time out

In my horse-riding lesson today I was reminded of how important it is to communicate well. You might wonder if you’ve never ridden a horse how on earth you communicate with a horse, but as most will know communication is more than language skills; it is also tone, body language and in this case physical contact. A horse can feel even the smallest movement, even a fly landing on it’s back, so the slightest hand or leg pressure and change in focus or tension in a riders body will be communicated to it for better or for worse.

Which is why one of the skills of riding is the need to always communicate clearly, concisely and consistently. If the rider becomes unsure the horse will take that as a sign that they can do whatever they want. If your “leg on” – or pressure exerted from your leg and subsequently the rest of your body is not firm, clear and concise, or you lose focus mentally you will no doubt find you have every reason, depending on your stead and their temperament, to quickly regret and need to rectify your mistake.

Communication in life is key, for it we cannot communicate effectively we are usually going to run into trouble, whether that is on the back of a horse, or in our home life, relationships, work or whatever we are pursuing.

Yet perhaps part of the reason we don’t communicate clearly, concisely and consistently all the time in life is because we fail to know where we are going, what we should be doing, or what our lives are about. We perhaps haven’t taken enough time to reflect, to get to know ourselves, to develop who we are, and to pray about our day, let alone our futures. We are unsure what we want, what God’s plan is, or how to even form a strategy to get there. As a result when we communicate to those around us we can appear unclear, stressed, anxious, and as my mum aptly puts it, “all over the place like a sneeze”.

But there is a solution to unclear communication – it begins with regularly taking time out! Yes, taking some time, for there isn’t really any other way to discover what God’s plan is for you, what He has already placed in your heart, or what we want our life to look like, except to take the time to draw aside with Jesus, to read His Word about what He says about our life and the place we have in the big scheme of things. Without drawing aside regularly from our schedules and the noise around us we often will fail to develop and cultivate what He has already placed in our heart and the potential we have residing on the inside of us. If we don’t take time to regularly clarify and renew our strength and focus we can instead spend far too much time running, (much like a hamster on one of those little wheels) but going nowhere fast.

Let’s make a decision to be people who know who we are, who our God is and where we are going. Then we can be consistent, focused, clear and concise in the way we live our lives and subsequently how we communicate to the world around us.

“Let me hear your loving kindness in the morning; For I trust in You; Teach me the way in which I should walk; For to You I lift up my soul.” (Psalm 143:8)

May you have spiritual wisdom and insight that you may grow in your knowledge of God. I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you understand the confident hope He has given.” (Ephesians 1:16 NLT)

“But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives generously and without reproach, and it will be given to you.” (James 1:5)

Prayer: Lord please help me to regularly take the time to draw aside with you so that I can then give you all my concerns and clarify my purpose and direction. Please help me to be more consistent and focused in all I do. In Jesus name Amen.