I’m from Michigan, a small town where people move slow. The culture is not in a hurry to catch up with the rest of the world. In fact, it’s an oasis of fresh water lakes and forest trails. Something my parents always did when I was growing up was go for long drives. We’d get lost down winding roads deep in the trees just for the heck of it. Sometimes we’d just drive around town and admire the antique architecture that painted our town so beautifully it belonged on a postcard. When we were in town, I always preferred to take long walks. Driving was great but it just ended too fast, there wasn’t enough time to feel what I was seeing and that made a big difference to me. Being under the tree-lined neighborhoods, and seeing how the sunlight fell between the branches and warmed my face, seeing the uneven cracks in the sidewalk, all of it was an experience to be had and I didn’t want to miss out.
If you have been walking with God any length of time, I’m sure you have heard the acronym PUSH: Pray Until Something Happens. This is a great acronym. It reminds us to persevere in our prayer and to be consistent in our devotion in waiting for whatever it is to be answered. All of this is key to growing in our prayer life, but there can be one little problem with this, recognition.
How many times have you been preparing dinner, and while waiting for a stove timer to go off you get so caught up in This Is Us you didn’t even notice that the timer already beeped? Or maybe you’re on at the grocery store focused on getting what you need and getting out of there that you don’t hear a friend from church calling out your name? I know I’m guilty of both of these things.
My point is, if you haven’t guessed by now, we can be so focused on the “happening” that we don’t see what God is doing in our lives along the way. When we fail to recognize what God is doing along the way we can get anxious, saddened, impatient, or sometimes even a hardened heart towards Him. There have been countless times in my life, I have prayed for something and earnestly wanted it in my heart so much I pined over it for years and as I prayed God changed my heart along the way and when I finally got what I prayed for it looked completely different than I thought it would. It was always much better than I expected it to be, but it was also so much different. God had to change me before he could give me what I had asked for because had I not changed, my situation wouldn’t have either. So my point is, make sure you slow down sometimes and through your perseverance look at what’s around you. See the beauty in the struggle and current situation. Look into your heart and see how God is already changing answering your prayer through a changed ‘self’. Don’t discredit the journey on the road to greatness.