When You’re Off (Your Life’s) Schedule

When your life plane goes to Tokyo instead of Lagos.
When your forever plan takes a mad detour.
When your “OMG I can’t wait to start” turns into “God if you just get me out of this”
You get the idea.

Sometimes it just feels like you’re off course, off plan, off your life timeline. And admit it….sometimes you feel like you have no one else to point to or blame than God.

Cos like….you trusted him. Heck …HE was the one that told you to go (to that school…for that course…to that job…that relationship…that business..that town) and now look.

A part of you feels like a fool. The other part is totally confused. Was it really God that spoke or were you just horny, broke, insecure, desperate, confused, inpatient or whatever when you made that move?

What the enemy of your soul wants to do is to damage your self-confidence when it comes to your communication with God.

This is deeply personal to me.
As you may know, I recently became a pastor and now pastor Ignite Church in New York City (A Church plant of The Redeemed Christian Church of God). I need to tell you that it has been an overwhelming process. I have had to make new sense of my time, my career, my sleep schedule, my mental and spiritual bandwidth. Every version of who I thought I was (father, husband, blogger, friend…EVERYTHING) has gotten a shaking. Some things I enjoyed doing/some personal goals have had to temporarily (and even permanently) go to the back of the line and nearly everything I knew about how to manage my time has had to be relearned. Basically, I have felt this very thing I am writing about and I am now just coming up for air.

I am going to keep it real with you. many times I have questioned myself (as the enemy would like) and asked myself “Did I hear this right? Am I crazy? Did God really speak to me?” lol. many times even prior to becoming a pastor, I have sometimes felt off my life schedule…off my grand plan. But God has been so awesome in this new phase of my life.

I had to come to a place where I let him help me define what was important and why it was important. I needed to let go of the versions of myself I thought was cool and let him redefine those things. The work is still ongoing but I am liking what he is doing.

You see, its OK to review your past and ask those types of questions because God is actually interested in those conversations. Oh yea…he doesn’t mind them at all. You know why?

Because those questions begin to surface at the point where you start to come to terms with your inadequacies. when they begin to show…when you start to reach the end of your self-dependency. You know…when your pride about passing the entrance exam to your dream school has died down and you realize you will flunk out if God doesn’t help you. Or when your self dependency about your relationship or marriage choice dies down and now you’re going through things in that relationship that make you wonder if God really gave you confirmation.

God wants these conversations because you are humbled, you are real, and you acknowledge your weakness so that HIS strength can show up for you.

How do you know he is Ok with this conversation? Because:

Even when he tells you that you didn’t listen, he doesn’t leave you hanging. In his love he comes in to tell you what to do next. In other words, he doesn’t just make you feel guilty and then dash off leaving you hanging.

What the enemy wants though, is to totally incapacitate you in your communication with God so that you don’t trust your ability to hear from God anymore and yet have no direction on what to do next.

What YOU must do is to remember that:

God is committed to you and your destination (WHO you become and WHAT you do in/with your life)….but he is not confined by the process (The HOW)

Don’t get addicted to the version of yourself you have created or are hoping to create.

This is going to be one of the hardest things for you and I as believers in this generation where everything (successes and failures) seems to be on display and definitions of success are getting narrower and less meaningful.

If you become addicted to a version of yourself, you will never hear the call of God, and simple heaven-ordained changes in your life route will feel like catastrophic life derailment.

So what should you do though….when you feel off course? What are some thought processes that can help you get through?

1. Get quiet. Lose the noise:
People pressure…peoples opinions…your own self-generated pressure, get quiet

2. Remember that the timeline was never really yours to start with.
You had an idea…a timeline. But God created time and time is in HIS hands. HE has the plan. (Prov 16:9 says “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps” and if you’re reading this, you’ve probably lived long enough to know deep down that its true.)

3. Sometimes God wants to ground you in purpose a little bit more before you start “that thing”.
If God is involved, then be assured that he is not only concerned about starting (so you can stop feeling anxious) but he is also concerned about the end of the matter. (Sustainability, legacy, the other people who will be affected by that “thing” and MOST importantly, WHO you become as a result of that thing in relation to him. ) That’s why sometimes he wants to work on your character before he breathes on your “thing”

4. God wants to take your attention from the destination (and how you have tied your self-worth to it) and refocus your attention to the journey and who you are supposed to become THROUGH the journey.

5. Never EVER stop using your gift. Ever. No matter what. Even if you are not where you wanted to be:
Joseph used his gift of dream interpretation even in Jail. David used his gift of leadership to lead thugs long before he got an army. Moses led sheep in the desert long before he led the Israelites in that same desert. Use the gift even if the platform is smaller than you know you should have. Use the gift. Do not wait my friend.

Gifts are like a language. If you don’t use it you lose it.

6. Be present.
Don’t be so worked up about where you would like to be that you forget to be present today…right now…with the people, opportunities, sunshine, rain, oxygen that God has given you.

Your life may not be as off track or “derailed” as you think. I don’t pray that you have a frustrating life or that anything happens to you…and I certainly don’t want to undermine your current frustration if you are going through that. This is to help you be better equipped on the inside to handle those moments.

You can do this….and you WILL get “there”. One day at a time my friend…one day at a time.

God bless you.

Feel free to share your thoughts below. Have you ever been in that boat? Any other insight you want to share? Comment below