Dazed and Confused
[mk_dropcaps style="fancy-style"]H[/mk_dropcaps]ave you ever felt at a loss for where to begin when someone gives you advice that is super simple and also very profound? The one that I have struggled with the most is “You need to change your perspective.” Or put another way, “All you need is a paradigm shift.” My initial response is something like, “Well that is very easy to say, but how do I get a paradigm shift?” It sounds so simple and yet elusive. As I have pressed into this, I have found getting new perspective is actually more practical and attainable than one may think. What is the challenging part is reprograming our thoughts and habits to align with new perspectives/paradigms. At the transition point of our mindset we often get dazed and confused. We start to question why we are even making the change in the first place. Most people stop at this point and turn back. I recently read “The Noticer Returns” which is the latest book by one of my favorite authors Andy Andrews. This book is unassumingly powerful. The story focuses on the power of our everyday occurrences with a twist! The twist being how everyday occurrences bring about perspective change. Is it really an ordinary day when your perspective changes? You can have a moment of clarity that changes how you do everything else. But, the thing, I find, that no one talks about is the confusion that can follow. This book goes there. What do you do with confusion?
We start down a path but don’t really know the real why behind the path we’ve chosen. How long will it take? What will the journey and the end result look like? When the inevitable challenges come, the confusion kicks into high gear. The clarity we had that began our paradigm shift is still there but it feels more like that of the fleeting vibrancy in the colors of a sunset. In the book, you’ll meet a character named Jones. He is a parallel for Jesus, a teacher and a perspective-shifter. While encouraging a few of the characters in the book to push through the pain of their current circumstance, Jones urges them to press forward and to put their trust in him as their teacher. He goes on to say “I’m not requiring you to understand. I am simply urging you to obey. For it is only when you obey that, eventually, you begin to understand.” I imagine that is what God says to those of us in that state of being confused by our circumstances.
Obedience must often proceed understanding. Much of this life requires moving ahead, even if you’re confused. Much like Jones’ ever-present character in the book, Jesus is always here with us. He is our teacher, our guide, and He is the one that shifts our paradigms. He is there to encourage us in the journey. We will never have perfect certainty in anything, but we can be certain of God’s presence in the midst of confusion. He will encourage us to take the next step even if confused. Why not embrace the confusion? As illustrated in the book all it indicates is you are in the process of growth.
I got the opportunity to test this truth myself. Recently, I had to draw some boundary lines with a few people to create room for the great. Saying “no” to the good can be hard. In this case, it was saying “no” to a really good man who I went on a few dates with. There was no a deeper connection. Conversation felt mechanical instead of the ease of talking with a close friend. What I found most surprising were the thoughts I had that were trying to convince me to make it work. “Who do you think you are to turn down this amazing guy? Do you think you can get a man that is honorable like him and have a connection?” While elements of truth were in those thoughts, there was one key thing I was not willing to do. Compromise. I am not and was not willing to compromise, even if that meant facing confusion or the reality that I was closing the door on a perfectly great guy.
In the midst of this, however, I was reminded of Isaiah 55:9.
[mk_blockquote style="line-style" font_family="none" text_size="16" align="center"]For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.[/mk_blockquote]
This verse is clear that we won’t be able to totally understand everything, especially what’s right in front of us. However, it’s also clear that we are to trust and obey, regardless. Our complete understanding for every situation is not the priority. Rather, our capacity to trust God and to willingly let Him lead you is. Remember, God is higher not only than our thoughts but our ways. He created time, so he operates from a position of knowing the outcome. I have to remind myself of this truth and take His word for it, especially when confusion cranks things into high gear.
Are you in a season of confusion? Is it keeping you from stepping out in obedience? Be encouraged you are not alone! Your blessing is promised. God has greater for you. You were made to be extraordinary. Do not let this dazed and confused moment take you off the path God has set before you. See it as an indicator you’re on the right path. Lean into His wisdom. Watch how the confusion itself will dissipate.
What is the hardest decision you’ve made to keep going in the face of confusion? How did God show up and prove Himself in that time?