cried out wimpered to God on my drive to one of our workshop schools. I longed to read God’s Word, but I had not made the time yet that day. My drive time prayer went something like:
I praise you. You have the answers and you know I am struggling. I’m fighting feelings of being left out or not being picked. Why did they choose someone else over me? Why do I care? And why am I wasting the mind space to think about this? I know if I had read your Word today that peace would fill me and keep me moving forward. I don’t want to battle negativity. I don’t want to hurt like this. Show me what I need to know in order to let this minor pain go. Amen
Then I thought about the kind cards and words I received the previous week from people offering sweet birthday wishes. I thought about how people seem to think I’m a positive person and usually smiling. Yeah, well I’m still plagued with being human. We all have areas to overcome. I don’t want to be phony. The best compliment is when I hear someone say “you’re authentic”. And let me tell you, I can be authentically a mess as well as someone who has it together. Continuous improvement and staying upbeat are goals of mine, but this day I felt kinda low.
Then God provided an illustration.
What is that horrible noise? I thought my tire may have gone flat. I slowed down and stopped. Getting out of the van I saw part of the problem. I had run over orange cones in the school parking lot. Now my van was dragging them. I pulled out a couple cones and returned them to their proper spot. Lord, did anyone see me?
Embarrassed and back in the van, I continued to drive. Then the noise came back. What?! I stopped again. And again. Another cone was wedged under the van and was not coming out unless I crawled underneath on the wet, dirty pavement. My work day was not done so I didn’t want to get dirty.
I drove some more. I considered driving over bumps and dips in the road to encourage the cone to come out.
I felt like God was saying: See. Carrying around hurt and pain is like dragging orange cones. They cause you to have to stop and start a lot.
Then the cone fell out. My time wasted dragging orange cones was over. I raised an eyebrow toward heaven and considered how that experience was a perfect illustration of how we drag negativity around with us.
God will take care of the orange cones. I don’t need to drag those painful feelings with me. Negativity will only slow me down.
Today I will read God’s word earlier in the day and dwell on verses that fill me with comfort and joy.
If you are carrying around orange cones, here are a couple helpful verses. God bless you. May you be encouraged.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9
When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul. Psalm 94:19