“I can’t breathe.”
Now there’s an imminent threat to your purpose, your success, your total reason for being.
At first, you thought “it” was good to you and for you; it was fun, it felt good, was harmless, or rightfully justified. For some of us, we knew good and well from the start it wasn’t any of those things, but we stubbornly did it, said it, or lived it anyway.
Now look at us. We’re choking on that very thing, wishing we had let it go a long time ago. It has now lodged itself deeper into our spirit, our personality than we ever imagined, and now this foreign thought, behavior, or habit obstructs the airflow that sustains our purpose.
Oh, but God! Wise enough to know that a soft-spoken word or a gentle caress won’t trigger the change we need. He’s loving enough to know it’s time for a God Heimlich to jar, dislodge, expel the dangerous “it” that’s blocking our destiny.
What Caused You to Choke On Life?
Before the jarring begins, let’s take a look at how we got here:
1. Living too fast.
We often think life in the fast lane is a fun ride. Isn’t this what social media sells us? But while the pedal is to the metal, we can easily pick up bad habits, mindsets, and beliefs that are unhealthy and contrary to God’s plan for our lives. Left unchecked, these stowaways can distract or totally obstruct our purpose and goals, and bring us a ton of unnecessary grief.
2. Biting off more than we can chew.
Like #1, we want life to come too fast. One thorn in our flesh is that we don’t value process, learning, or earning our way. We want it ALL, right now! So, we “bite off” more than we’re mature enough to handle. Instead of living as Team Jesus, we defect to Team Doing Too Much, and resort to negative behaviors to force and control our version of progress — and choke!
3. Eating off another’s plate.
Did your Shepherd promise to prepare a table before you? Then, why are you eating off the plate He prepared for someone else? God is a loving Father, who knows the diet, allergies, and capacity of all His children. We have no idea the training, tolerance, losses, or lessons of another teammate that qualified him/her to eat what’s happening in their life. What God has prepared for you will be just as delicious and beautiful, in due season, and it won’t make you sick.
4. Unaware of Self and Others.
What’s got our attention? Are we doing too much at one time (#2)? Are we running around half-naked, missing vital pieces of the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18)?
When we don’t take the time to build an awareness of Self – who we are created to be, what we believe, what our boundaries are, what benefits us versus what doesn’t – we’ll find ourselves off track of God’s designed purpose for our lives. Now, our wheels are stuck in things and people who are just as far from our purpose as we are – uh oh.
What we really need fast and in a hurry is – Help!
What Does a God Heimlich Look Like?
Can we be honest, Team? The Heimlich maneuver looks awkward, painful, almost violent. And, it’s definitely not a cute look… I mean, who wants to spit food across the room?
Umm… that would be the person who cares more about living than appearances or the opinions of others!
And, if we all keep living, there will come a time when we don’t care about our pride or what it takes — we just want to get it right, be free, save our lives from the point of no return.
That Time When…
One of my earliest, scariest (and now funniest) God Heimlichs happened when I ran away from home at age 8. Oh was I feeling myself! I didn’t want to listen to nor appreciate my Mama, I was fed up, and I wasn’t going to put up with “her” anymore (smh). So, instead of self-correcting that ungrateful, disobedient mindset and getting my act together:
I got all the way to the neighborhood park, and was chased all the way back home by two dobermans, that is, after running into a sticker bush first!
Yep, it hurt lol – body and pride – but not forever. I survived and went right back home with a new appreciation for my life and my Mom. Sometimes Goodness and Mercy does more than FOLLOW you – they will chase you home LOL!
And that, Teammates, is a God Heimlich! A life event that jars you back to reality, smacks you or throws water in your face to wake you up to change – since many times we’re unable or refuse to change on our own.
Yes, God Heimlichs can be embarrassing, painful, hard to live through, take a long time – BUT, once that “it” is expelled from your life, you’ll breathe and breeze through life much easier and happier! You’ll be healed, free, restored, matured, and realigned with God’s plan for you.
So, what’s the play call?
Be patient through the process. Take it like a good teammate. Trust me, your God Heimlich didn’t come to kill you, it came to save you.
What’s one of your most memorable God Heimlichs?