Never Be Ready

God picks the most unexpected times to talk to me. And I suspect He has a sense of humor about our communication. Maybe He likes to catch me by surprise. Or maybe using the unexpected is just the best way to get me to really pay attention.

In the car, while on my way to do grocery shopping, I heard a song that felt like it was played specifically for me. I frequently listen to this album (do we even call them that anymore?), but today I heard words that penetrated my distracted mind and made me replay the song several times. The song lyrics were from Never Be Ready by Mat Kearney.

We’ll never be ready if we keep waiting
For the perfect time to come
Won’t be steady; we’ll never be ready

Where we don’t know, though we can’t see,
Just walk on down this road with me
Mat Kearney*

Hearing these words, I felt my soul and body exhale. In the exhale, I let go of the anxiety now so familiar that it had become an unnoticed but constant companion. Anxiety is a background soundtrack to my life. And it had now become so commonplace that it was only when my body reacted that I noticed how thoroughly the anxiety had permeated not just my mind but also my physical being.

You’d think that with all the yoga, cardio, and strength training I do, I would be very in touch with messages from my body. But my body often remains a mystery; I don’t connect the clenched shoulders and aching neck with what is spinning around and around in my mind. But this time, my body responded to the song lyrics before my mind could process the message. And the sheer novelty of this jolted me into awareness.

That’s when I realized what the lyrics were saying and how meaningful the message was for me at this time in my life.

I had to think about this for a few minutes to realize why this was a powerful message for me. I’ve been fearful and anxious about changes that are coming. But I’ve also been convincing myself that I’ve got it all under control. Insisting that it was just a matter of executing the tasks on my to-do list to keep everything moving forward and getting on with the business of change. But my body knew the truth and told me that I’d been fooling myself.

So, I got the message that I’ll never truly feel ready for whatever changes are coming my way. There will never be a perfect time to make changes or feel steady and sure about my choices. And that doesn’t mean it’s not the right time (or the necessary time) to either initiate positive change or gracefully respond to changes that are not under my control.

A later verse echos this message:

Steady my hands, this one can turn around
Steady my heart, it’s beating faster
Steady my hands, this one can turn around
Steady my heart, it’s beating faster, beating faster now

Whatever is coming, whatever changes I will face, it’s happening because God is asking me to walk down this road. And He will be here with me. I don’t have to flawlessly execute some task list to make myself ready. God can help steady my hands, turn things around, and steady my heart. All I need to do is let go and respond to whatever comes with trust, faith, and hope.

A Closing Prayer

When we’re afraid and feel like we’re not ready for the changes coming to our lives, give us the grace of peace. Peace to exhale and let go of our impossible desire to control everything in our lives. Help us trust that although we may not be ready, You will keep us steady in our hearts and hands. Amen.

* If you’d like to hear this Mat Kearney song, you can listen to it here.

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