In the movie, “World War Z” the zombies are on the way and the hero of the movie tells the family, “People who keep moving, live.”
Movement is life. Two days ago I was doing some gold leafing at work. I was in a standing position on a cement floor for 7 ½ hours. When I got home my back was stiff and sore. I did an exercise to stretch it but I had to do it four times before I heard that wonderful popping as the muscles stretched out. Part of being able to move ahead is being flexible.
Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about movement in the aspect of staying flexible mentally. When I got blocked from certain capabilities on Facebook, the first thing that popped into my head (after a brief dance with disappointment) was: “God will make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:19).
I wasn’t going to give up on reaching people with my writing, but I knew I had to be compliant to the Holy Spirit, ready to go in a divergent direction if necessary.
When we know that we’re doing God’s will, nothing can stop us, but we may have to be a little flexible in the execution. We can’t be making all kinds of our own rules about how we think things should be done all the time. I know we all get into comfortable routines but putting stiff unbreakable rules on ourselves can lead to rigidity and unnecessary hard heartedness.
That’s what happened to the Pharisees. They knew it was God’s will to heal people but they also knew that they weren’t supposed to do any work on the Sabbath. They became overbearingly inflexible about not working on the Sabbath, to the point that when Jesus went to heal a man on the Sabbath, they couldn’t take it:
“And he [Jesus] entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand. And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him. And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth.
And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness [blindness] of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.
And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him. But Jesus withdrew himself with his disciples to the sea” (Mark 3:1-7).
Now I know none of us would want to be as ridiculous as the Pharisees, but at times we’ve sacrificed the greater blessing and gotten mad about having to change.
But we don’t want to lose sight of the bigger picture. When obstacles come up against the traditions we’ve set up, we want to let the Holy Spirit take us around some new bends in the stream. It may be more thrilling and more satisfying than we ever imagined.
Don’t get stuck in rigid rules. If we get brittle, we’ll break. Let’s be willing to go in a slightly different direction as the Holy Spirit opens new ways. The zombies will never be able to get us if we just keep moving.
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