How many times have you tried to open a program on your computer and discovered that something was wrong with it? When that happens, sometimes you get the option to start a program in safe mode. Starting a program in safe mode means that it still functions but some of its options are disabled, allowing you to get your work done without jeopardizing your content. So it works, only with decreased functionality.
Anyone ever get there in life? After a good long text chat with my best friend yesterday, I realized that I’m there now. I’m functioning. I’m working. I’m just not doing it as well as I could be. There are some parts of me that aren’t operating the way they should, mostly because of exhaustion of the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual varieties.
It usually happens around this time of year. Judgement House is over. The holidays are on the way. I’m relieved that Judgement House is done for another year, and while I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas, I’m exhausted just thinking about how much work they are. Plus with the added stress of my job, my mom’s significant health issues, and the daily requirements of everyday life that I can never seem to stay up with, I feel like I’m in a constant battle to keep my head above water and that most of the time I’m swallowing more water than is healthy.
So the question I’m coming to is how do you get out of safe mode? Well, I know how I do that on my computer. I restart my program. But I can’t exactly do that with my life, can I?
Well, actually, you can.
Today’s verse is Lamentations 3:22-23.
The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.
I know I’ve blogged on this verse many times before, but there’s no better verse in my mind if I’m trying to remember the fact that God is a God of second chances and third chances and fourth chances and on and on and on. You get the idea. It’s never too late to restart again, not when it comes to your relationship with God. As long as you’re still breathing, you still have hope. God never gives up on us, so where do we get off thinking we can give up on Him?
Every day is a battle. If you’re a follower of Christ and your life in this world isn’t a daily battle in some sense of the concept, something’s wrong. As Christ-followers, this world isn’t our home. So if your life has trouble, that doesn’t automatically mean you’re doing something wrong. It just means that you’re a stranger in a strange land.
True, there may be trouble in your life for a reason beyond the world’s brokenness. I’m just saying don’t automatically jump to the conclusion that God is out to get you because of it. This isn’t where we’re supposed to be comfortable. This isn’t where we should desire to spend our eternity.
What I’m trying to wrap my head around at this point in my walk is how to restart without repeating the same mistakes. There’s a difference between restarting and starting over. Restarting wipes the slate clean. Starting over means you build on the ruins of what didn’t work the first time.
If I know it doesn’t work, I don’t want to restart on its ashes. I want to get as far away from it as I can. So how do you restart with a new perspective on life in general, especially when you’re too tired and burned out to care about much of anything?
For me, the biggest part of it is being honest with yourself. If you need to restart, don’t just identify the need and do nothing about it. Identify what needs to change and change it. Do something about it. Many times for me that starts with being willing to talk about it with someone.
It’s like trying to get your work done with a computer program that’s only operating with half its functionality. It’s frustrating because you know it can do more—it just won’t while it’s in safe mode.
Restart. Get back to basics. Clean the slate. Your day started off terrible? It doesn’t have to end terrible; God can redeem even the worst day. Your whole day was discouraging and disheartening? Tomorrow doesn’t have to be that way. Tell God about it and let Him walk with you through tomorrow. You spent today running in circles and accomplishing absolutely nothing? Maybe you learned something in all that waste of time that you needed to know for the next day.
Yesterday is done. Today begins new. Today begins fresh. Don’t let yesterday drag you down, especially when yesterday’s troubles won’t leave you alone. Sometimes it takes today’s perspective to tackle yesterday’s problems anyway.
You can restart anytime. So don’t wait. Don’t keep plugging away with a perspective that’s only letting you see half the picture. Restart. Open your eyes. Even if you can’t see everything God is doing, you can see enough to remember that He does have it under control. He loves you. You’re valuable to Him. And He wants to hang out with you today.