What are you avoiding today?

If you have an answer to that question, you’re not alone. It’s human nature. We certainly avoid pain, anything we think might cause us to feel uncomfortable, or anyone who might tell us something we don’t want to hear.

Maybe you are avoiding a visit to your primary care doctor or your dentist. Maybe you’re avoiding things you just don’t enjoy—maybe it’s just about personal taste.

I avoid foods I don’t like. Do you? Here are my top 5 foods I avoid:

  • Lima beans
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Cauliflower
  • Baked beans
  • Cottage Cheese

Some of you will read my list of foods and think, “He’s nuts, I love …” And it’s probably true. I always thought it would be a great party to have everyone bring a dish they didn’t like, knowing that someone else would love it.

We also avoid conflict—we don’t like it. We put off those difficult conversations because we fear a disagreement.

Sometimes we are even better at creating reasons to justify our inaction. We can create all the reasons in the world, but within us, our inner self knows what we should be doing. We have a compass in us, pointing the right way. We can sense it. We can feel it.

When we avoid things, we don’t help ourselves. Avoiding the doctor won’t prevent you from being sick. By staying away, you might miss the chance to catch something early and have less pain.

Avoiding a conversation doesn’t make an issue go away. There’s just more time for both parties to dig in and make the conversation even harder. It rarely helps the people involved or the organization.

In Gino Wickman’s book Traction, the author talks about “36 Hours of Pain,” referencing the time it takes to finally address a long-festering employee issue and move on. When you confront problems, you will have pain, but you need to deal with it to move on.

The American Buffalo knows what to do better than we do. When the Buffalo senses a storm coming, instead of running away, they turn and run directly into it. In doing so, they meet the challenge they face “head on” and spend less time in the downpour.

They shorten their time of pain.

Do you recall the story of Jonah? God wanted him to go to Nineveh to preach, but Jonah didn’t want to go. He got in a boat and sailed the opposite way.

But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord. (Jonah 1:3)

Then came a great storm and Jonah told everyone it was his fault because he ran away. He asked them to throw him in the water, and they did. A fish swallowed him and, three days later, spit him out. Only then did he go to Nineveh. If you read the book of Jonah, you’ll read the words “God provided” four times in those short chapters.

And here’s another thing to remember. When we finally deal with what we are avoiding, God will provide what we need. He always does, especially if it’s what he wants us to do.

Take on those things you’re avoiding and look to God to help guide you through it.

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