on what’s going on in someone else’s life. While I can find inspiration and encouragement in what others are doing, I can also rest assured that God is not in the business of reheating leftover blessings and giving them to me.
As God redirects my path, He saves me from the Spirit of comparison. I rejoice in the comfort of knowing that He is ordering my steps as I focus solely on Him!
So, what’s the play call?
- Don’t get anxious while you are waiting on God. Don’t allow your impatience to cause you to walk into danger. Philippians 4:6
- Humble yourself and allow him to direct your steps. Proverbs 3:5-6
- When you find yourself sidetracked, take your eyes off of people and look to HIM for direction. Hebrews 12:2
He has great plans in store for you!