“No dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.” -Philippians 3:13
Edisto Beach is a place that our family loves dearly. We have built thin peaked drip castles by the hundreds, combed the beach for shark’s teeth until the back of our necks cramped, and had crabs enthusiastically grab onto stinky chicken necks time and time again just before their captor quickly scooped them up. One of the funniest snapshots of my mind is a time when we were going to an inlet to dig clams and seine for fish and shrimp. We were all doing our thing when my youngest son let out a scream that would curl your toes! I honestly had never heard anything like it!
He was about 3 years old and had sunken into an area of soft, stinky pluff mud. Needless to say, when we got to him he was thigh deep and the more he struggled to get out the more he sank. I guess he thought the mud was eating him! This child who had up to that point in his life been totally fearless was for the first time rendered helpless and at the mercy of pluff mud! After Greg realized our son was not dying (as his bellow insinuated) he jumped into the pit and gently pulled him out. Then, as all good moms do, I pulled out the camera and took a picture of him covered from head to toe in thick, black, slimy mud! You know the kind of picture where you can only see the whites of the person’s eyes! It’s a moment I hope to never forget, one that moved from fear to pure childlike belly laughter! The memory still to this day makes me laugh inside.
I heard something on the radio last week that really brought this memory to life again but this time as a lesson God was hoping I could finally learn. The words have been playing in my mind ever since.
The idea went something like this:
I’ve moved into a new season of life. This season is meant to be ( your situation here ). As difficult as moving into ( your situation here ) has been to adjust to and as difficult as it will continue to be at times, I must take the memories that are and will always be locked in my heart as they are. I must allow God to help me make new memories, experience new adventures, make new friends, and live in new places in my heart. This IS my season…there’s no going back. I can accept it or I can keep my feet stuck in the muck of focusing on old memories. I chose, with God’s help, to move into my new season with joy and excitement for the adventures that lie ahead!
Brendan could have continued to scream and wrestle with the pluff mud but all he would have accomplished would have been to sink deeper. When he realized his dad was running to his rescue and would soon have him back on solid ground, he gave up the fight and let the rescue happen. Refusing to give up the fight and accept our “season” as part of the overall plan can render us deeper in the mud too. I’ve watched loved ones neck high in it and I’ve fought the suffocating fight myself. It’s a difficult place to be. So today I’ll be praying for all of us who need to give up the fight to let our Father rescue us, and in the process for us to find joy in the season we are in! Whether our season is a desperate health issue, a divorce, or even an empty nest, OUR FATHER is certainly standing by ready to pull us out…and take the picture! He has a sense of humor too, you know! I hope you have a great day and that it’s marked by smiles, humor and a possible rescue of your own if need be!
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