Spiritual Toppings: Five Principles of Starting New (1 of 5)
Out here in Northern California, a new fad has made a home in downtowns and strip malls.
I thought I’d already seen this movie once before growing up in the eighties. Remember TCBY?
Fro yo is back, except with new names like Pinkberry, with an important added novelty: exotic flavors like lychee and fun toppings like kiwi and mochi.
My favorite fro yo place is called Yogurtland. This place makes me giddy. It features a self-serve topping bar. I can heap on as many almonds and mini-gummi bears as I want, along with my pick of flavors.
It’s addicting because I end up wanting to go back, to try another combination of flavors.
Starting new is like enjoying a bowl of fro yo.
No matter how many times we find ourselves at the beginning of a new season, we are drawn to tasting a new experience.
God created us with a desire to grow.
Sometimes, we are forced into new because something is ending. Other times, we are inspired make a new change. There are a gazillion more reasons in between motivating us — unique to our personalities and situations.
In the coming posts, I’d love to explore some principles I’ve found to be my favorite “spiritual toppings”. They have helped me get through many “new” experiences along my journey.
For every obstacle I’ve encountered along the way, faith has been the game changer. With faith, God arms me with two antidotes: encouragement and inspiration.
I’d love to share Five Principles of Starting New that have kept my faith growing, hot and fresh. They are my go-to list of encouragement whenever I attempt something new in my life, whether tiny or big.
I hope they will encourage you too.
Today, I’d like to share Principle #1.
Starting New Principle #1: The Blessing of Manna
It doesn’t matter how many times I begin a new endeavor.
One of my first obstacles is always this: lack of time.
Just like everyone else doing everyday life, I only have slivers of time left after the daily grind.
Many times when we try to make changes, life happens. We can end up so discouraged or tired. We may just want to stop trying.
There are days I have just enough energy to veg out in front of the boob tube, before pulling the covers under my chin.
Oh, great. Another day of doing “nothing”! I’d lament, lying in the dark. If only there were more hours in a day…
Those are the days I feel like I was nothing, frustrated with the lack of time.
The Problem Of Time
Over the years, God has given me glimpses of who He wants me to become. The specifics are fuzzy.
How do I get from where I am to where God wants me to be?
I often try to solve the problem of time — by doing more and depriving myself of rest and sleep.
I try to accomplish only what God can do: fulfill His plan for my life.
In my fervor, I turned to my ability to produce.
Like a project at work, I can set my sights on doing something for God, rather than allowing God to do something through me.
Thankfully, God always stops me in my tracks. Not to make me feel guilty, but to bring me back to my senses.
He does this time and again by pointing me to the blessing of manna.
The Blessing of Manna
God is never phased by my discouragement. Smiling confidently, He gives me a picture, to see me through my time-limited days.
“What is it?” was the name that the Israelites gave to this daily bread that fell down from heaven.
What is it? I echo, as I look at my days. My days sure don’t seem to add up to much.
“This is what the LORD has commanded, ‘Gather of it every man as much as he should eat…
… some gathered much and some little.
When they measured it with an omer, he who had gathered much had no excess, and he who had gathered little had no lack.“ ~ Exodus 16:16-18
It was a wake up call. Whether I gathered a little or a lot, God will still bless me in the end.
His provision for us is not given according to our efforts, but through what God has already determined.
Free To Believe
We are so conditioned to think 1+1 = 2, we are baffled by the blessing of manna.
I don’t understand how God is doing it, but He is making something meaningful out of our lives.
When I dare to believe that my problem isn’t with time, but belief, I become free to make the most of the time I have. I become willing to go to God and confess my frustrations.
God, will you fulfill your purpose for me?
Help me believe.
Christ walked by faith in the backdrop of a 24 hour life in the limit of thirty-three years. He tells us confidently: we can do the same.
The principle of manna. It gives me hope. Why? Because it frees me to believe God can do anything, even through me.
Principe #1 of Manna: Don’t give up. Surrender to the blessing of manna. Those who gather little will not lack and those who gather much will not have excess. What God brings into our lives is based on His provision and not our limited efforts.
What are some new steps God is encouraging you to take?
How would the principle of manna encourage you?
We are enjoying our May series — New Steps. Check out our topic for today and next week’s new topic below!
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Today’s Topic 5/12:
What is something new God is asking you to step out in?
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Next Thursday’s Topic 5/19:
To quit or not to quit. Share your thoughts or experience on quitting something or not quitting something.
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