Steadfast Ways: Leaving Well

Keep your mouth free of perversity;
    keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
 Let your eyes look straight ahead;
    fix your gaze directly before you.
Give careful thought to the paths for your feet
    and be steadfast in all your ways.

(Proverbs 4:24-26 NIV)

The words of my mouth

What happens when I share negative comments about someone or something with others? Does it elevate the mood of the group? Does it help everyone? Can it fan a small flame of discontent that rapidly turns into a destructive fire of criticism that could leave lasting damage?

The focus of my eyes

What happens when I am driving down the road and notice a commotion off to one side? Perhaps flashing blue and red lights? A stranded motorist? A wandering animal? A cluster of bike riders? If I fix my gaze too long on one of these, I might find my vehicle drifting in that direction with disastrous consequences.  

The paths for my feet

What happens when I give no thought to where I am going? Refuse to set goals? Avoid accountability? Go my own way without regarding others?

Proverbs 4:24-26 provides reveals a path to purpose.  In order to remain steadfast in all my ways, I must consider what I am saying, and where I plan to come and go. I am in a season of being called out to leave a church and a ministry. I have served for decades with these amazing people and have had many wonderful opportunities. Despite the clarity of God’s call to move on to a new mission, this leaving stuff is painful.

The words of my mouth

What I say in my goodbyes, and all I communicate will either empower those who continue on in my absence or cause them to become discouraged.

The focus of my eyes

Where I focus my attention will also affect those around me. Will I look at it all from my own limited perspective or ask God to show me what I need to see? Will I focus on my own needs and sadness? Or will I ask God to open my eyes to what he is showing me in this time of letting go?

The paths for my feet

In my departure, I have to consider what God has for me. I believe that he has purposely left me, not knowing my long-term destination. For a planner like me this is really hard. God has made it clear that I am to leave where I am now. He’s given me the next step and temporary stopover. So, I have the opportunity to stay very close to the Lord and wait to see.

Lord, even in this season of departure, keep me steadfast in my ways and your purpose. Reveal every next step, show me what I am to focus on, and please provide your Holy Spirit to guard my tongue. Amen

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