Wednesday, February 27, 2013

I've Been Away For Too Long

Dear Diary

Last week or so has been a whirlwind of goodness. Donuts and hot chocolate and hugs and more donuts. Youth group. Designing my new kitchen layout. Awakening things that have been dormant for a while.

Oooh. Cryptic.

I think one of the best things to happen to me recently was finally, finally, finally being able to be a part of youth group again. I missed the kids. Some have moved on to senior high and some of the "little kids" from VBS are now in junior high. I missed them all. Work and life and circumstances have kept me away from youth group this school year. Frustrating. I didn't want to be a part of the kids' lives if I could only be there once every 4 or 5 weeks. Now, with a little hard work and fortunate circumstances, I am able to return with a vengeance. Maybe vengeance is the wrong word. With exuberance. That sounds better. I get to be a part of something I had to leave behind for a while. I get to reconnect with awesome people and connect for the first time with other awesome people. I am very thankful to God for this opportunity. I came home last night with more joy and energy than I've had in quite some time. It was interesting for me to see the change in myself from being able to do what I think I've been gifted to do. When I share this gift I believe God has given to me, I feel alive. It's been a while since I could say that.

I just thought you should know. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

I'm Back

I've been gone a while. Temporarily interrupted. Now I'm back. It feels good.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Infinity - 1

I've written a lot about God's will. A lot of that writing is in posts that I may not publish. Some of it is found as bits and pieces in previous posts I've made. I've been thinking more about God's will lately for whatever reason(s). Here's one of my conclusions. God's will for us contains an infinite number of possibilities. There is no one right path. (I'm not talking about salvation. God's will is that no one should perish but everyone should come to a saving relationship with him through Jesus.)

Salvation aside, what is God's will in our normal, every day lives? What is God's will in a specific situation? What is God's will when I have a decision to make? My answer is Infinity - 1. Yep. Leave it to me to reduce the meaning of life to a mathematical expression. Who do I think I am, Douglas Adams?

Infinity - 1

God's will is any of an infinite number of possibilities less one. And the one who gets to make that possibility a reality is us. For some people that's incredibly liberating and for other's it's debilitating to realize the freedom God has given us.

What is the - 1 ? Let me tell you a story. In the beginning God created everything. And it was all good. He created a perfect world for human kind to explore. He provided for an infinite number of possibilities for us to experience. It was infinite except for 1 thing. God said there is only 1 thing you guys can't do, and that's eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Other than that, do whatever you want. I think this story accurately reflects the character of God and the nature of what creation was to be. So, what is the 1? Sin. Don't sin. Don't do what God has said not to do. Beyond that, everything is a possibility.

Somehow in the Christian world in which I partially live, we seem to default to the idea that there's only one option that's God's will and everything else is not God's will. I find it amusing because the Evangelical world seems to focus on "relationship, relationship, Relationship!" Christianity isn't a religion, it's a relationship. Right? Well, what kind of a relationship is it when one party says the other party can only do one thing? Controlling? Abusive? A real relationship offers freedom not slavery. I think the Christian world has it backwards. We live in a world full of possibilities where God has given us the power to choose what possibilities to make real. Just don't sin. Somehow it feels like we've turned it into a world where there's only one option God wants for us and we must avoid every other infinite experience because we're so scared we won't be in line with God's will.

Which job should I take?
Either one! Either one is perfectly within God's will. They each have advantages and disadvantages but neither one is God's will and neither one will impede God's will. They just allow God's will to play out differently.

Which school should I go to?
Which ever one you want. Use your God given intellect and the counsel of wise witnesses to make a decision. That's God's will.

Who should I marry?
It's up to you! You do not have to find "The One" God created just for you because God has not created one special person for you. Allow God to play a role in your decision making, as well as all the other resources in your life. Don't look for the "Chosen One" find the one you choose. And when you are married that person is the one for you. That is God's will.

Which shirt should I wear?

Every once in a while God may show up and tell you not to eat from a certain tree, or maybe go preach in Ninevah or something else specific. There's room in a relationship for that. But don't turn each moment into some sort of pressure test to determine God's will for you in every breathing second of every moment for the rest of your life. That's not God's will.

Now, doesn't life seem so much lighter knowing the power and possibilities God has given us?