How to Stay the Course

I’m not an outdoorsman by any means. I’ve been camping in the Smokey Mountains, but it’s not my world at all. I could easily get lost or stuck in the elements unprepared. I married a Colorado cowboy-a real rodeo cowboy. So, I’ve learned a few things about being prepared, planning ahead, and the correct way to eat a steak. All of these are important and offer us a spiritual lesson as well! These are some ways to stay on course spiritually, find your way back when you’ve wandered too far, or keep from getting lost altogether.

Be Prepared

I am a 51-year-old with ADD. I have nineteen alarms on my phone to help me stay organized.  Staying organized goes against my nature. 

“Let your eyes look directly ahead
And let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you.
Watch the path of your feet,
And all your ways will be established.
Do not turn to the right or to the left;
Turn your foot from evil.”

Proverbs 4:25-27

Giving God the first portion of my morning is the best way for me to “fix my gaze” on Him. Whether you can set aside 20 minutes or 2, it’s important. I shoot for 2 minutes, until my husband leaves for work, then I can turn my focus again on God’s word and prayer. My focused time is not always the same. Reading, praying, listening to someone else read, singing, working through a Bible study, or reviewing a Bible study are all things I may be doing. Design your “prep time” specifically for you to get prepared for your day.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not  against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

Ephesians 6:10-12

Plan Ahead

Before we go to bed, my husband and I both do a few things to make the morning go more smoothly. He is the one responsible for this great idea, not me. At breakfast, he asks, “What do you have going on today?” He knows I am half asleep and I need to begin thinking about the day. This does not mean everything will go as planned. We all know the day can change in a heartbeat.

Recently I lost my mom on an ordinary day. It was like somebody had knocked the air out of me. Like the time a go-kart ran into me, threw me into the air and I landed on my back. My world stopped, but everyone else kept moving ahead. We have no doubts at all about her salvation - she is with her Savior! But I’m down here. She was my dad’s primary caregiver, and now that role has fallen to me. Although I’m honored to be serving my dad each day, some days I feel like a robot. I am going through the motions day after day, all the while falling behind in my own home. I have moments when I want to call her or send her a picture of something that would make her smile or laugh. There’s just no way to prepare for sudden death.

I’m confident that because I’m a Believer in Jesus for everlasting life and my mom is too, I can move forward slowly. I have peace knowing that God is good and she is His child - she belongs to Him, and she’s “home.” As Believers, we are strangers in a foreign land until we are also with Him. 

“through Him we have our access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household”

Ephesians 2:18-19

Though I was thrown into a tailspin, I had my compass set on God’s word and my eternal home. 

Eat Steak

I bet you didn’t see that one coming! For me, it’s medium to medium-rare. I never appreciated good red meat until I was married to a carnivore. My husband is a far better chef. I guess I should’ve hung out in the kitchen with my mom and grandmothers more. I was, and still am, afraid I’m going to screw up a recipe before I even start (unless it’s bread or cookies). I’ve learned how to make homemade bread in various ways, and I love sweets, so I’ve spent time getting a recipe perfect. I had to start somewhere though, so I listened to someone who has made lots of delicious bread. I go back to this seasoned baker and a couple of others, time after time. I trust them.

It’s important to mature as a believer, enjoy the “steak of scripture,” and spend time with those who do the same. Who do you trust for words of wisdom? I’ll bet your list is short like mine. I would only call a couple of wise women If I needed counsel or prayer over something specific. My husband is a well of biblical information so he is my reference when I want biblical answers, but I’m not going to ask him how long to proof my dough or my baker friend about Greek or Hebrew. Each is wise in their own way. God provides the wisdom we need through His word and trusted biblical carnivores.

“A wise person will hear and increase in learning,
And a person of understanding will acquire wise counsel”

Proverbs 1:5

Do you have mature, growing disciples in your life that are willing to point you back to God’s word and will? Do you humbly accept their counsel? 

Let’s stay the spiritual course together today by being prepared, planning ahead, and eating our steak.

Now What?

5 comments on “How to Stay the Course”

  1. Oh Amy, your post really touched my heart (partially with tears for reading about the sudden passing of your mom and how it affected you, and with appreciation for all the good nuggets you shared. God used you tonight in my life. Thank you for that. Always love seeing you (even for a few minutes) at the GES Conferences and for your ministry.

  2. Biblical carnivores...I love it, Amy! Such a great article with so many good verses and nuggets of wisdom. Thanks for being vulnerable about your own struggles, too.
    I really needed to read this today and reset my focus (again!) ❤️

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