I remember the first time I got stuck. I had went with a friend to a place I had no business being, at a time I should not have been there, doing things that I had no business doing, and with people I had no business being. I had went with a friend out to a local party hangout called Pebble Beach. It was a weekend, and I had no cares in the world, no where I had to be in a day before cell phones. We were drinking and with older people, like ten years older. Granted I had lied about my age to start with, but at least two of the people there knew the truth. We had pulled the car down farther onto the beach than we should have, and we literally got stuck. While I enjoyed the beginning of our time at Pebble Beach, the overall experience was just not good because we got stuck. Plus the consequences of not making it home, or calling was a big deal.
As a teenager, I found myself in stuck more times than I should have. With twenty years plus passed since my crazy teenage days, I look back at those times and think what I should have learned from those times, and how even today, times when I feel stuck, play out those same bad choices. As a Christian, I quickly think how I get stuck, feeling spiritually dry, like I am spinning my wheels, and God is not hearing me (and I am not listening to Him). I ask myself why, and I am taken back to those crazy teen days.
Sometimes when I am stuck spiritually it is because I have put myself in a situation that I have no business being. It has been a while since I intentionally went some place I had no business being. However, sometimes seemingly innocent places become so consuming that I give too much of my time to it. For example, I love helping people. Hence I take jobs helping others. But when I spend too much time at work, my life gets out of balance. When I am out of balance, I get stuck. Church is a great place to be, but it should not take the place of me spending time alone with God, my husband, my family and in service. Am I allowing places to keep me stuck?
Sometimes I am stuck spiritually because of the things I give my time too. I don’t think God has anything against television, the internet, cellphones. However, if I am spending more time watching television than I am reading the Word, that is not going to help me progress. Even if I am watching Godly programs, that can not replace the secret place. If I spend more time on my phone than I am spending in prayer, I am out of relationship. Am I allowing my time to reflect God as a priority in my life, or am I getting stuck in mindless time drains?
Sometimes I get stuck going around the same mountain because I am doing things I have no business doing. It is easy to get overextended into activities that are not tied to my calling and purpose. Not that I shouldn’t help out when I can, but when I am doing a bunch of things that don’t further the kingdom, are not tied to my purpose, am allowing busyness of activities to keep me from God? It is okay to tell people no, to not get involved in doing just because others are. And sometimes I keep doing things because I have always done them, when in reality someone else could be doing them, should be doing them, and wants to be doing them. Am I holding others back by my unwillingness to stop doing and let someone else? Am I stuck because I am overcommitment, doing things I have no business doing?
Sometimes I get stuck because I am with people I should not be. I love to help people, but there are people who will suck the life out of you, consume your time, and dump everything on you with nothing to give in return, ever. All people are worth helping, but not all people are willing to be helped. There are also those people who are more of a negative influence than you are a positive influence. I am not recommending that the first time that someone causes you stress that those relationships should be ended, but I believe that healthy boundaries should be established and that some of those boundaries have to be more rigid than with others. If I am spending all my time with people, and no time with God, I will drain quickly. If I am spending more time with people who pull from me, and not enough time with people who pour something back in to me, I am going to find myself stuck. I need to ask the Holy Spirit to guide me in those relationships. Are there relationships that I am allowing to make me feel stuck?
Regardless of where I am stuck at, I know that with God there is hope of getting out. At times where I am stuck, I need to repent for not listening to God and allowing these things to take over in my life. Then I need to press in to Him, I need to get deeper in the Word, spend more time in prayer and set better boundaries and priorities in those areas that God speaks to me about. When I stay stuck, it is because I choose to do nothing. If I really want to get unstuck, I just need to press in. It may take more time to get unstuck than I like, but ultimately it will take me in to a deeper relationship with Him.