Just Pull Over


Just Pull Over

Ever feel like you are in the fast lane of your life and can’t get through the traffic craziness to get out of the fast lane? You may even be signaling your intent only be totally ignored by your mind, will, and emotions? Yes. I have too. LIfe can feel busy, crazy, out of control, performance driven, approval driven, and it can feel like we have lost control.

The other day I was going through some of my past photos and came across this one and felt a little tug to stop there for a while. So I did. I looked, really looked, and asked God what He was trying to say to me. I have learned thought = purpose. I know that now from experience. He wants me to pull over. I’m getting better at listening. What I felt he spoke to my heart was this:

“Do you remember this photo? Do you remember how you got this photo? Do you remember what I told you about it when I prompted you to pull over and photograph what you saw? Do you remember I told you not to worry about what is around the bend because I will take care of you? It applies even more today.”

Yes…I remembered. You see, years ago I was sitting in my upper office sweet spot when God challenged me to post a picture a day for one year. I accepted that challenge. It changed my life. I don’t need to sell my photos and be known for them, but to use it as a way to see God’s presence in my life and as a source of encouragement to myself and others that I share them with. I have been back into my photography more seriously for almost 20 years. I have kept at it to learn, to hone my skills, and take classes from my own library of books and online options. God had a purpose when he challenged me. It wasn’t to just take the photo in my challenge, but to also share in the posts what I saw, and why I felt God told me to take this photo. Ever since then, I see things I would not normally see; I have become a real Noticer. It gives me focus and encouragement for myself, and I hope others also. And…if one photo encourages one person, or makes them re-evaluate a moment, or to take a breath and enjoy a moment, then THAT is what it is about.

My message with the photo at the top of the post is to let God lead on the road trip called life. I need to pull over to the side of the road and enjoy the present view and trust God for the journey when I get back on the road. I need to turn the engine of my life off and just sit a while. Notice the colors, smells, maybe tastes, of where I am. I thank Him for the beauty I see, for His care of me, and bringing me safely this far. I ask Him to surround my life with angels to keep me from just taking off on a road of my own. So…the day I took this photo, it was much more than just pulling over and grabbing a shot, it was a message for that day, and a reminder again today of a message attached to the photo.

You see, we can get so wrapped up in house hold duties, kids activities running us all over town, preparing meals, social media, ugly news reports, changing weather patterns, and all that bombards us, that we forget to ask God on our journey. We get so busy we use the current statements of I don’t have time. or I’m so busy I can hardly think, or something similar to that. We miss the beauty of what is around us as we hurry. That my friend, will cause healthy living to be much more difficult and worn out. That is what I have learned. This lead photo is my life right now. I have learned to pull over, take a break, sit for a while in quiet, and let my brain breath, and think. I pull over for almost any option I see to catch the beauty around me. THAT is my legacy. I am not going to change the my world or anyone in my sphere of influence by running around in circles. I’m not teaching anyone else how to live better by living a crazy life myself.

So the simple message of this post is this: enjoy what you see around you. Stop a minute and enjoy what you see and ask God what He wants you to see right then. Maneuver your way over to the side of your life journey, turn off the engine running in your mind, and just be. Maybe even roll down the window to let the fresh air in to revive you. He has something He wants to say to you. I hope you will find that in your life as well. It will change your life. It has changed mine in ways that are even hard to describe. It a new way of living. As easy as it for us to become discouraged in these times, knowing how to refocus ourselves, and encourage ourselves, is very key. Practice more the life of slow. Keep your armor in place on the journey. Living this way is so worth it. We need maintenance often. Put that armor on and head out to see where it leads you.

Pull the car of your life over next time. Kill the engine. Look around. Do it. It will make your day worth while!

Until next time…

~JoAnn

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