Life’s teaches us in process. The lesson seldom falls in a single class. I don’t know why this surprises me, but for some reason I try to divorce these lessons from the world of process and forget that it’s a journey.
All journeys involve going. A going that will take us through villages, town and cities; through open fields and dense forest; through celebrations and harrowing dangers. Travel long enough and we will all have tales to tell. Grand love stories, heroic epics forged in the fires of a dragon’s lair, and cozy evenings spent regaling friends with our glories while sitting in a plush chair, cup in hand and feet warmed by the fire. And in all of these, there is the making of a life. There is the shaping of a man or woman.
My journey has brought me to a dawning discovery. It is this I hope to share with you in light of the truth of the journey. If you’re anything like me, you struggle with the idea of knowing the will of God. I do think we make it far more difficult than it actually is. What I’m about to share is not definitive nor is it exclusive, but it is some of my experience along the path and I hope that it will help you to deepen your own understanding.
Let me begin with a dance. A lead and follow striving to be one with each another and the music. He listens to the music and begins leading a turn. She follows tracing a graceful curve through the space between them. All is well until he stops and she continues, and in a moment calm becomes turbulence and struggle.
It was a case of anticipation. it was a case of expectation. She began well in light of the invitation he gave, but from that point she began to think about the future. She begin to dream about what would follow this turn. “What will he do?”, she asked. Unfortunately, her question finds answers in her own mind. Answers that lead to expectation and anticipation in lieu of discovery, and she acts upon her own answers and finds them at odds with the lead.
Because she strayed into the role of the lead. She began deciding the answers for questions that were not hers to answer. Sadly, it was only to discover that the two of them had chosen different paths in the same circumstances, and now they find themselves at odds.
Are walk with God is much the same. There are areas of His will that are not revealed to us. I tend to like spending my time in these areas most, trying to ferret out the answers to these questions. These are often “should I?” questions. Should I buy a house? Should I stay in Memphis? Should I ask this girl on a date? Should I date at all? Should I start a bible study? Should I find another job? Should I, should I, should I…
How many questions like this have been paralyzing to you?
Here’s the truth that struck me recently. I realized as I thought about buying a house that it was very easy to know what to do if I owned the house. I was freed to delve into the how and when of a practical, common sense walk found in the light of scripture. That was surprisingly easy. It’s very difficult for us when we are deciding if we should marry or not, or who we should marry, but it is incredibly clear about how we should live if we are married. That doesn’t mean there aren’t struggles. I’m just noting that those struggles become a matter of whether I want to do what he tells me to do or not, rather than a battle of uncertainty over what I should do.
So what do I do? I strive to follow. He is the orchestrator of the circumstances. He’ll take me where he wants me. My job is to be the best follow in the midst of those circumstances. If I’m married, He’s told me how to live as husband. If I’m single, He’s given me guidelines for living as a single. Whatever my job, He’s told me how to honor Him and bring Him glory in my work. Wherever I live, He’s told me how to engage with the people around me. Just like a dancer who knows how to turn, how to hold her posture, how to maintain her frame, I need to stick to the basics and do what I know to do.
So we live. We journey with our lead. Taking it one step at a time, living in the present moment only, we will find ourselves in step with the lead and able to devote our energies to the carrying out of his will in the present moment. It’s simpler that way and, in my recent experience, much clearer.
Where do you find yourself trying to answer questions of God’s will that aren’t yours to answer? Where are you walking in step with Him and finding clarity?