Last night I talked to a friend who told me she turned off Messenger notifications on her phone. She realized she never received a message I sent because it was buried under piles of others.
I completely understood. If she’s anything like me, she’s familiar with the epidemic of “now.”
I have severe anxiety over those little numbers that show up on your phone. And since the notification is showing now, I have to respond now and have an answer now. Sometimes I’m not even sure how to respond, but I figure if I type something they’ll at least see those little dots moving… Those dots mean you’re thinking, right? Or do they mean you’re typing? In any case, they mean a response is coming and you haven’t forgotten about the urgent message which needs an immediate response.
Or does it?
Lately, I’ve been thinking about priorities. And many of the things I consider a priority should be nowhere near the top of my list. Like those notifications that show up on my phone and drive me crazy. I get so wrapped up in the “now,” I forget there is also a “later.” I forget this season is not the season for every project, pursuit or endeavor. And more importantly, I forget that God-given dreams don’t have an expiration date.
A couple of years ago, I sensed God calling me to go on a grand adventure with Him. I knew he wanted me to write and share with others, to step out of my comfort zone and walk with Him into unknown waters. Every step along the journey has been beautiful. Even the missteps where I’ve fallen and needed grace to stand have molded and shaped me into the woman I am today. But you know what? Not every piece of the grander vision is meant to be attained right now.
Sometimes, God gives us a glimpse of the future to give us endurance in the present.
He desires to keep us moving forward. He wants to let us know our labor is not in vain, and that he has plans and promises which stretch further than our imagination can take us. But now is not the only season. And everything can’t be accomplished in one day. So why do I stress myself out, thinking I’ve missed the invisible boat?
We’ve all heard the saying: “Don’t miss the boat.” We think this boat holds all of our hopes and dreams, and sets sail for some far off land, never to be seen again if we’re not on it. Let me get a little southern here and tell you something. It’s hogwash. It’s a made up figment of some person’s imagination, and it serves no purpose other than to cause anxiety over God’s timing, which can’t be controlled.
Friend, this is not an excuse for stagnation or disobedience. When God tells us to move, we need to heed his call. But we also need to remember God doesn’t dangle a carrot in front of us just to take it.
Paul says it right here in Romans:
Romans 11:29 NIV
God did not call you, purpose you and place his gifts within you to simply throw them away.
He who called you is more than able to see his plans through. And what do we do? Take the next step of obedience. Not ten steps or twenty, but the next one.
If the mistakes of humanity could revoke God’s plan, He would not be sovereign. So take a deep breath, relax your shoulders, and wave farewell to the invisible boat. If you were meant to be on it, you would be.
If you need to shift your focus from a struggle or worry and see what God is already doing in your life, I encourage you to pick of a copy of my book, Shift: Changing Our Focus to See the Presence of God. I talk more about the ways a simple shift can change everything. Many people have sent me messages saying it is a timely book for this season. This encourages my heart so much. I pray that God continues to use it to touch lives.
Here’s what one reader said:
“One of the most comforting books I’ve read in a long time. Author Abby McDonald writes from a place of vulnerability and truth, and she clearly writes to serve her reader. A sweet book full of honesty and wisdom.” -Brenda
You can pick up a copy of Shift by clicking the image below.