I know, I know, it’s been awhile. It’s not that I didn’t want to write. I just haven’t had anything to write about. In a sense, I still feel like I don’t. But, nobody has all the answers, and I think every now and then it’s okay to throw up your hands and “I don’t know. Let’s talk about it anyway.” So, this post is something like that.
Lately, a lot of people I know seem to be at a crossroads of some kind. Friends, roommates, ministers, seminary faculty… For whatever reason, this seems to be the season for instrumental choices, whether they’re regarding behavior or situations. I know I’ve hit a crossroads or two myself here recently. We’re all in it. And we have to choose. A situation comes up. How will we react? An opportunity comes up. What will we do?
I wish I knew.
I’d love to be able to whip out a “how to” book on reactions and another one on “how to” make the best choices. Ideally, they would have an index of every sort of situation (including mine and yours too), and we could conveniently flip to page 2689, find our respective quandaries and say, “Oh! This is the best thing to do!” or “Oh! This is how I should behave in this situation!” Unfortunately, no such book exists. Even the Bible generally works from a bigger scope than case-by-case scenarios. As one of my profs says, that’s why “walking by the Spirit is harder than obeying the law.”
If I were a betting chick, I’d bet you’re probably at some kind of crossroads right now, or else you’re having to make some choices. And I don’t know what to tell you for your situation. (If it makes you feel any better, I don’t even know what to do in my own situations.) However, to quote another prof, “Don’t let what you don’t know rob you of what you do know.” So, this is what I know:
Sometimes, we need to be shaken–not stirred.
By that, I mean sometimes we need to encounter the unfamiliar or the radical. There are times when God can implement change in our lives gently and gradually. Situations like that are generally the ones where we realize what is happening and we’re able to appreciate the changes. The only thing is, those don’t require a lot of grit; they don’t show what we’re made of.
Several times over the last few years, I’ve heard it said that our lives are like a cup of water. When it’s bumped and shaken, what’s in the cup leaks out. In other words, when we’re shaken, what we carry inside of us–our true nature–will come out. Nobody likes being jostled. We like living life on autopilot–it’s nice and predictable. But it doesn’t reveal who we really are. When choices and changes come our way, we react. Whatever is in us will come out.
So the question becomes, what’s in us?
I can’t answer that for you; I’ll let you answer it for yourself. For me, half the time I’m driven to the Lord in prayer. The other half of the time, I’m driven to myself in selfishness. I’m not sure what exactly that says about me, but I don’t think it’s good.
Another thing I know: whatever God needs to do with me in this particular “season of life,” I want Him to be able to do it. I want to be emptied if it means that I can be filled with Him. What He offers is far better than anything I could ever aspire for. I’m still not sure exactly what to tell you to do, but I think I know where my starting point needs to be. Submission. If He can empower me to submit to His plan and His leading, He’ll guide me into what I need to know and do next. And, if I were a betting chick, I’d bet He’ll do that for you, too.
I am Yours for the taking–
Yours for the breaking.
Do whatever You need to do,
Until I’m hopelessly tangled up with You.