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Posts Tagged ‘God’s will’

We seem to be a people very skilled in arithmetic.  Oh, we would not see it that way, and we might even say we are not good in math.  But I beg to differ.

Let’s start with addition.  Don’t you find that we’re always adding to our list of essentials, making more and more things seem necessary all the time?  What was once enough no longer is.  The term “less is more” is a recognition of that and a call to return to something simpler.

And boy, are we ever good at taking away.  If the truth doesn’t quite suit our needs, we just overlook a fact or two and we’re looking good once again.

Mulitiplication?  Well, that’s just glorified addition.  It’s cipherin’ on a grand scale!  But division, now that’s not just taking away many times over.  It draws lines.  It separates and categorizes and causes all sorts of trouble.  It creates everything from minor squabbles to world wars.

So this got me to thinking about laws, specifically God’s laws.  He started out just saying one thing, but when people couldn’t handle that, He had Moses write down 10 more.  Then there were a few books written to explain how to live out those 10 essential things.  This was not overkill.  This was necessary.  But here’s the thing:  Some folks got all tangled up in the particulars of the law and they forgot why the laws were written in the first place.  Then, instead of thinking for themselves and applying a few principles to their lives, they became more concerned with the fine points.

Enter Jesus.  He has such a beautiful way of boiling it down.  You know what He said?  He said the most important thing we can do is to love the Lord our God with everything we’ve got.  That’s it.  And when we do that, we will love other people just as much as we love ourselves, which is really quite a bit.

That is the sum total of what God wants of us.  It’s all about love.  We must not take away from what He said, nor should we add to it.  If we do things because of love, it’s love.  If we do things without love, it’s meaningless.  And when we love Him, the rest comes naturally.

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There is a very romantic notion which says that there is one and only one life companion, spouse, soul mate, for each of us.  If we are people of faith, we might say there is one person God has in mind for us, and we ask Him to lead us to that one.  Granted, that places a very high value on that one we find, and we cherish that person, believing they were created especially for us and we for them.

What I want to do is disassemble this belief, and for very good reasons.  Please hear me out.

Let’s live in this scenario for just a moment.  I have married the man of my dreams, and believe he is all God has intended for him to be.  He believes the same of me.  Somewhere along the line, sooner or later, my vision will clear – probably about the time he regains his clarity as well.  At that point, and it most likely will progress slowly, we will begin to blame someone.  Usually it is the other spouse, because they did not measure up to what God certainly wanted for each of us.  After all, doesn’t He want the best for us, and isn’t He able to choose well?

Or let’s take it to the next level.  I think we will weary of blaming our spouse and believing he or she will improve with time.  Now it’s time to blame the One who brought us together:  God Himself.  What was He thinking?  Does He even care?  Is He even there?

I’m sure you’ll agree that neither of these scenarios is helpful.  I believe the only logical and healthy perspective is one that takes responsibility for one’s own choice.  This is the one I have chosen and I will love, no matter what.  I will be the best spouse I can be so that he will be satisfied with his choice in me as well.

And from the logical standpoint, all it takes is for one person in the history of humanity to make the wrong choice and the whole thing is off kilter.  From then on, the rest of us are having to settle for less than perfect.  It’s the old domino effect, once again.

My point is not to take the romance out of marriage, but to have a healthy perspective of who we are and who we married.  We are real people who married other real people.  We are capable of life-long love if we take the time to nurture and cherish that which we’ve chosen.  Soul-mates are more often made than found.

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I hear it from people of all faiths, from various worldviews and religious traditions.  We all seem to want God’s will, by whatever name we may call it.  Admittedly, some hold a more fatalistic outlook and say things like, “If it’s meant to be…”  (Do you ever wonder who it is that’s doing the “meaning?”)  Others see a more direct correlation between our actions, past or present, and what happens to us.  This is karma.

But what I want to consider is not what lies behind us, but what we’re seeking on the path ahead.  Like I said, we all seem to want God’s will.  We believe that’s best, don’t we, because we really do believe God is good.  And who wouldn’t want what’s best for ourselves?  We want to know who to marry, where to live, and what career to choose.

I’ve asked God many, many times, in many situations.  Sometimes I’ve gotten clear answers.  Other times I’ve heard nothing and did what seemed best.  What I really want is a blueprint.  I want clear instructions so I can follow them.  Just tell me what to do and I’ll do it, Lord.  Lay out the plan for my life.

Lately I’ve been thinking, though, that God’s plan is not detected so much in the blueprint as in the footprints.  How often have I looked back and realized, “Oh, so that’s what You were doing!”  I was in His will all along and didn’t even know it.  But now, looking back, I can see where I’ve been, where He’s taken me.  And it makes sense.

Should I have known sooner?  Could I have?  I think faith realizes that.  After all, we’re not asked to believe in the plan; we’re asked to believe in Him.  If I trust that He loves me, even if the journey is unpleasant, I know He will bring about good things.  And that good includes me, but is not exclusive to my own interests.  That is better than good.

I like looking back every now and again.  It makes sense of the present, and I can see that God makes sense out of the senseless, and makes the pain worth it when we see its outcome.  And the best part?  It helps me trust Him for the future.

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