March 22, 2007

A 3rd step

Made a decision (became willing) to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God…

Year’s back, when I first read this simple instruction my brain received, “became willing to make a deal.” And at the time, that was all I was capable of. I would hear that I only had to change one thing – everything. This seemed foolish. It doesn’t now. To become willing, to submit our will…to become obedient. That’s sure is just one thing. It’s just a big thing when you start walking it out.

But before I could turn over my will, I needed God. And more than that, it had to be God, rather than a god. Who’s fool am I going to be? So early on, my version of God made deals; and more often than not, my will was still in charge. Although I’ve found that my will hurts, and His, though occasionally difficult, doesn’t leave so many unsightly scars. So before you can give it away, you need God. You have to have it to give it away.

I was reminded the other evening about how simple it is. I didn’t have an anger problem after the cell door slammed shut. No, those things I was wrapped up in were no longer empowered to rule my life. If I could only have trusted in Him before I trusted in only me. I so often trusted in Him to get me home; a faith of sorts, but always leaving my needs piled high in the center. Realizing why ‘this or that’ month is a bad time for me…not because God’s different, but because I haven’t given up the weight of my past reflected in memory – my father’s death, marriages gone south, childhood, allowing other’s to be a ‘god’s will’ in my life, pride and vanity.

I was back in the right place the other evening, and God gave me what I needed to hear. So often we feel like we’ve got better - I don’t need this. I’ve got a handle on my sin. I don’t need to become obedient to the Lord - I’ve got stuff, I can read and I know which way is north. The truth is I’ll always be broken. I will never be whole and complete on my own. No, for that I need God. To have it I need to give it away.

So often I feel entitled. And I’m not. But I can seek the Lord, and His community with others so that I am filled. How can I move on to do something new (something I feel entitled to do), if I don’t have a handle on what’s in front of me? I was asked the other day, “How did you ever submit?” You know, it never crossed my mind. When you’re smashed flat, being obedient is the only path left outside of madness and physical death.

So over late-night chorizo con huevos, with some apparently like minded fellows, we spoke of making amends for our self-will run riot. Paying any cost to be free. The hardships and freedom, and the life long pursuit of real and true freedom in, and with God. What a great evening. All trying to be Jesus where we found ourselves, and some of us not even aware of it.

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