Friday, September 18, 2009
No Constants on My Horizon But God
I recently wrote the following to a friend in response to their newsletter. It states things perhaps as clearly as I have communicated them so I thought I would share it here. It is the beginnings, I think for an article or message on dealing with the struggles of this time--our troubled economy, joblessness, foreclosures, bankruptcies, and fears of all descriptions.
I especially resonated with the last note from you. Lately I have been feeling the same way. Everything in life is changing and I feel I understand the Israelites in their desert wandering and complaining more and more. The impermanence of their existence, never having a clue what tomorrow brings, is a state which seems similar to your path and to mine.
For a long time I rather envied that they had the cloud as a visible reminder of God's presence and direction, but I have started thinking how much better off we are. They could not hear their God, he spoke to them through intermediaries. Sure they saw a representation of his presence all the time, but they did not know him on a personal level. So we are able to hear from God personally, and while it seems that some have a stable even-keeled life, we are not those people. We do not have that. In fact I can think of few people in Scripture who, in following after God and being called by him, had that stable life.
It seems to me, and I'm no theologian, that God takes his people--the one's I call God's Guys and God's Gals, and the paths he sets them on are defined by requiring dependence on Him and Him alone.
One further word...the speaker on Sunday said something I had never thought of before. He was talking about our misplaced devotion to stuff, and talked about Paul learning to be content in whatever state he is in, whether in poverty or in want. He pointed out that Paul LEARNED this. I take comfort in that. It appears that I am in the School of Contentment--I think I've reached college, but the finals are awful. It's the practicums that are messing with my GPA if you know what I mean. It isn't necessarily finances that we have to deal with in the area of contentment, though that is part of it, for me it is that wandering feeling, when there are no constants on my horizon but God.
The walks of God's Guys and God's Gals are the stuff of legend. They make great epic tales. Epic tales are hard to live through, however. You all are in an epic tale of your own. "We went to start a school in Thailand..." may be the first sentence of your narrative, much like "I had a farm in Africa..." (Out of Africa) and mine may be "Whatever it takes." I prayed... And thus our stories begin in seemingly simple ways, but the telling of them involves much chaos and suffering and sorrow, but then the tales of God's Guys and Gals have always been this way. I take comfort in that.
May you breeze through your school of contentment more easily than I with no repeat classes.