Wednesday, December 13, 2017

On Understanding God's Will - And Not Liking It

A follow-up on yesterday's Post A Cold Splash Of Reality:

I think the most difficult - or maybe from my perspective, shocking - of yesterday's confrontation with my actual reality is the focus of where the direction came from.  I like to think that I am called to a great many things, none of the related to what I currently do.  God, apparently, feels rather strongly that I am called - at least currently - to very specifically what I do.

Therein lies the rub, of course.  I hear of people being called and people living out their calling and like to think "Hey, that is for me too!".  They may very well be living out their calling - just as I am being called to live out mine.  The difference is that my apparent calling and my desires are radically different.

This would seem to be where the moment of tension comes.  Do I follow the calling that I see God giving me - and by "follow" I mean dedicate myself to it as strongly as I would to anything that I really desired?  Or do I begrudgingly do the minimum, trying to wait God out in hopes that He suddenly changes His mind and relents - "Wow, TB. You are right and I am wrong.  I totally agree that you should be doing X."

That is the most difficult part:  to give one's self 100% to His revealed will as eagerly as I would give myself to something I would prefer a great deal more.  To make myself as careful a student and practitioner of what I do as a career as I would of being a writer on the way up or a farmer building a sustainable venture or a theologian preparing a sermon.  These, all of them, seem to have impacts and influences and meaning beyond the actions and acts themselves.  Sadly, becoming a student and practitioner of Quality is to become an expert in government regulations and nuances of applications, something which neither seems to have significant impact nor influences (Quality being like the transmission of your car:  you only miss it when it stops working).

But if I am completely, totally, bitterly, 100% honest, this seems to be what I am being told.

I am trying to adjust my schedule, my reading, my studies, and my practices around this.  To head into the storm front of a wealth of information that seems almost trivial in the great scope of things is turning out to be one of the hardest things I have ever done.

There is another aspect that I am coping with as well:  the active surrender of hope.

To embrace the will of God (at least as I currently understand it) is to let go of the hope that it will all change.  Can it change?  Of course - in an instant.  But can is not the same as will.  And setting one's self always to hope for the thing that may never occur is to try and bridge a canyon that is continuing to move apart.

I will still do the things I love, of course - iai, gardening, writing (even if only here), and the 40 other things I fill my life with.  It is just that, perhaps for the first time in my life, I am admitting that those things will never be more than they are: hobbies, amateur activities that I can grow better at but only enjoy in my off hours.  My path, it appears, lies in the very direction I have been trying to escape from all this time.


  1. Col 3:23 Whatever you do, work at it with your whole being, for the Lord and not for men, 24because you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as your reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

    At some point, we have to face it, TB; Our place in God's scheme of things may not be to lead a great procession of people to Him, but maybe just to swat the mosquito that would have given Malaria to some future saint. That's the way it is with God. His ways are not our ways.

    You're not giving up hope, TB, if you truly place your trust in God... You're just letting go of the world...

  2. I dunno what's happened over there TB - I am a dunce about such things and if ya need a laugh, perhaps I can get both feet in my mouth for you:

    As an out-house Christian of sorts I can't speak for my Maker; He doesn't talk to me or seem to hold me in any high regard at all - so I can't speak for Him. But from my spot here in the Peanut Gallery, about all I can discern of His motives and intentions is that He wants us all to be better people.

    You will make the right call - because you're smart enough to ask the right questions.

  3. Well said Pete! - The very verse (or verses, 22-24) that I wrote down this morning and put in my car.

    I suppose you are right Pete. We all reach the point (or I guess we should, if we really want to mature). As to the feeling between faith and giving up the world....I have to be honest. It feels a lot like just loss right now. Maybe someday it will feel like gain.

  4. Thanks Glen. That (in a lot of ways) is the gospel in a nutshell: be better people.

    I suppose this is where faith comes in - if I am in fact making the right choice, then that will - at some point - be reflected in my life.


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