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Monday, April 13, 2009

Avoidance

A few weeks ago, I had to call someones home right after they'd been through a difficult several weeks. As I dialed, I fully expected to get their answering machine and leave a message. But after a few rings, she picked up. When I got off the phone I thought, there's no way I would have answered my phone. There's no way, the day after my mom died, that I'd answer the phone in a "normal" voice.
Why? Because (and it's only recently been brought to my attention--by none other than God) I am, in fact, a habitual avoider.

I've always been a procrastinator, but I didn't realize how much I avoid.
Conflict.
Work.
Pain.
Stress.
House cleaning.
Hard situations.
People who bug me.
People who hurt my feelings.
People who suck the last bit of energy out of me.
People in general.
Really stupid, trivial things.
God.

Trying to mend my ways, to be obedient, to not miss out on blessings He has in store for me, I'm working on non-avoidance.

But me, being me, wants to know why I avoid.
As you can imagine, there are likely tons of reasons (fear, for instance), but the one that strikes me today, is that I avoid because often, I try to do things on my own. And we all know that failure waits right around the corner from self sufficiency.

"If we undertake work for God and get out of touch with Him, the sense of responsibility will be overwhelmingly crushing; but if we roll back on God that which He has put upon us, He takes away the sense on responsibility by bringing in the realization of Himself."
Oswald Chamber My Utmost of His Highest

I've had several opportunities the last few days to practice non-avoidance...and so far so good. With His reminders, strength and grace, perhaps I'm on my way to being a Reformed Avoider.

4 comments:

Chris Godfredsen said...

I avoid a number of the things on your list, and coule probably write a pretty good addendum to yours. Praying grace and peace for you as become less self-sufficient. God knows how badly I need that, too!

Jennifer said...

We must be on the same O.C. reading schedule. God spoke through the EXACT same words to me this morning.

How can I avoid the truth in THAT "coincidence"?

You bless...

janelle said...

I sometimes just avoid people in general; how in the world does that fit in to the plan?

Thanks for your words of encouragment; and for sharing OC words.

Annie said...

I can relate. Sometimes my avoidance stems from "not wanting to hurt people's feelings" What if I say the wrong thing and it's not received? Or I'm tired and I don't have the energy. There are times when God actually has me avoid someone. Maybe what they don't need is me intervening or offering advice. Maybe they need to go to the Lord. Flowing in the Holy Spirit is the way to go. And not second guessing ourselves. In fact, your post has inspired me to write on a recent experience where the Holy Spirit had me out of my comfort zone, but obedience to His voice bore fruit in someone's life. And then the times when he has me not in contact because He knows that wouldn't be best for the person.