I’ve been reading some stories lately of people who have had life-changing encounters with God. Stories of people who have taken leaps of faith and had God guide them into new adventures and ministries. Stories of people who have trusted, when the act of trusting seemed absurd, and have had God work wonderful things through them. It has made me feel that I want a word from God, not just a “word”, but a full-blown burning bush arrows marking the path WORD. I find myself asking, “Why doesn’t God do that in my life?”
The reality is, he has, and is, and will. God tends to be loudest with me when I’m being most stubborn. For instance, several years ago when I told God I was not moving and I was not living alone I found myself in seminary in Chicago in an apartment by myself. Doors opened, God pushed, I went. Similarly, I told God that I was never going back to classroom teaching again. Five years later a door opened, God prodded, and I went. It’s been the best professional experience of my life. God needed me here, and he knew I needed to be here.
Yet recently, I’ve been getting a nudging. Things have been put into my path that have made me wonder, “What is God up to?” I have to confess, I’m not a huge believer in “signs”. Let me qualify that statement. I believe that God speaks to us in many ways, shapes and forms. I have seen God put things in my path and open doors I didn’t even know existed. I have taken opportunities to follow God based on these doors opening and the prompting of the Holy Spirit. However, I also know that the devil is always trying to find ways to turn us off-track, and if we spend too much time looking for “signs” (just my humble opinion) he’s going to lead us the wrong way. The key, for me, is discernment through the Spirit, and that comes through prayer and study.
This brings me back to my original question, “What is God up to?” Heaven, literally, only knows, but I think the key is to be open to it, whatever it may be. In an age where we are constantly asked to make goals, assess those goals, make plans for reaching those goals (I have never had a job interview where someone has not asked the question, “Where do you see yourself five years from now?”) it’s hard to live in the present. Yet, that’s what we’re called to do. If I really want to know what God is up to, I need to look around. Chances are, the answer will be–a lot! Instead of thinking too much about what God wants from me five years from now, the better thoughts would be in how I can best serve God here, now. Guess I can’t put off that lesson planning anymore!!
Blessings and Peace,