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There was a time in my life when I thought being on the fast track to ANYWHERE was the way to go. I pushed and pushed and pushed myself to limits that weren’t really possible. I set expectations on myself and others that were impossible to meet and all in the name of JULIE. I didn’t know what I wanted and I didn’t know where I was going. I hurt so many people in the process and I eventually became a slave to my selfish desires.

nemo6I was watching “Finding Nemo” recently (I LOVE that movie) and there is a part in there where the fish get caught in the net and panic sets in because they realize that death is imminent. They are just swimming along, being rude and hateful, not realizing that they are swimming right into a trap. I have seen that movie a million times and this time I saw it through new eyes. Those poor fish. Angry, lonely, just one of millions, doing what they know to do…swimming around and hating every minute of it. Then reality sets in as to their current circumstance. It takes Nemo to come along and say, “Swim this way, I have been here before and I know what to do!” for them to pull it together and get out of the net. Who gets hurt in the process? Nemo.

nemo5Man, you gotta love spiritual applications in kid movies! Jesus is leading me beside the still waters. He has been where I am going and knows the Way. I can’t imagine His pain when I decide to just let panic set in and I let go of even trying. He is there all the time, whispering in my ear and telling me that He has a plan even if I am bitter and full of resentment. Why do I wait until I am caught in the net to finally listen?

Exodus 13:17 – When Pharaoh finally let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.”

nemo4God KNEW what the people would do. Just like the fish in the movie, they were bitter, angry, confused, unsure of their path, and headed for a destruction of their own making. He knew they would choose panic and run right back into slavery if He didn’t take them down a different road to safety. Did they like it? NO. Did they grumble? YES. Did they choose to be miserable? YES. But He was SAVING THEM. Here is the crazy part. HE DIDN’T HAVE TO TELL THEM WHAT HE WAS DOING. I am sitting here laughing as I write this because God is GOD and who am I to think that I can be privy to His plans? HE TOLD THEM EXACTLY WHAT HE WAS DOING! Guess what?!?!! He tells us too. He reveals things to us IF WE ARE WILLING TO RECEIVE.

nemo3I’ll tell you this much. I don’t want to be an angry fish, swimming around all bitter with no purpose but to make other people miserable. I want to listen to the still small voice that comes on the wind when I am quiet, the voice that sings into my heart and tells me which way to go.

Isaiah 30:21 – Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

It’s my choice to listen or to block it out completely.

Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Don’t look back to the land of slavery. Don’t wait until you have been caught up in the net before making a choice. Don’t hurt Jesus. He has better than the best of intentions for your life…no other being in the universe compares! Here is the last thing…When you get let out of the net and Jesus is wounded for your transgressions, turn around and give thanks. Do not just swim away and forget.