A lot has been happening in the lives of the Barkley’s but the biggest change is that we moved. While it is not the first time we have moved to a different home or even a different town, it is the first time we have moved out of the area in which Craig and I grew up. It is also the first time that we have moved away from our families. I have to say that after living here for 2 months that we feel it is home. The kids have made a lot of new friends, our new church congregation welcomed us with open arms, the kids love their new schools, the list of positives go on.
That said, I have learned an important life lesson through all of this and one that I think can relate to our faith lives as well. If anyone knows me, they know that I am directionally impaired. However, living here has taken this to a whole new level. I get lost VERY often. I make a wrong turn, then realize my mistake and try to go back and change my course only to repeat the same mistake over again! It is so aggravating!
Likewise, when I go to the grocery store, I am lost on the inside. These are new stores for us, I don’t know where the items are located and some of the things that we like aren’t carried at those stores (for example, we are having a hard time find Gracie’s fruit chillers). I go up and down the aisles looking for things, figuring out new brands or varieties as I try to get the items on my list.
Then I won’t even bore you with the obstacles I had getting a new drivers license or registering the kids for school.
What I realized through all of this is that almost all of these tasks are things I have done on autopilot for a long time. How many of you, drive to a store or work and really don’t even remember the actual drive there? How many of you, make your grocery list up by mentally going down the aisles and writing things in order so it’s less work when you get there? It is SO much harder when you actually have to be present and to think through all of these tasks and the decisions involved.
If many of us our honest, we could say the same about our faith life at times. It is so easy to get on autopilot. We go to church to worship on Sunday (or Saturday or Wednesday), maybe we read a devotion or say a prayer every day but really we are just checking it off our list. We are not really studying or pondering the Scripture or dwelling with God in prayer. We start to fall into the trap of faith just being about a private feeling or set of beliefs. We go to church to be with our friends or family, to check in with them for the week and maybe “fill our tank” spiritually but we stop actively listening for the Spirit of God to speak to us, corporately and individually, to listen for the ways we are called to be Jesus’ hands and feet. We stop listening for the radical difference the Church is called to make. It simply falls back into a “thing” that we do on autopilot; one without a lot of thought or energy behind it.
So in this new season, I’ve been spending time being more intentional in my faith life and in my family life. I don’t want to get complacent. While it does take a lot more energy and can even be downright irritating at times and it may lead to feeling convicted by God in an area or two we may not want to be,
Revelation 3:15 says, “I know everything you have done, and you are not cold or hot. I wish you were either one or the other.”
God doesn’t want us sitting in the middle, complacent and on autopilot. So I encourage you to take a peek at your life and see if you have fallen into complacency. If so, be more intentional, pay attention, I promise you that you will be on your way to the abundant life that God desires for you.