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Quiet time

Setting out or settling in?

manuelita otero


Have you ever gone into a room and forgotten what were you there for? Or started the day full of ideas, projects and goals only to realize at the end of the day that you didn’t accomplish even one? It’s easy to get distracted, to get lost in a sea of “stuff” that requires our attention and takes our time. Little distractions during the day may not be a big deal, but what if there is something deeper? Something that not only is distracting us, but also keeping us from where God wants us to go?

“Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Harran, they settled there. Terah lived 205 years, and he died in Harran. (Genesis 11:31-32) There was a clear plan, a starting point and a destination, but something happened as they traveled from point A to point B. We don’t know what happened and what hindered the completion of the trip, but we can take this verse and apply it to our lives. Just like Terah and his family, we also have journeys to complete. They may be physical journeys from one place to another or life journeys. Each day we start with a blank slate, a list of objectives for that day that will eventually help us accomplish a bigger goal.

Looking at the verse in Genesis, two words caught my attention:  “Set out” and “settled” When I think about the word “Set out”, I think of a new adventure, a plan, an opportunity, something big and exciting. On the contrary the word “settled” makes me think of being content with something, but knowing that something much bigger and better could be achieved. It’s the safe choice over the best choice.

Where are you? Are you setting out or settling in? Is there a place you know you need to go and a goal you know God has put in your heart but the work seems too difficult, the hurdles too high, the dream too big and so you have settled? It’s easy to ask these questions, but answering them may be a little more challenging. How can you even start to get some answers? How can you actually know if you are where you are meant to be or where you have settled for? We can find a hint in the following verse: “The LORD had said to Abram, ‘Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you’… So Abram went” (Genesis 12:1;4)  

God had a plan. His plan didn’t change because of the circumstances or the decisions people made. God had not forgotten where He had decided for Terah and his family to set out to. The destination had not changed, so God told Abram to get his things together and go. And God is doing the same thing in our lives. What does that look like in your day to day? We may not hear God’s voice as clear as Abraham did, but that doesn’t mean He is not speaking. God knows us better than we know ourselves and He speaks to each of us in different ways. To some He may speak in dreams, to some He may speak as they enjoy in silence the beauty of nature or even in the middle of a busy city. God will use signs, people, and situations to tell you what His plans are. Take time to write down thoughts and ideas as they come and then look to the clues around you.

God has a special purpose for your life and He wants to guide you. Ask Him, make time to listen and be ready to comply with His instructions. Isn’t it exciting to know that we have God as our leader? Isn’t it exciting to know that there is a higher purpose for our life, an exciting journey we call life?

Manuelita @manuelitaotero