Some of the best advice I've ever received is, when things get weird or scary, go back to the place where your footing seemed secure and work from there to discover what happened. It's pure genius really. Life doesn't often get messed up in one big tornado. A bunch of little things happen and we're not okay anymore.
Confusion and frustration are my go to emotions and the beginning of things spinning out of control. I start to be more carefree with my spiritual practices. I read the Bible, but I stop absorbing it. I say prayers, but I stop listening. I begin this weird dance with the Lord where I beg him to speak and then doubt or avoid what he's saying. It's crazy and I never recognize it until I'm smack in the middle of a mess.
Advent is a great time to take a spiritual inventory and I've been doing just that. Asking myself the hard questions. Why am I running from some things? What's working? What isn't? When was the last time I was in a great God place? What did that look like? What changes need to be made to get back there?
In yoga last week, we were doing backbends, bridges, and fish poses. The instructor said, "How do you feel?" Uncomfortable! "That's because you love productivity and accomplishment. The secret to moving forward is appreciating backward motion in moderation." Sure enough, a few downward dogs and forward bends later, I was feeling more balanced.
We look back to know where we came from and fall on God's faithfulness. We take what's working and carry it with us. We leave, by God's grace, what we need to let go. We press on, straight ahead with focused determination.
And the occasional peek in the rearview mirror.