Lorri Dudley

Be moved. Be changed. Love because you are loved.

Tag: stuck

man checking watch

Oh, the Waiting Places You’ll Go

Man checking watch

According to theFactSite.com, the average person will spend five years waiting in line and an additional six months waiting on stoplights. In Dr. Seuss’s book, Oh the Places You Can Go, there are a couple of pages dedicated to The Waiting Place. Reading to the boys, I would switch to a monotone voice and list out all the things for which people wait. By the end, I’d exhale a deep sigh, and the boys would be slumping in the rocking chair, begging to turn to the next page. How do we reclaim our waiting time? How do we turn our stalled moments, especially during a pandemic, into preparing?

Objects in motion tend to stay in motion. Objects at rest tend to stay at rest.

Dog laying

Newton’s first law was created to apply to physics, but it applies to people also. People at rest tend to stay at rest, whereas people in motion tend to stay in motion. I can see this in my boys and their friends. The ones who’ve been kicking back and sleeping in during their “second” summer no longer desire to hang out, leave the house, or pursue activities. Complacency has set in. I’ve had to force my boys to get up at our usual waking time, workout, and stay active, or they default to all-video-games-all-day mode. The challenge is to get them moving. They need to stay in mental and physical shape, or they will fall behind, and life will catch them unprepared.

 “it’s not the will to win, but the will to prepare to win that makes the difference.” – Bear Bryant

The apostle Paul had to do a lot of waiting. He spent two years in jail in Caesarea, and two years under house arrest in Rome. However, Paul didn’t sit idle. He wrote a good chunk of the New Testament during this period. And then there was the time he was shipwrecked on the island of Malta. If Dr. Seuss had a page in his book for Malta, it would have been The Stuck Place. We’ve all been there—stuck between jobs, careers, relationships. Many of us are there now, stuck sheltering in place. But this is not the time to waste.

There’s no time to wait. Act now, while the offer still lasts! – practically every infomercial

While stuck in Malta, Paul didn’t sit on his hands. He saw an opportunity to convert the natives. Waiting not only is an opportunity to strengthen and equip ourselves. It’s a chance to relook at how we’ve done things. Scrap the old habits that are bad for us or aren’t working and try something new. Ready our hearts so we can be on our mark, get set, and go to the new thing God is preparing for us.

start of running race

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Snow angel

Getting Unstuck

Snow angel

I should have called the Guinness Book of World Records.

I had made the longest human snow angel. It wasn’t intentional. I thought I was being efficient looping my arm through the dog leash and carrying the laundry basket inside in one trip. Where I went wrong is that my dog was a 140-pound bull mastiff, and geese often passed through our backyard. One minute I was walking toward the house, the next my clean laundry was flying in the air, and I was being dragged through the snow for at least 15 yards. Fortunately, I didn’t break my arm, but I sported some ugly bruises.

Sea turtles laying in sand

Pastor Leonardo Sales of Brazil spoke about a time he received an underwater camera and headed to the beach to take pictures. He spotted a turtle crawling back to the ocean and decided to wait and take its picture underwater. However, on the turtle’s way, it got stuck in a hole and couldn’t get out. Exhausted and tired, the sea turtle struggled to pull itself out. While the pastor waited for the turtle to become unstuck, he thought, what a dumb turtle, she can’t figure this out, she is so slow and clumsy. After an hour or so, he gave up on the turtle and packed his camera. But before he left, the turtle, thanks to the help of some benevolent beachgoers, made its escape and reached the tide. Pastor Sales barely had enough time to retrieve his camera and take her picture before she swam away into the deep. The pastor realized that the turtle wasn’t dumb. It wasn’t slow. It wasn’t ugly. It had just been stuck in the wrong place. It had been impeded by the sand, but once in the water, it was beautiful, graceful, and surprisingly quick.

Sometimes we too get stuck. We loop our arms into the wrong idea, plan, or person and are dragged through yards of consequences. Or we find ourselves in a pit carrying too much weight to pull ourselves out no matter how hard we struggle. It feels helpless, exasperating, and hopeless, but that is a lie.

Remember who you are.

Sea turtle swimming

As Pastor Sales discovered, once unstuck, once set free, the sea turtle glided through the water in all its glory. We must remember who God says we are. We are His glorious and beautiful creations. We are His children, and He loves us fervently and passionately. Enough to pay the hefty price of His son to set us free. There is no pit deep enough to keep us from his love. Not even the darkest past nor the gloomiest present can keep us trapped and separated from our God. He will meet us where we are and light our way. He will be our shield and our strength.

Remember, we are not victims. We are conquerors.

Romans 8:37-39 says: “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Remember, you are loved and you are valued.

You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” – 1 Peter 2:9.

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Road Block or Toll Booth?

Avoiding potential disaster is not how my husband likes spending his holiday. However, this past Memorial Day, instead of BBQing, he reverted into crisis prevention mode because the main hard-drive of our company’s server decided to stop working. If it wasn’t back up and running for the following morning, we’d have an entire staff with nothing to do without a computer or internet. The IT company we pay to help us in crisis told us they were on vacation and good luck getting a hard drive on a holiday. Thankfully, a good friend who happens to work in IT stepped in and saved the day, for which we are very grateful.

Roadblock or Tollbooth?

Toll Booth

Tim Elmore, the author of Habitudessays we have to decide whether we let our problems be roadblocks or toll booths. When we run into a roadblock, we’re stuck. Our problem either makes us immobile or sends us back to the way we came. When we see our problems as toll booths, we pay the price and move past them to keep going.

Proverbs 24:16 says, “For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.”

Dwelling on our problems keeps us stuck. God doesn’t want us not to ignore our issues, but He doesn’t want our issues to keep us trapped. We will fall, but Proverbs says we should dust ourselves off and keep going. Pay the consequence and move forward. Expect adversity so you’ll be ready to overcome and move past it.

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