Growing with God – how did I do that?


What do you want?

And the list comes straight back: job security, more money, a better house, a great holiday, to be happy …

What do you want?

I want to be embedded in nice things. I want to have an easy life. I want things and stuff to come to me. I want to stay here and be bound to my stuff, my things, my comfort, my security, my ease. Is that too much to ask?

In and of this world. Bound and gagged. Afraid and timid. Scared of things that go bump in the night. What if … all this disappears … I lose my job … I lose my family … I lose my comfortable life … what if God takes all of this away from me … what if God wants what I don’t … what if I followed God from a safe distance …

What do I want?

The best of both worlds.  Is that too much to ask?

More and more I wonder if “follower” and “christian” describes a lifestyle choice for many – for me.  Another marker on my journey through life: I have a great job – sort of. I have a great house – sort of. I have a great family – sort of. I have great friends – kind of. I have a great church – some times. I have a great prayer life – occasionally. I have a great bible reading plan – or it used to be. I have great fellowship – when anybody listens. I have a great Friend – He is there for me no matter what I do. I have a great life (and since I decided to be saved I have a great eternity to look forward to as well).

What do you want?

I want to have so much “I have” that change will be scary – that I can be your friend (but not your soul mate) – that I have certainty in this life (and my next) – so much “I have” that I can’t decide whether to follow your invitation.

.

When I was a death’s door in my life, when I had no answers, when I had stuff but was empty inside, when I was looking at my life and seeing shelves of goodies but nothing that I wanted … I cried out to my God and He answered.

I walked hand in hand. I stepped one slow step at a time. I didn’t know which way would save me from losing everything I hold dear, everything I took for granted for so many years, everything that was real, everything I had treated as just more “stuff”.  Right then I screamed and squirmed. Right then I was not looking for “change” nor “invitations” nor being a “follower” or even a “christian”. I was simply losing my sanity and my family and those I loved (but had never realised how much – not until then).

What do you want?

I never heard that question. Not then. I only heard yes or no or silence. I only heard my own desperation and His calm reassuring voice. I had no idea what I wanted – I only knew what I didn’t want. I didn’t want to be alone.

But I did lose something.

I lost my need for stuff. I lost my need for my comfort and my security and my being in control. I lost my need for “stuff” as I was given back the important stuff – being with those I love – loving those I love – growing with those I love and who love me.

I learned something then.

I learned that when He asks “What do you want?” I have so little idea of what I really want that I will default to my “list” of “I have”. I have learned that when He asks “What do you want?” it is not a shopping expedition He has in mind – it is so much better – it is so much bigger. It is so much more than I could ever imagine and ask for. I have learned that when I hold onto my “I have” certainties, when I need my security and comfort, when I debate for hours whether I should or shouldn’t, when I linger in inertia of the “what if” ….

I have learned that I say no to all that He offers.

.

How did that happen?

When I was “saved” I knew. When I was a “christian” I knew. God has no desire to hurt me, to do me over, to take everything away, to make me suffer, to damage me, to make me unsafe. When I screamed without knowing what I wanted – He said a quiet yes and no or silence. He walked at my slow hesitant pace. He brought what I wanted to me and showed me why I had almost lost it all. And He never demanded that I read the bible, go to church, pray for hours, nor ever swear again, nor ever not drink again.  He never demanded that I fast frequently, give all to the poor, become a martyr to the cross. He never even demanded that I carry a cross.  He never asked for anything at all.

And then the crisis passed. And I was “saved” and I was a ”christian” and I was a “follower” – because that is what you become when you are saved. And church is what you do – when you are saved – and reading the bible and praying.  Being saved has consequences. It becomes a job and a duty. And it jeopardises all the “I have” stuff I have earned. Because if I say yes to Him now – it may mean I lose it all.

So on the surface I am a good Christian. But when He asks me in the quiet of the night: “What do you want?”

Do I pretend I can’t hear Him anymore? Have I made myself deaf to the voice of God? Have I too much “I have” to really want to hear His voice? Have I become habitually “in this world” (again)?

How did I do that?

.

When I was saved He took nothing away other than my personal blindness. And He brought me so much richness of living. Why should I now think He wants to teach me a lesson, take it all away, make me live in darkness, live away from the Light?

What do you want?

Whatever you have to offer that I cannot even imagine I could ever do or be, dear Father. Lead the way, dear Lord and let’s partay “God Am style” – again!

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10 thoughts on “Growing with God – how did I do that?

  1. Pingback: Should I stay or should I go? – God is in your typewriter

  2. Wow. I love this Paul. I believe God cares so much that He asks us what we want. Even though He already knows the answer.
    I love to hear my grand girls tell me what they want (like to walk in the woods with me) even though I knew ….
    He loves His kids to ask and tell Him. Even though…..
    Thanks for the encouragement today.
    Xoxo

    • Hiya Cate! And thank you.
      Melissa has caught a fragment and made a precious diamond. Isn’t it just the best when you are part of that happening?
      And the wee ones … ? Oh yes! And even better when the “what they want” does the same: “You want to watch (cartoon character)? Well how about we go and see (cartoon character) – I have tickets for us all to go and see … ” And the whoops an the hollas can be heard for miles! 🙂

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