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Carrie Carter ~ Recentering

The other day I was using Google maps and realized that when I dragged the map ahead on my route, this “re-center” button popped up!

How handy! Maybe this is a new feature from the most recent software update, or maybe I’m just that slow and haven’t noticed it until now, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve jumped ahead on the map to find my destination and then didn’t know how to get back to find where I actually was (can I get an “Amen?”) .

That’s how I tend to live my life: while there’s a strong side of me that tends to dwell on how great yesterday was, I’m internally wired to be constantly looking ahead, zooming in to pinpoint my destination, viewing it from every angle (preferably from Street View) and wanting to know what to expect when I get there. I don’t like surprises. I long for the unknown to be familiar before I venture into it.Youarehere

Therein lies the problem. Before I know it, I’ve mentally prepared myself for every scenario, have the answer for every potential question, and stewed over possible negative outcomes. I’ve built an entire world of possibilities around a destination and I’m not even there.

It’s only when I’ve worked myself into an “If/Then” frenzy that I realize it: I don’t even know where I am. I drag my proverbial finger back over my “map,” thinking that I’m backtracking, but I simply can’t find the little blue Star Trek insignia-thingy that is me. I panic a little. How am I going to get to where I need to go, if I don’t know where I am–right here, right now?

That’s when the Holy Spirit nudges me to look at my “re-center” button.

“He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” ~Colossians 1:17

“The Lord is the One who goes ahead of you; he will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” ~Deuteronomy 31:8

When I push that button, it gives me the freedom to live each day as it comes. It reminds me to live in the present, because each day is a gift. It makes me aware that God himself goes before me, God knows my route, and he knows my destination.

Today, I need re-centered. I need today’s purpose. Not tomorrow’s, not next year’s, but today’s. It is today’s purpose that will determine tomorrow’s potential.

Goal-setting, five-year plans, and retirement ambitions are all good things, but sometimes I just need to take a step back and evaluate my current location on my life map.

Because every once in a while, I need to know where I am today before I can get to where God wants me to be.

*Note: I actually wrote this short piece the day before the tragic deaths of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and then those shot in Dallas. These events shake me. My heart is overwhelmed at the hatred and injustice God’s ultimate creation could have toward one another. It trembles in fear at the world in which I’m getting ready to launch my boys.

“From the ends of the earth I call to You, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the Rock that is higher than I. For You have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe.” ~Psalm 61:2

There has never been a better time than now to re-center.