Nashville experienced a rare fall weather day in the middle of winter last weekend, so my husband and I had lunch on the lake. We spent time reading and soaking up vitamin D. I chose an old, unread book that had been collecting dust on various shelves for 15+ years. I’d finally finished all the others I was juggling, so it seemed like as good of a time as any to start.
“I once listened to an Indian on television say that God was in the wind and the water, and I wondered at how beautiful that was because it meant that you could swim in Him or have Him brush your face in a breeze.”
–Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz
What a treat to read this quote as the sun played hide-and-seek behind the tree line, the water gently rocked us along, and the wind occasionally jumped up to kiss our cheeks.
The way Donald Miller writes, his “non-religious thoughts on Christian spirituality” read somewhat like poetry. His words draw my focus inward and remind me of my own story.
Full disclosure (even though I realize this doesn’t hold the best connotations these days): I grew up in a Southern Baptist church.
In another story for another day, I can detail the detour in my spiritual life from middle school to high school. I can trace the spirals from high school to college. And if we’re really putting pen to paper, most days in my early adulthood would look like a flat line with the occasional faint heartbeat.
But over the course of the past year, I’ve felt a seismic shift.
Sometime after learning about El Roi and El Shâma, this became truth for me. And if I really am being heard, then you better believe I’m laying it all out there.
For the past week, I’ve been questioning dreams and calling. I hear stories of friends climbing ladders, I watch people making a real difference… and then I look at myself. Comparison never ends well, I know, but common sense doesn’t seem to satisfy my desire to be doing what I was created to do.
Yesterday, I threw an honest hissy-fit with God. Thinking back to toddler Amanda, I bet my mom knows just the one. But this time as a 38-year old woman, venting about aspects of my job, but mostly circling in desperation around what’s next? Feeling a little brazen when I was done, I threw down a challenge: If you really are the God who HEARS me, won’t you give me some guidance?
Shaking off my frustration and taking a deep breath, I resolved to go about my day. I opened 100 Days to Brave and laughed to myself at the timeliness of Annie’s words of Day 36.
“So, what should you do today? Do what’s right in front of you. Do your best today, in whatever spot or position you’re in. That will take you to the next piece. If you want to enjoy the fruit of your calling, put in the hard work where you are today. Work in pieces.”
–Annie Downs, 100 Days to Brave
Four hours later, I heard nearly the same thing. I had to stop the podcast I was listening to, rewind a bit, and jot down this quote:
“Slow & steady wins the race. Just do the small thing in front of you today, and do it well.”
–Jamie B. Golden & Knox McCoy
I think I have my answer, for the meantime, anyway: Do the thing.
One foot in front of the other.