I've had yesterday's post hanging over my mind since I wrote it, wondering if it was too bold or definitive or an overstatement of what I'm feeling right now. I decided not, as the more that I thought about the more I kept coming back to "Yes, that just about sums it up."
The feeling that I got yesterday after writing the post was the sense of being on a treadmill which is moving, but really going nowhere. So the question, I suppose, is how do I get off the treadmill and get on to a path which is actually going somewhere.
That presumes of course that 1) One is looking for the path and 2) Once one finds the path, one will take it.
But am I looking for that path? Or am I intent on following paths of my own choosing, paths that really just lead me back to the treadmill rather than actually having me walk further down it? If God has determined the way for me to go, what does the fact that I constantly seem to shy away from that path say about me?
I have tried (O Lord have I tried) to constantly negotiate with Him my path within His will, figuring out what would be the best way for me to serve Him instead of listening to what He had for me. I don't know that I did any permanent damage trying this approach but I certainly failed: failed to get to seminary (two times), failed to move into leadership, failed to become the teacher I hoped I would. Every vision I had of how I would serve Him and what I would do for Him failed - and even after those paths ended, there was the other visions of great things I would do as a layman. Those too seemed to fade away, falling faster and faster out of my hands until Old Home became New Home and those dreams seemed to be pulled away as well.
But every path is not blocked. There is at least one open - the one off of the treadmill. I would ask if I could find it, but the reality is it is probably already wide open before my eyes. Is it a question of I can't see it - or that I won't? "Can't" means that it is beyond my ability; "Won't" means that I am voluntarily choosing not to. And if it is "Won't" is it because it is a thing of true fear, or simply because it does not match what my own estimation of what I should be and should be doing?
Am I tired enough of hopelessness, of activity without motion, that I am willing to submit myself to the path laid before me? Or will my pride keep me rigidly in place, hoping that if I just run all the faster the treadmill will suddenly break off and I'll be moving?