Signs

Do you ever feel like a broken record? Are you trying your best to look on the bright side, but the same things continue to rub you the wrong way? Has your positive demeanor turned into something with a more negative tone? If this is you, I want you to know you are not alone. I have long since left my negative overall outlook on life (trading it in for a more positive attitude), but I have to say, there have been times where I have gotten into a funk I cannot shake.

I feel like I am doing the best I possibly can to make it out here, but I cannot seem to get ahead as quickly as I would like to. I have encountered so much negativity in certain areas of my life over the past four months and it has worn me down. I have taken steps to move forward, be better for my family, and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I feel like I am so close to shaking all of this, but I am stuck. I am stuck and it is out of my control. I so badly want to throttle it past this speed bump. I so badly want to have some sort of control over this situation and get to a better place.

While my intentions and motives are of an unselfish nature, this posture of impatience and desiring control are my undoing. Things will get better and I will one day get to a place where I am not weighed down by negativity. The only way I can do this is by submitting to the one who I live for. I have to trust that He is teaching me something all the time, now more than ever. I have to really allow Him to steer my life in the direction He wants me to go, not pretend I am doing something for Him when I am really doing it for myself.

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Kirk Park Beach- West Olive, MI (Photo Credit: Ryan Magnuson)

I left church today feeling indifferent and having a lot on my mind. I heard what the pastor was saying, but I felt disconnected. As I came up to a stoplight right before getting on the highway, I saw a man with a sign. Homeless people often stand on this corner with signs asking for money or prayers and most of the time, people just drive on by. I am one of those people normally, but today I felt different. I looked at the man and his sign, which was asking for $10 so he could go get an I.D. and start working. I must have looked away and looked back at him three or four times. I felt connected to him.

The day before, I had gone and grabbed dinner in Grand Rapids. I almost walked out the door, but at the last second, I decided I wanted to pay for dinner in cash rather than my credit card. I sprinted upstairs, grabbed a $20 bill, and headed out. I sat at that stoplight today and looked at that man one more time. I grabbed my wallet, pulled out the only $10 bill I had (which was my change from dinner), and motioned for him to come over. I gave him the money, complimented his shoes (they were Kobe’s), and he thanked me, stating that “he could now go to where he needed to be and pick up an I.D. to start working”.

I share this because I believe this was all part of His perfect plan. I just so happened to stop myself and grab cash rather than using my card the night before. I went to the second service rather than the first service, which allowed me to run into this individual. I had a $10 bill in my wallet and all this gentleman needed was $10 to make a positive change in his life. The signs all point to the lesson I learned and continue to learn. I was showed that there are all sorts of people who are struggling in certain ways, some of which are out of their control. All we can do is continue to trust the plan and do the best we can. We are not led into anything we will not be led out of and we will catch breaks. Give up control/what you think you need and submit to what is truly best for you. Finally, do whatever you can to bless those around you. You never know when you could change someone’s life for the better.

 

-R.M.

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