There is so much noise and bright lights, all around me. So many waving me over because they want my attention, my agreement, my subscription.

Everything is “good”, “on point”, “trending” within the circles of information, trying to swallow me up and pull me down into some new rabbit trail, some “key” “cutting edge” direction or ministry.

That’s not how God made me.

I can’t be anything but real.

Honestly, I don’t fully believe God is in all of that.

I know— “don’t worry, be happy.”

That might as well be the trending Christian mantra.

What I have learned in my lifetime experiences is— joy does not equal happiness.

Joy is released by God’s Spirit. Happiness is conditioned by human situations.

Happy just isn’t my season right now.

That doesn’t mean I don’t have happy moments, or that I don’t laugh.

I always have joy, because I always have Jesus.

I don’t buy into the whole positive happiness doctrine.

Perhaps if people looking into my life from the outside walked in my shoes while I was living through the various tough times, perhaps they would get it.

Maybe my circumstances helped form me differently.

Maybe some see me as deformed, or missing out on what they believe God has for me.

Maybe that isn’t really what God has for me.

I don’t view my world with rose-tinted glasses. I view my world through my eyes and my experiences.

I view my world through God’s corrective lenses— at least what He’s allowed me to look through.

When I was learning to drive, I was told to avoid the packs of cars.

I walk through life in much the same way.

Packs of people tend to be swayed in one direction or the other.

People are fallible.

God is not.

In order to stay the course He has me on, I need to stay on that narrow road, and not join in with the packs.

I hear God the clearest standing back away from all the noise and the bright lights.

Staying in contact, but keeping myself at a distance, so I don’t get sucked into wanting all those loud, fancy bells and whistles. Sometimes I will travel through a pack, sometimes I will touch base with them.

If God chooses to use His gifts through me, I surrender to Him.

But that might look much different to me than it may to others.

The weight of our world is tempting to try to lift as I pray, but only One has the government upon His shoulders— Jesus.

All I can do is pray, ask Him to help me know how to pray.

I love it when I pray, and then God confirms to me through others, or circumstances that I am following His Spirit’s lead.

That is humbling for me, and exciting.

If I’m standing in the noise, blinded by the bright lights— how can I ever really hear Him speak into my spirit? How can I recognize Him and see where He is at work?

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