Growing up, I found myself hanging with friends in the neighborhood that were a couple of years older than me. The age difference wasn’t really felt though… until my friends started going to high school and driving, while I was still in middle school.
They were so cool! They could drive, go out with friends, stay out later, and all kinds of things that middle school me thought were amazing. Then, I reached high school, and it wasn’t quite as cool as it once seemed. I was longing for the next stage—life after high school.
Being an adult is pretty much the same. We section up life into different stages so that we’re able to check one off when we move into the next:
- Graduate high school
- Graduate college
- Find a career
- Get married
- Make money, buy things, have kids, win at life, etc.
Unfortunately, all we end up doing is chasing after the next step. When we’re single, we can’t wait to be with someone. When we’re in school, we can’t wait to be out. When we buy a house, we can’t wait to get a bigger one.
Maybe you don’t know what your next step is. Maybe you’ve spent some time thinking and praying about what’s next for your life, and you don’t have an obvious answer yet.
Have you ever considered that the answer may be to be still for a time?
I know it sounds crazy. I know it sounds unproductive and ineffective. But God honors our “stillness.”
“Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” Psalm 46:10
Sometimes we get so caught up in the doing and the being that we forget to take time to stand still and be in awe of God. So here’s how we can use these moments to move forward:
1. Get your goals in check
In the doing, we can get caught up in activity and stray off course from our original intent. What was once well-meaning has become a burden or maybe just changed our focus. Ask yourself, “Am I taking steps closer to Jesus, or steps closer to my own desires?” Take inventory of what you’ve been doing.
2. Ask a lot of questions
Just like in any other relationship, communication is essential in your relationship with Jesus. Ask questions about your current circumstances and search His Word for wisdom in knowing what to do. You may not get a direct answer, but God does give us all the answers we need.
3. Take time to listen
The Bible tells us that Jesus wants us to rest. Without rest, there is just too much that is going on around us that it may be lessening or canceling out God in your life. We were designed to rest, and it gives us life when we do so.
4. Obey God
Listening to what God says is one thing, but putting it into action is another. After you’ve prayed, asked, and listened, you have to be willing to do what God tells you.
When we want to be in another stage or on a different next step, standing still is hard, but that’s why we have to take the best next step—even if that means standing still and learning from this current stage.
Whether he is drinking coffee or coming up with new ideas, Mitch is always looking for new ways TFI can grow. He is very involved at his church, Compass Church, and has led in both creative and pastoral ministries over the last several years. He and his wife Becky were married in April of 2018, and together they enjoy camping, live music, black coffee, and good books.
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