Monday, June 16, 2008

Map-Quest and My Calling

A lot has been happening in the world of Sarah, lately, though none of it would seem to be a big deal in and of itself. It's a lot of little things. But you know... something can be the size of a grain of sand, but if you put enough of those things together, you make a beach. And what I mean by that is... the more little things, the bigger the picture seems to be.

I'm confusing you... and if not... I'm confusing me. :-P

Here's my take on life. PLEASE do submit your opinions. I am eager to know what people think, whether it includes your opinion, biblical backing, or just a random story you feel like sharing from your own life, please share... I could use a little light from another's perspective to help scurry away the shadows cast by my own.

Some people believe that God essentially works like this: If he didn't mean for you to have this job, it wouldn't have worked out. If he didn't mean for you to live in your house or drive your particular car, it wouldn't have happened. If he didn't want you to get fired for seemingly no good reason, you wouldn't have (fyi - no, I didn't lose my job... just a few examples).

But I don't believe this, so much. I think God has plans, and we can stray from them (hence the whole free-will thing). Right?! Did God call Jonah to run away to the belly of a whale? No. Did God call David to become addicted to pornography, fall into adultery, and then have a man killed so that he could marry a woman? No. I don't believe that this was their calling - I believe this was just the path they chose (granted - a very difficult path for each of them).

Some of you will disagree with me, but that's alright. It's just my opinion - take it for what it's worth.

This is how I view things, and this is where I need your input. For the most part, I think that God calls us to something, and he has an "end point" in mind. I think God says "I want you here" and it's like a BIG Red push-pin on our life's map. And this is where things differ for people: there may be an obvious path to some people, a difficult path to others, and there be ansolutely no evident path path to others, still (like me); but I think he says "I want you here. Now get there."

It's kind've like MapQuesting directions from here to Ghana. A friend of mine has family there, and said he put in his address, and then selected Ghana as his destination. MapQuest actually gave him directions to some sort of pier on the eastern US coast, and then pretty much said "I can't get to accross the ocean, but once you get over there, do this...".

Like the old "do we go over it, around it, or through it" type of thing. There's endless possibilities when it comes to getting from point A to point B. There are so many ways to get to your particular calling, you just have to choose one and then get there - But through it all, the destination stays the same.

What do you think? Does this make sense? Do you think it works this way, or am I like WAY totally off?! I'm really interested to know. And don't hold back... I can take it.



James Diggs said...

Hi Sarah,

You bring up some great questions and thoughts about "God's will". Here is what I think.

I think God's will is that we would lean into our humanity as it was created to reflect Him. That we would love one another with justice and kindness in the way of Jesus.

All these other things about what job we have, "finding mr. or mrs. right", where we live, ect ect ect are more about the American Dream than about God's will.

It is not that God can't or shouldn't influence these kinds of decisions, but rather even these things should flow out of finding the best way to love God and other people.

I guess when it comes to the "what's your destiny" game I believe the only thing that matters is that we lean into our destiny of being children of God in such away it is evident to everyone.



Regina said...

I loved the mapquest thought.

Hmmm...the balance/interaction between our human flaws and the ever present "calling" on our lives.

So Joseph comes to mind. Some would say he had a meandering path to get to his "calling"...being in a place of power so he could provide for his family, etc. But I think that it was living his "calling" that got him there. By being a good manager, by listening to others, by having integrity, by struggling a bit with pride, by keeping faith in his dreams and the supernatural gift he was given....he was being the human that God created him to be. Does that make sense?

To me, our "calling" is simply to love God with passion and intention, and to live to our potential as a reflection of his character. How that plays out is a bit unpredictable, because we're all different people living different stories.

And adding to the unpredictability is our lovely human gift of free will. I definitely think that if God was the only author of our story, that the roads we travel would be a bit different. But you know, I think the "bumps" or "detours" or whatever that we go on may not be detours at all. Because I think that it's in those times when we learn and grow the most.

I am coming to believe that God doesn't have an unchanging destination in mind for us at all (barring of course our final destination with him). I really think it's about the journey: how we learn and grow, the people we influence, and the legacy we leave behind.

All that being said: I agree with you that God will often tell us "I want you here, Now get there." But I think those conversations don't just happen once a lifetime...I think he's constantly trying to enter the dialogue of our life. Listening to that, and responding to the challenge is part of the journey too.

Wow I rambled. Sorry for that. Let me know if I meandered too far from the original thought. I rabbit-trail. lol