Hover around the circumstances

By Dave Henning / June 4, 2024

“We hover around the circumstances that highlight our limitations, mostly unaware of why they make us so anxious, often calling them warfare or merely circumstances, or acting as if they’re bad luck, and yet underneath them is what God wants to show us, to tend to with us.  Underneath them we crave connection.”- Sara Hagerty

“How can you draw close to God when you are far from your own self?”- Augustine

In Chapter 8 (“The Story Underneath Our Skin”) of The Gift of Limitations, Sara Hagerty counsels that it’s possible to converse with God much like we bring up the same argument with our spouses.  Over and over and over again.  And as we rewind, repeat, we often name this process ‘stuck.’  Because we see God as nonresponsive, or we believe we’re not creative enough to capture His attention.

Therefore, Sara offers a third way: paying attention.  Take time to pause, to observe.  Simply to understand what might be happening below the surface.  Then bring that understanding into your conversation with God.  Ask yourself what you’re putting off or putting on.  As Paul writes in Ephesians 4:22-24 (ESV):

“Put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of lie and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and . . .  be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and . . . put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”

In addition, Sara suggests, perhaps these verses serve as an invitation for you to pause, consider, notice.  To ask, What is old in me, God, and what is the new You want me to wear?

Above all, Sara underscores, it’s not about swapping out a beer can for a sparkling water.  Or a Renovation Hardware catalog for your Bible.  What truly matters is what’s on the inside.

In conclusion, Sara notes:

‘We are often weak observers, of both ourselves and others, measuring the external and not looking beneath the surface. . . .  There are stories underneath our skin.  Most of us are not merely ignorant of them . . . we’re afraid to look.”

Today’s question: When do you tend to hover around the circumstances?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “A gentle process of excavating”

About the author

Dave Henning

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