Looking back to when I learned to ride a unicycle as a kid has taught me a powerful lesson as an adult–never grow weary of listening for God, no matter how strong we feel our faith is and how smooth our lives seem to be going.
Even after I mastered the technique (and that took a while), I still needed to fully concentrate when I was pedaling on one wheel. If not, I would fall instantly. It’s not like a two-wheel bike where after years of not riding you can just get on and go. Much different. You must concentrate each and every time on the unicycle.
I have learned to do that same thing in my journey with God. In attention to paying attention for his will and direction, I have also learned to maintain an open-ended relationship with him that is light on specific, prescribed steps and heavy on inspirational direction.
Every time I have tried to focus on my own approach to living, it has guaranteed that there will be no room for learning from the turbulence of life and the mistakes I need to make for God to shape continually shape me into the man he wants me to be.
The good news? Scripture assures us that God will reveal his will and divine direction in a way that is clear and complete when we are connected to him.
“All the words of my mouth are just; none of them is crooked or perverse. To the discerning all of them are right; they are upright to those who have found knowledge. Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold.” Proverbs 8:8-10
GETTING GOD’S DIRECTION
Eventually God moved me to a spot where I began to actively seek his will and ask continually what he would have me do, what I should pray about, and who I should pray for. On that path, I realized that bad news and unpleasantness will be a part of my life journey. Even so, and this is the focus part, I learned to remain open to God’s direction, even the unpleasant.
Our concentration and commitment in this process is critical because God’s messages are not always perfectly clear in the beginning. That is part of the blessing in our relationship with God. Sometimes he tells us, “before walking another mile, wait here a little while.” We should not bail out when there is a delay in what God is telling us. As we look back, we will see many instances where his messages came into focus over time. That has certainly been the case in my life.
There is a reward on the listening road that should be impossible to ignore. God says if we listen to him, we will know what the right thing to do. He says we will be wise and experience pleasure, and that discretion and understanding will guard us.
“He guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.” Proverbs 2:8-11
Just like riding a unicycle.