The Stride-Breaker

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I was entranced the first time I saw the movie, Mahogany. Diana Ross was beautiful, with her big, full eyes. Billy Dee Williams was, well, Billy Dee Williams. Even at a young age, in my own vernacular and understanding, he exuded the essence of cool.

Every once in a while, I’ll think of the theme song to the movie, and the words will echo in my mind,

Do you know where you’re going to, do you like the things that life is showing you? Where are you going to? Do you know?

Recently, this refrain ran through my mind and I chose to consider the message they conveyed.

Life has shown me plenty. I’ve known incredible joy and, what seemed to be at the time, unbearable pain. I’ve felt heartache and surged with pride from triumph. Although not all good, I feel very thankful for every “battle scar” I’ve borne, and every experience God has brought me through – the good, the bad, and the ugly. The sum of my experiences has made me the person I am today, strengthened my faith, and also helped establish where I’m going.

I used to be that person with my career path completely charted. What I would do, by what age, etc. I took a few side journeys, then started hitting my marks, finding my stride. And then came the stride breaker. It happened about seven years ago, in the form of a sweet, precious bundle of joy. My world was suddenly topsy turvy. Goals, deadlines, and priorities all took on new meanings. The dance with balance kicked in. And decisions were made by a different set of rules. All the rules all changed and I had to reestablish the boundaries.

Without a clear path before me (at least in my mind), I could get antsy, anxious, frustrated, or impatient. But I am so thankful to God that faith in Him, not my mind or my own notions, is what navigates my path. Despite the many unknowns that lie before me, I take very deliberate steps to rely on God to provide me with some semblance of balance. Just a few of my steps include:

  1. Not comparing myself to others. This one was a big for me. Others who are at different points in their careers, where I perceived I could or should be, were causing me to follow their path instead of listening to God and following His path for me.

  1. Being willing to wait on God. I am the type that likes to make things happen. There is nothing wrong with initiative, discipline, and a strong work ethic. However, the problem is when those particular things – not God – are leading you.

  1. Not being afraid to take opportunities. Now at first glance you may be thinking that is in contradiction to point #2. But exercising faith involves waiting to hear from God, not waiting to get in motion. It’s important to be aware of potential opportunities. Once you know what is available and give God something to work with, He can direct as to what steps to take.

As I mentioned, it all still continues to be a dance with balance for me. But I thank God that MY stride and MY way was broken to yield to His Way, His Blessings, and His Wisdom!

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