Disclaimer: The title for this post is a bit (or a lot) ambitious. I won’t be exploring these ideas in depth – just a few thoughts.
A friend and mentor posted a blog entry today that paralleled some of my own recent musings beautifully. The gist (please don’t hesitate to correct me if this doesn’t sound accurate, Crystal) is that while God certainly is involved and present in our lives, she doesn’t think he actively leads us to or shows us every single specific thing we should do. A short excerpt (read the rest here):
“Perhaps God presents each of us with a similar opportunity every day. I want you to partner with me to build my kingdom. If you’re genuinely excited about that, look around, see the needs, and give of yourself and your resources in the ways that seem good to you.”
I agree with her wholeheartedly. I usually do, but even when I suspect that I might disagree, I can’t for the very life of me come up with a well-reasoned response. 🙂 Anyway, my own thoughts have been along the same lines lately, but pertaining to giving thanks to God. I tend to be an over-thanker, if such a thing is possible. Please don’t misunderstand – I believe that we should show God our gratitude in everything we do. An example to clarify: I am late for work and searching for a missing shoe. When I find it, I say a quick “thank you for helping me find that shoe, God.” Now, did God really tune in and see that I needed that shoe to get out the door and cause me to look in the right place? Maybe, but not necessarily. I think that God does sometimes directly intervene, but not always. As a parent, I don’t expect my kid to thank me every time something goes well for her. However, I would happily accept her gratitude for giving her the skills and knowledge necessary to get there (I know, wishful thinking, right?). But maybe that is what I should be thanking God for, too. Upon further reflection, I realize that I never say “gee, God, I’m really glad you gave me the capacity to be lazy and messy and lose that shoe in the first place.” But shouldn’t I?
Suddenly, this becomes about free will. This issue agitates me. I do not understand free will. But a creature with choices is not stationary or static and for that I am grateful. We are ever choosing, changing, maturing. God allows us to test him, which makes our eventual connection with him and love for him so much stronger. Our choices, experiences and feelings can help build a foundation for true and complete acceptance of God.
PS- On my mother’s birthday –
Mom, Growing up in the light of your faith and grace has made life so much better in so many ways than it could have been. 🙂 Thank you for equipping me well. I love you.