Monday, September 11, 2017

Looking but Letting Go

by Anusha Atukorala


I was rushing through the shops. Visitors were due for lunch that day. I’d planned to spend one hour at the shopping centre, then return home to add the last minute trimmings to my luncheon table before my guests got in. As I strode past my favourite clothing shop, I noticed a sale was on. Just a quick look, I told myself. A red jumper grabbed my attention, especially because it was less than half price. I tried it on. It fitted perfectly.

The truth was that I should not have been buying any clothes that day. 1) I didn’t have any extra time to check them out and 2) I needed to be careful about my spending. My beloved had given me a generous cash gift for our special Anniversary a few weeks before. However, one trip to my favourite bookshop and a good portion of it was swallowed up by a DVD (The Case for Christ), a book (Beauty will save the world by Brian Zahnd) and a worship CD. The $20 left, I’d planned to give away. That day though, temptation yanked me hard like a toddler’s tug on his mother’s skirt. I had a little chat with my Heavenly Father


“I won’t get another jumper at this price, Lord’
“Do you need it?”
“Well no, but … I don’t have this colour!’
“But red isn’t your favourite colour.’
“I know … but doesn’t it look good on me Lord?’
No response.

I knew what I had to do. You will be proud of me. I did it—I placed the jumper on the rack and walked away. It’s a skill God’s been teaching me over the last few years. I’m finally able to glance at what’s on offer but to choose to say ‘No’, even when sorely tempted. The world does have a lot of attractive specials of all kinds on offer. Have you noticed?

As a Christian Writer I don’t have a supervisor breathing down my neck—it’s just me alone with my computer. But how accountable am I to my invisible but ever present Boss—God  Himself?


Here are a few issues I’ve needed to think about and work out with godly wisdom.

  1. Keeping my daily Time with God sacred and as my top priority
  2. Writing not what I want to write but that which God asks of me
  3. Remembering to ask His help when I write that which comes effortlessly
  4. Soaking up the praise I receive versus giving God the glory
  5. Being willing to give up my writing time for the good of others, when required
  6. Remembering it’s not all about me—hooray for other writers’ successes
  7. Choosing only essentials from a writer’s tasks to live a God-breathed life
  8. Being a Disciple of Jesus first and a Writer second
  9. Being more than Doing in a frenzied, fast-paced, frantic world
  10. Letting go of good opinions of others to be a passionate God-pleaser

Life with God is an exciting adventure but sometimes a part of that adventure is giving up the good for what’s best. Sacrifice is never easy is it? And then … there are other times. Two years ago I went to Sri Lanka to attend a sad event—my beloved Mama’s funeral. As I talked to those who’d come to pay their respects, I met the former Captain of my Girl Guide troop, a lovely woman. She told me that Mum had promised to write an article for the Girl Guide Centenary anniversary in 2017. She asked if I would write it instead. Of course I said ‘Yes’ at once. If she’d asked me to jump off a bridge for mum, I’d have done that too. Back home, a few months later, when I recollected my promise, I had second thoughts. Could I do it? A few dozen riotous butterflies fluttered inside of me, having a field day.


The year 2017 arrived and remembering my promise … I checked on that Girl Guide article I was meant to write. I was relieved to discover it wasn’t needed after all. A reprieve. Yay! Sometimes God takes us to Mount Moriah like He did with Abraham and tests us. Are we willing to say ‘Yes’ no matter what the cost? I was so glad I had said ‘Yes’, (especially now it wasn’t needed)! At other times God asks us to say ‘No’ to what we’d like, in order to say “Yes’ to what He has planned for us.


Is there something God is asking of you today?

Or ... is there something He's been asking you to let go of?

What are the lessons you’ve been learning of late on your writing journey? I'd love to hear about them.




Anusha’s been on many interesting detours in life, as a lab technician, a computer programmer, a full time Mum, a full time volunteer, a charity director, a full time job chaser, until one golden day (or was it a dark moonless night?) God tapped her on her shoulder and called her to write for Him. She has never recovered from the joy it brought her. She loves to see others enjoying life with Jesus and does her mite to hurry the process in her world. The goodness of God is her theme song through each season, as she dances in the rain with Jesus. Please stop by at her website to say G’day to her. She’d love to see you there. Dancing in the Rain



Her first book Enjoying the Journey contains 75 little God stories that will bring you closer to your Creator. All going well, her second book will be published in 2018 – ‘Dancing in the RainWords of comfort and hope for a sad heart. Stay tuned!

23 comments:

  1. Well done Anusha in letting the red jumper go šŸ˜Š I like your list & the contrast between saying 'no' when needed, but 'yes' to what God plans, though sometimes it can be hard to hear which is which. I'm also glad we have a God who heals the broken hearted and takes our mistakes and brings beauty out of the ashes. Loved your post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jenny. I like the sound of that well done! A few years ago, I felt God speaking to my heart about my spending and since then I've been learning to be more careful. I do agree that sometimes it's really hard to know that which God requires in contrast to what we think is needed. Yes, do agree. We are greatly blessed by an amazing all-encompassing God who creates beauty even out of our mistakes. So grateful to Him and for our calling as Christian writers. We are blessed indeed. :)

