When You'd Rather Be Somewhere Else

Have you ever awakened and wished you were somewhere else?  Maybe today you will care for your young children, work a job that leaves you less than fulfilled, or wrestle with an aged parent who just won’t cooperate. It’s not that you hate your life, or maybe you do, you just sometimes wonder if there is somewhere bigger or grander that you should be. If you are completely honest with yourself, you know that if the bus to Somewhere Else stopped at your house, you’d get on it in a heartbeat.

I think we all feel this way sometimes. We chafe at routine.  We feel like there is no significance in washing one more load of laundry, processing one more customer order, or teaching one more lesson on noun/verb agreement to our homeschooled children.  We wonder if we are missing some greater purpose for our lives.

I came to this place one night when my children were five and two.  I had spent the day pouring juice, doling out goldfish crackers, and cleaning house.  Until my husband came home, I hadn’t seen another human being over three feet tall all day.  Still adjusting to my mother of two children role, I thought back to the days when I worked full time and served in many ministries at church. Before long, I was having a full-blown pity party.  I was wondering if I was accomplishing anything for God anymore. I felt like my life circumstances had placed me on a shelf.

Leaving my children and husband playing Legos, I headed down the street to a new neighbor’s house. I had promised to share some homeschooling resources with her, and it was the first chance I’d had all day to take them to her. As I walked through my darkening neighborhood, God gave me a perspective I hadn’t had before.  With each house I passed, He called to mind an opportunity I had  recently had to minister to the person that lived there.

I walked past Mrs. Stuart’s house and remembered that I had sat in her living room and listened to her play the piano.  She had been delighted to have an audience, because she normally played to an empty house.  I walked past Mr. Lee’s house, where I had taken a meal to him and his wife during her chemo treatment.  I walked past Mel’s house, where I had helped them by letting his dogs in and out while he had been away on  vacation. Ahead I saw the home of the new neighbor with whom I planned to share curriculum and friendship.

God’s voice whispered softly into my heart the words of Psalm 16:6 “The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places.  Surely I have a delightful inheritance.”  The words of Psalm 139 echoed back in a tandem chorus, “All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.”

My heart responded by saying, “Yes Lord, I see that the plans you have for me are to prosper me and not to harm me, to give me a future and a hope. I see that there are people around me that only I can reach because I am in this good place.”

Now when I am tempted to chafe at where I am compared to where I’d rather be, God’s Spirit reminds me that He has a plan for my day, and that it is good.  I remember that He has placed me where I am for a purpose. Instead of looking inward at myself, I look outward, asking God to give me eyes to see what He is doing in the world, and how I can join Him.

A perspective like this can make all the difference in the world. 

To you and to someone else.

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