When listening for direction from God in life, there is always this fine balance between our own desires and his.
On the one side are people saying whatever your deepest desires are, those are how God has shaped you and made you. If you pursue them you will be pursuing and fulfilling His good will.
On the other side are those who say it doesn't matter what you like, you just suck it up and take all your cues from Him.
Of course I dramatize both sides in order to make my point, but it is still sometimes hard to hear which way to go.
I think in my life it's been rare that unique dreams or desires of mine have been achieved.
I had plans for secular work. And I'm not there.
Ok, then, I had plans to only work with a certain style of churches. And I'm not there.
Alrighty then, I would like to work in churches in certain parts of the world. And I'm not there.
Ok then, my training and experience says I should work in certain kinds of churches. But guess what, I'm not there.
Who would have guessed I would be living in northern Saskatchewan, serving a 60 year old church, in another denomination of churches. Not me, that's for sure.
But my prayer has always been Ok Lord, you know where I live and how I will do in any given place. If you lead me, I will follow.
And he has led, and I have followed.
And, except for my occasional outbursts at Him about wanting to do something my way or else, it's always me apologizing. Why? Because He alone speaks the words of Life to me. He alone holds out the hope of peace and joy inside me. He alone is the Lord of my life, and that means I serve Him, he does not serve me.
And I realize that I try to go back on my "Where you lead I will follow" prayer. And I try to make deals with him and try to nag and whine and convince him. But the truth is that if he could be so easily bought off by me, I don't know that I would respect Him.
I was made for Him. He wasn't made for me.
So I try to live in that place of submission, with contentment. I try to be faithful or at least obedient. I do try, and many times I fail, and that's where he is good with me, cause he likes me.
And living in His desires for me isn't a bad thing, in fact it's kinda cool. Because he knows how I am made and wired, He also knows where and how I will best enjoy life. I can trust him with my future, because He love me and knows me.
I gotta say that this strategy of "Where you lead I will follow" has led me to some crazy places with some cool friends and family and partner and experiences and grace. I actually cringe when I think of what would have happened to me if I had always gotten my own way.
Yes indeed, I cringe!
I would be married to so and so, living in such and such, doing God knows what, and on the weekends doing more of it, only not loving any of it.
Really. I cringe...