I decided to sit quietly yesterday for some meditative reflection time. To seek God for direction. But as a driven person, I find the “thunder of silence” to be very discomforting. I needed to find something to do in order to focus my energy while I “rested”. So I opened up some boxes of Legos that I had been meaning to sort, organize, and consolidate. The work was just the right balance of mental focus and repetitiveness.
After sorting some pieces out, I decided to stick them together for storage. I wanted a perfect square cube of pieces. I tried for some time with different combinations to build my “perfect” square. It was not happening. I was feeling frustrated.
Then the still quiet nudge I had been hoping to encounter during this exercise: “This is what you do in life. If things don’t go perfectly according to YOUR plan, you feel very frustrated. There is no perfect anything in this world. Let go, accept imperfection, work with what you have, and do your best. There is beauty in this. Beyond the delusion of sanitized safety.”
This stretches me. This is not what I wanted to hear. The woman with the 4.0 GPA. I wanted the “perfect” job, the “perfect” spouse, the “perfect” church congregation, the “perfect” school, the “perfect” living situation, etc. But that is not real life.
I need to take my own advice that I gave during the graduation ceremony last month. What is it that keeps us so petrified of failure? I feel like maybe our sense of safety, worth, and validation are wrapped up in there somewhere. Seeking to find those things in the external. Versus resting in God.
Easier said than done. There is some chip in me that says if God loves me then He won’t allow me to ever feel any pain, discomfort, etc. So how can I trust You God if I encounter turbulence? We are always screaming, “Where were You, God? Where are You?”
And yet Jesus, The Beloved, is rejected, beaten, whipped, crushed, nailed, abused, tortured, betrayed, murdered, etc. By us. This is not the gospel we want. This is not prosperity preaching. We yell like those when He was giving Himself away: “If You’re who You say You are, get down here and deliver!”
Let’s be honest. We want Him to stop the abusers. We want Him to cure the sickness that takes a child or spouse or other loved one from us. Where do we go when we feel let down? Where do I go?
These days I am more quickly able to settle down, regroup, and change my approach when I go back to the fact that I know from my own experience that God is so good and loves us so much. This assurance is not something that can be postured for very long. It comes through relationship versus religion.
It must be my understanding that is wrong. Otherwise I am saying I know better than God; I am qualified to be God more than Him. It’s easy to criticize when you are watching from the sidelines and the weight isn’t on your shoulders. Not that God is incompetent or lacking in any way.
There is this balance I am trying to find between all His omnis and my “responsibility”. As I say that I remember being told that William Paul Young says the word responsibility is not in the Bible. Only the word respond. A rabbit trail?
The parable of the talents. It always strikes me that the man who did nothing was the one who was disciplined. My views of parables have changed a bit from the old party lines. Might have to revisit this one when I have time one day.
They say don’t take the Bible out of context. That it is written for us but not to us. And I find myself worn out from searching for answers versus trusting.
Yet real life calls. How do we move forward? Resting and trusting while at the same time knowing our choices matter. The Olympian receives awards and benefits but not without effort. Maybe gifting is part of the deal, but not pure luck. Probably very few totally free rides to the top?
I hear Paul say