I always feel a little out of whack when my priorities are messed up, don't you? It's like a mouse in a running cage... always running, but not really getting anywhere. Sometimes it's so hard to figure out how to get out of the cage.
So how do you get out of the cage and figure out how to get your life back on track again?
I feel like when that happens we have to open our eyes, minds, hearts, and souls to look for a way out. Sometimes the way out has been right in front of us the whole time, but we couldn't see the latch to open the gate to get out. Other times we have to call out for help to have someone come and open it for us from the outside. We may even find ourselves in some cages that seem to have no gate whatsoever, but we just can't ever give up looking for it. We have to utilize our energy and strength to find a way out of that cage. And it takes courage. Lots and lots of courage. Luckily we are all blessed with huge reserves of courage inside us... we just have to want to use it!
We all have different cages we want to try to escape. For some it may be drug or alcohol addiction, sexual addictions, abuse - either inflicting or receiving, eating disorders, illness, chronic pain, depression or other mental illnesses, exhaustion, marital problems, financial worries, caring for an elderly parent or handicapped child, the loss of loved ones, incurable disease, or even sin. The cages come in all shapes and sizes. There are no two alike. That's why it is so important that we are kind to others. We never know what cage someone else is in or how long they've been in it.
I find that I understand this more and more as I escape my own cages. The other thing I've learned is to have trust in the Lord. I read that Proverbs scripture yesterday and it just sank in. You know how it is, when you hear something that is truth and the Holy Ghost touches your soul and it just feels right. That's the feeling I had as I read those words and I felt that warmth that comes over, like the dew on the morning grass - that feeling of love... just knowing that God loves you, knows you, is aware of you. I love when that happens.
As I pondered on those words I thought about all of the times in my life that I was running in my cage and just didn't know what I was going to do. Those times when life feels overwhelming and suffocating. I thought back to those times in my life and remembered that somehow it always seems to work out and life gets back on track again. I can see how the hand of the Lord has touched my life in so many ways.
I also know, now more than ever, that the times when my life has been the happiest and the answers seemed to come more easily were the times that I was trying my best to live the commandments. To be obedient to the laws He has blessed us with to protect and guide us. We don't always have control over the cages we are in. Sometimes we do and sometimes we don't, but blaming others and being angry isn't going to get me out of the cage any sooner. It's just going to blind me so that I can't see a way out.
That's why having trust in the Lord is so important. He will never leave us. He is always outside that cage, waiting for us to learn what we need to learn and to finally call out and ask him to open the gate up for us. We might turn our backs on him, but he will never turn his back on us! I've called out to him so many times and he has never let me down. I know he loves me. I know he knows what the inside walls of my cage look like. I know he understands. The older I get and the more cages I find myself in, the more I look to him to help me find a way out. I DO trust him. After all, His infinite understanding is so much greater than my finite understanding. I think I had better trust him!