Whenever the cloud lifted from above the tent, the Israelites set out; wherever the cloud settled, the Israelites encamped. — NUMBERS 9:17
How well do you go with the flow?
How flexible are you?
Planning is good. Making plans is encouraged. But what if the plan is to simply be ready? Such was the case for the Israelites.
The Israelites simply kept their eye on a cloud. Wherever it went, they followed.
Imagine having just put on a pot of lentils and the cloud starts to move. Or, you have just come in from a long day of herding sheep, prop your feet up, and the cloud starts to rumble.
Sometimes the cloud camps out for days and other times the dust hardly settles before it starts rolling out again. When a cloud is your compass, you learn to be fluid and flexible.
Life on the road with Moses meant living fluid and flexible. As soon as the cloud lifted, the Israelites broke camp. Whenever the cloud paused, they drove down tent stakes. Such is the life of a nomad. The only thing predictable is change.
Most of us are settlers. We like digging in and putting down roots. Familiarity and routine make life easy and smooth.
If we aren’t careful, we get set in our ways and stuck in a rut. We have life down so well we could do it in our sleep. We lose our sense of adventure and start to accept life as a settler.
We start to settle for less than our best. We start to settle for what’s within our reach and ignore what could be with just a bit more effort. In essence, we compromise and give into the attainable when we are meant for more.
Stability is a state of mind not a place of being. External circumstances may change but where you set your mind internally determines the direction your life is heading. A stable thought life brings peace even when the challenges of life are moving in a thousand different directions.
What is the key to such stability when mobility is the norm?
The life of the Israelites provides a clue. They stayed in tune. One minute, life around them was go, go, go and then before they knew it, it was slow, slow, slow.
The key? Stay in tune with the Lord. remain fluid and flexible.
There is something very stabilizing that occurs when you decide that wherever He leads, you’ll go. Time and tenure aren’t the key. The key is being in tune with God’s movement in our lives.
When we stay in touch with Him, we do anything but settle. He may desire for us to camp out in one place for 40 years or He might allow for a 40-minute break to catch our breath before heading out again. Either way, life on the road with Him is far more exciting and meaningful than sitting around with our feet propped up eating lentils.
Think and pray
A lot of clarity is discovered by the one who is found to be fluid and flexible. While the world around us might by cloudy, the direction we are heading won’t be.
Lord, give me eyes to see where You are moving and ready my feet to join You there – without hesitation. Amen.
Ray Sanders is recognized as a passionate CEO, a leader of leaders, a white-board aficionado and an innovative growth strategist with a heart for purpose-driven cultures and values-based leadership development. He is Co-founder of Coaching Leaders and Edify Leaders, and a regular speaker for CBMC’s Young Professionals program in Oklahoma City. Catch his blog at raysanders.com.