      Delete
  2. Thanks Anusha for sharing the importance of staying focused on God's plan. At the moment even my writing has been laid down. But obedience is better than sacrifice so I wait for Him. Blessings my friend. Xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi dear Jo. I'm really sorry to hear that even your writing has been laid down for the moment. That must be hard? I do agree that obedience is better than sacrifice. I will be asking Him to bless you in a special way during this season of waiting - I know waiting is never easy and I do feel for you, Jo. May He bring beauty out of whatever it is you are facing and may His love and comfort shine brightly within your heart, dear, faithful woman of God. xox

      Delete
  3. Thankyou Anusha. I am often reminding those I teach in college of the necessity of getting our life priorities in correct order. This usually means highlighting sabbath perspectives. Particularly time, rest, peace and focus. Thanks for the reminder again that for me to get down to the call to write means that other elements of my life need to be let go of :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's great that you remind those you teach of the importance of keeping our life priorities in order. It's a constant challenge I find. And yes, the sabbath perspectives are crucial all life long and easy to put away in this busy world of ours. All the best to you as you carve out time for your writing and say 'No' to other good things in the doing of it. Blessings on your journey, Shane.

      Delete
  4. Hi Anusha, yes, it's a good point to be sure we can follow through on a commitment before instantly committing ourselves. I've been badly burned that way and learned a hard lesson, which was my own fault :( And for sure, when we have little niggles about purchases like the red jumper, it's good to listen. Good on you for recognising them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it's easy to commit to too much isn't it? After all, Jesus did say we need to count the cost before we follow Him and that applies to all areas of our lives. So sorry to hear that you were badly burned. Can happen easily because sometimes it's so hard to say 'No'. Thanks Paula.

      Delete
  5. So important just to move ahead (or not) as God leads, although that does require careful listening at times and the strength to say no, as you did, Anusha.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, you are right Jo-Anne. God's leading is so crucial and often the temptation is to do good things at the expense of doing what He requires of us. Thanks for reading and responding Jo-Anne.

      Delete
  6. Lovely thought provoking post and printable list there, Anusha!
    Aren't we blessed the way His Holy Spirit prompts us in so many different ways? I can easily become stressed if I don't meet the deadlines I set myself. Must keep on learning to trust God time wise ... everything in its time especially God's time, not mine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the encouragement dear Rita. Yes, we are indeed blessed to have the Holy Spirit not only live within us but also point us in the way to live. Yes, trusting God with our deadlines is not easy is it? May God continue to use your writing to bless many. xo

      Delete
  7. Thanks for your post and this reminder, Anusha.

    Remembering to ask His help when I write that which comes effortlessly .

    ReplyDelete
  8. You are most welcome Susan. And as for that reminder - yes - I too tend to forget sometimes! :) May He teach us total dependance on the Writer and Author of our lives. xox

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks so much, Anusha. Very timely for me. I love those points and have printed them out to keep by my computer. Your point about writing not what I want but what God wants becomes very relevant when I have to cut my word count drastically! I was also challenged by the point about being willing to give up my writing time for the good of others. I have found it very hard these last few days to live in two worlds - the world of my book and the real world. I know my husband and children suffer as everyday tasks are left undone and I'm a bit absent-minded. Thanks again for your Godly wisdom!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank YOU Jenny. I'm so blessed to hear that you've printed them out. Bless you. Yes, it's so easy to write what I wish to write - all the best with that word count and chopping it down. I'm sure you have very small pockets of writing time due to having a young family. You are doing really well to be living on both worlds my friend. Well done for persevering and all the best with your latest book. I know it will be fabulous!

      Delete
  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  11. "Choosing only essentials from a writer’s tasks to live a God-breathed life" - such a challenge, because there are always more 'good' or 'helpful' things that could be done!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Emily. Yes, that has been one of the biggest challenges for me personally - the modern day writer's world is crammed full of 'have to be done' stuff. How do we choose? Not easy I know. So glad you were challenged - as I am too.

      Delete
  12. WOW, Anusha, you are certainly stronger than me! I was so happy to read about this as Ive been challenged recently. Ive been tapped on my shoulder also about spending lately. Things are tight as you can imagine, and I received, do you need it also, LOL. Oh dont you just love how Daddy God is always there to answer and you really cant get away with it. Must admit I did find it amusing when He didnt answer the last question. I have enough clothing for now, but I was complaining that its now spring and I am having trouble fitting into my old clothes. After complaining, our dear Father said, lose weight! LOL Sigh! Honestly, He had been talking to me about my diet for some time now ,so we are trying hard. Oh ,toohave beeen born with a sweet tooth. The worst part is that I actually attempted to suck the life out of a toffee lollie LOL, but with no teeth and sore gums, the lollie won! xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi dear Wendy. Thank you. :) A few years ago, God tapped me on the shoulder and told me to curb my spending. And so the lessons began. I have no trouble with the large items. It's the little ones - like the 10 dollars here and there that have me looking. I too have a problem because my weight's been soaring alas despite all attempts to curb it. I like it how God answered you about losing weight. All the best with it Wendy. You can do it! :) Blessings my friend and all the best with your painting and your writing. xox

      Delete
  13. Thanks for sharing your experience, Anusha. How easily (and often) tangents and unwarranted distractions can take us away from the task or person we ought to be focused on. A valuable lesson.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Adele for your feedback. Yes, it's so easy to be side tracked isn't it and go far from what God desires from us. Always a struggle to keep the main thing as the main thing especially in an easily distracted world! :) Bless you.

      Delete