Let Go of the Thorns

Bi-weekly, the staff met to discuss workflow. This was a time to brainstorm solutions for their daily challenges. Instead, focused on playing the ‘blame game’ rather than solving problems. Every meeting was smothered by negativity.

If this department did their part…
If that person operated more efficiently…
If this internal system was more effective…
If that information was more readily available…

I don’t know if any amount of sugary donuts could have helped to sweeten the atmosphere in that board room. Identifying problems was only one step of many towards growth. Why not exert as much effort and passion in celebrating the triumphs and successes? Why didn’t we focus on contributing to solutions rather than waiting for them to be handed to us?

This spectrum between our high and low points is a part of life. The negative, the hardships keep us distracted and short-sighted. Our energy is spent complaining about all that is wrong. To the point that we’ve begun anticipating wrongness before we starting a task. We plan for and cater to potential disasters, rather than expecting great things.

When the positive things do happen, we’re caught off guard. We then spend time trying to figure out how and why something actually worked well, turning our unexpected blessings into drudgeries. This is like going to a garden to admire the thorns, weeds, dirt, and bugs. Imagine overlooking the delightful fragrances and vibrant colors of the flowers to focus solely on the downfalls of the plants.

Except that we don’t love flowers for their thorns. We have learned that while they are on a stem, they are only one part of the plant. If we’re carefully attentive, we can enjoy and even touch a thorn-laden flower without hurting ourselves.

We need to let go of the thorns. The enemy has planted those thorns there to distract us from looking upward. When we get pricked by a thorn, a common reaction is to give a slight yelp and instantly let go of the stem and tend to the hurt. When we’re pricked by the thorns of sin and hardship, the common reaction is to let go of God to tend to our hurts ourselves. The thorns are there to prevent us from having a deeper experience with God.

Are you ready to let go of the thorns?

Are you ready to shed negative thinking and negative talk for words that uplift and encourage? God wants His best for us. Our journey towards God’s best will involve some encounters with thorns, but that’s only a small part of the overall garden of life.

Let go of the thorns and grab onto God’s hand.

{This post is the conclusion of a 10-part series. The entire list is found on the introductory page, A Deeper Experience.}

Sabrina Jacques-Rowe
Communication Leader
Henderson Highway Church

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