Miles Walked: 583
Miles Remaining: 417
Days Remaining: 133
When I was a kid, my dad used to listen to the Paul Harvey radio show. I wasn’t especially fond of it and my favorite part was when he said, “And that’s the rest of the story.. I’m Paul Harvey. Good Day.” It was my favorite part because that meant it was over. Paul Harvey just wasn’t my thing.
I was reminded of those words a couple weeks ago when a patient came into our office and I was told that he wanted to talk to me. I’ll admit that I was a little irritated because I’m not the medical person in our office so I wasn’t sure why he needed to tell me what was going on instead of our medical assistant. All that aside, I went up and asked what I could do for him. He said he wanted to tell me his story. He’s been sick for awhile and has a long history of multiple medical problems, all of which were part of his story. At one point he paused and I assumed he was finished, so I started to speak and he interrupted me (politely) to tell me that he wanted to tell me the rest of the story.
I won’t lie – it was a very long story. After his polite interruption, I felt my irritation subsiding and my compassion take it’s place. He just wanted to be heard, and he knew that I needed to hear his story to make the best recommendations for him.
I thought of him over the weekend, partly because I gave him my cell # in case he needed anything – and let me tell you that he was not afraid to use it, and partly because I realized that we almost never tell “the rest of the story”. Everything is always abbreviated to save time or we just don’t want to get into the the full story. We even do it when we talk to God.. like He doesn’t already know the full story. But we try and keep out some parts to justify why we do what we do. Sometimes we just need to take the time to get and tell the whole story.
Recently, I asked a friend for her opinion of an idea that had been swimming around my mind. She responded with a, “Why do you feel you need to do that?”. Wait a minute… I just wanted a yes or no. I didn’t want to have to explain myself. I didn’t want to tell the rest of the story! I had reasons.. but it ultimately came down to just being something that I wanted to do. I had been thinking about it and I had prayed about it.. but I didn’t bother waiting around for that prayer to proclaim itself answered. I just wanted to do it.
Once she called me out, I realized that I do this a lot. I come up with ideas that might even be really good ideas but when you get to the “why, what’s the rest of the story?” part of it, did I really submit it to God and wait? Are the reasons for doing it good enough or does it just come down to “because I want to”.
The wise are cautious and avoid danger; fools plunge ahead with reckless confidence. ~ Proverbs 14:13
I find that when I’m convicted like this, I go back through my mind and pick out the things that might have turned out different if I had waited for God to answer. I’m not saying that I replay things that I regret or beat myself up for the way I did things. It’s sort of my live and learn process. Then I am more empowered to make a better decision next time. I thought of several things that I had done “because I wanted to”. There was way more to the story than the reasons I thought I had at the time, and we’re talking about some life changing things. Of course, since God wrote my story, I know that I’m right where I’m supposed to be in my life, but the choices I made to get here weren’t always for the best reasons. More often that not, I should have looked at the rest of the story before making my decision.
My walks have taken on a new conversation since I’m making an effort to give the full story to God. I’m not just giving him my high points and my favorite reasons for things that I’m discussing with Him.. but I’m trying to lay it all out. I mean, He knows the whole story anyway so I might as well come clean with myself and put it all out there. The good and the bad and even the selfish if that’s what it comes down to. He knows my heart but sometimes I wonder if I do. Laying it all out is letting me see which way my heart likes to lean and it’s not always leaning the way it should.
I’m happy to say that since I got called out on my intentions, I have gotten better at identifying when I’m trying to just do something because I want to do it. It’s helping me to make better decisions and especially take my time when asking for guidance on things that are bigger than me. That’s not to say that I haven’t done some things just because I want to. But wouldn’t you know that when I do those things, the outcome usually isn’t what I had hoped for. Go figure…
“Submit to God, and you will have peace; then things will go well for you. Listen to his instructions,
and store them in your heart~ Job 22:21-22