With the launch of a new year, it’s a great time to think through your plans for the rest of the year. I shared a message a while ago about the importance of “Putting the Big Rocks in First”, which (in a nutshell) means to prioritize the things you want to do and scheduling the most important things in your calendar first. Otherwise, your life will get cluttered with a bunch of lesser important items, not leaving room for the important ones. With this in mind, a priority for my wife Lara and I each year is to let our Leadership Team and Staff Members know how much we value their faithfulness and hard work and there’s no better way to show that appreciation than to take them out for a night on the town. We plan to take them to a nice dinner and are entertaining the idea of going to an Escape Room!
If you’re unfamiliar with what an Escape Room is, it is a real-life adventure game in which you and your teammates assemble in a themed room and have a set amount of time to complete your mission and “escape” the room. A successful escape will require you to find hidden clues and solve challenging puzzles throughout the room, each one building upon the next. When you get stuck, you can ask for a hint from the game’s facilitator. If you ever need a real dose of humility, I highly recommend you check one out. They are a lot of fun! Although when I have gone in the past, I walk out of the room feeling dumber than when I first got there. (Here’s a Hint: Take your smartest friend with you).
I started thinking about the simple parameters of the Escape Room and how they parallel our walk with God. We’re given very minimal instructions on the front end of something, with complex steps to figure out along the way. Sometimes we’re given multiple steps to lead us where He wants us, but more often than not, He just gives us one, and then the next, and so on. He desires and delights in the intimacy that’s created as we continually turn to Him for guidance. Like the Escape Room Facilitator who knows the entire room, and all the complex puzzles, riddles and clues, Jesus knows our complicated world inside and out; He created it. And nothing pleases Him more than when we seek His presence to see us through.
Deuteronomy 31:8 says, “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” What a great reality! He has already gone before you, into every situation you haven’t even stepped into yet. That business meeting you’re worried about, or that tough conversation you’re dreading having, or the uncertainty of how to navigate a difficult decision; He’s already “Been there, done that!” AND, He goes with you side-by-side towards it. So, the verse ends appropriately with “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” If a perfectly loving God has already been there and is walking with us to it, He will certainly see us through it! Thank You Jesus!