Friday, June 6, 2008

Day Five: Hiring a better Architect

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight."
-Proverbs 3:5-6

This is some of the best advice I've ever received, in terms of bang for the buck (you can read the whole thing here). If Dr. Phil wandered by and ask me, "So--how's that workin' for ya?" I'd be able to say "Pretty well, actually. Thanks for checking in!" This stands out in stark contrast to how this conversation would have gone a few years ago, when I was leaning on all different versions of "my own understanding" to negotiate life, convinced as I was of my unique brilliance. UGH.

We come up with some pretty silly ideas on our own, if you think about it. Grab the bull by the horns. Empty your mind. Both of these are terrible ideas. For me, this list includes, He hasn't called, so I should call him, and If I try just hang in here, maybe things will change.

God promises us better than that, but it's almost like there's a transaction that has to take place. He's a gentleman; he doesn't just barge into our lives and take over. We have to open the door, invite him in, pour some drinks, and settle in to listen to what he has to say. This was the hard part for me--not the drinks and the listening, but figuring out what type of an audience I was granting God: Was I humoring him? Or did I actually plan to DO what he suggested, overriding my own plan for how to approach my life? Given that state of my life at the time, you'd think this would have been a no-brainer. And yet quite a bit of inner wrestling took place before I pulled out my blueprint for life and handed it over to him, mumbling, "Here--maybe you can do something with this..."

Today, let's consider whose running the show in the different areas of our lives. As a starting point, I'm inviting God to be in charge of dinner :)


tootie said...

I loved the metaphor that you used - that God is a gentleman, and we have to be the one to open the door. All it takes is a little of our own initiative, and God will do the rest!

(By the way, I'm really enjoying the Forty Days of Faith. Thank you so much for doing this and inspiring others!)

Liza said...

I'm going to trust in God to keep me safe as I travel over the weekend. Thanks for reminding me that God is always there, I just have to ask him in.

Accidental Admin. said...

I have no certainty over anything and no solid sense of what it is that I believe in. I'm doing this 40 days of faith knowing that I believe in myself and that am not willing to keep any doors slammed shut (a year ago was a different story. I was slamming doors left and right). This one is a bit hard for me--this whole trust that a God I don't know if I believe in and don't think I entirely know how to believe in has stuff in store for me and I have to listen.

I'm struggling today.

(Oddly enough, this theme for the day is on a day where I have a poetry reading--first reading in five years that I am giving, and my first reading in Boston, EVER. I'm already in a nervous and anxious place, and I am primed to be, like, receiving today's theme as The Biggest Challenge Ever)


Lisa said...

I'm going to share one of those "small miracles" that God does for us. I was feeling morose and disheartened and sort of praying at my desk when a coworker asked to borrow a pen. I started gathering my many pens and one fell into my cup of tea. It was something to laugh at and lifted me out of the funk I was sinking into. Small miracle.

I have a hard time knowing if I'm letting God be in charge of my life. That's a confusing issue for me. I recently had a near crisis of faith over this issue. I actually don't know if I'm doing something to hinder his control of my life. Something to think about, pray about...

Kim said...

I'm taking a giant leap of faith and driving three hours through LA traffic in the belief that once I get there, God will have removed all the red tape, the insurance will have approved the referral and the top surgeon at UCLA will see my son. I feel this is a faith test and am struggling not to fail it.
Best to you all on your journeys.

Sarakastic said...

I've always thought "Why doesn't God just fix it?", because I have to open the door

Kim said...

Yahoo! I've got the referral number in hand from the insurance and I'm hitting the road. Thank you God!

Larramie said...

You have to listen with your heart and not just your wishful thinking. We all have dreams -- some seemingly more doable than others -- but there are many paths to success that are not traveled.

Those "Aha" alternatives have always turned out to be the solutions to my challenges and it simply takes the faith and energy to keep trying something new rather than the same old. After all, where does inspiration come from?

Suzanne said...

First, Kim, our thoughts and prayers are with you and your son. Safe travels and we pray for a perfect outcome for your son with the surgeon.

As for today's verse, I have repeated it a million times since I left my job in New York in 1994. My years since then have been a quest for a life that had not yet materialized. And the fact that I relied on this verse and the one that says "For I know the plans I have for you, to give you a future and a hope", and yet, I still feel in the woods.

How many times have I prayed and said God, I'm turning it all over to you, and still cannot see the realization of my dreams or any word from God giving my steps direction?!

This lack of response from God, my perception of His silence in this one area of my life has been like a wind filled with sand that slowly wears away at my faith.

I love God with all my heart. I am grateful for all that He has done in my life and my mother's life, especially with her health. I have seen Him perform miracles for her, and I am forever grateful.

Yes, I have seen answers to big prayers, but they always seem to be others prayers, not to the ones that are so central to my heart, that break my heart when they are repeatedly unanswered. And yet, I am also ashamed that this complaint sounds selfish, shouldn't I just accept what I have? Why should I ask for more?

I don't know what more to do, but I am here, doing this 40 days of faith, trying again, to find my way forward. I need to believe that God has a better plan for my life, that He see more that I can accomplish.

I don't know what I'm doing wrong but I need a breakthrough soon.

BTW, I'm sorry for this long-winded rant, but this verse just struck a cord...


Kwana said...

Wonderful post for today. Thanks so much. This is one of my fav verses. I always pray for God to order my steps and direct my path. That way I can walk in peace.

I'm always worried about my decisions. If they are the right ones or not. I believe this is the only way to be sure.

the teacher said...

reading the verse for today made me smile. just recently, i wrote it on a sheet of paper and put it on my fridge. i can tell God a thousand times that i put all my trust in him...but....i don't show much of that in my actions. today is my first day out of school. my head is cleared. i am happy; i feel like myself again.

after many talks with married friends, i finally heard and thought about the words i always hear... "quit trying. it will happen when you least expect it". trying too hard really just makes you miserable. i don't know why it takes me so long to realize that putting all of my trust in God is a much better way. i SURE would not want to live my life according to some of "my plans". so i thank God for his guidance.

Breeza said...

That is my favorite verse. It really resonates at a time like this--praying for a husband and a job. I know I have to acknowledge him more in my life, especially to my non-Christian friends and family.

Kim said...

Thank you Suzanne for your kind words. Hang in there, kiddo.

Let me say right here that once I posted my comment this morning, God made my paths straight. The referral came in the nick of time, a three hour drive became two due to lack of traffic, the usual 2-3 hour wait in the waiting room was one, but the best news of all? The infection my son was experiencing is gone. The reconstruction of his ear is healing beautifully. I wouldn't have believed it last week. God made my paths straight today, of that, I am sure.

Blessing to you all.

heiress said...

I agree, I'm inviting God to breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

ForstRose said...

Trusting God is a process I still struggle with more at sometimes than at others but I suppose if I look back it is one of those two steps forward for every one or one and a half backward even if it seems like 2 or 3 back and 1 ahead. When I do stop letting my emotions take over, boy are they trained for getting me into a horrible state, and choose to trust even when I want nothing more than to be in control and know what will happen in the end things do generally work out much better than my attempts or just plain giving up because it feels so hopeless at the moment.

Like the poem He gave me about a year ago I need to "Stop making believe I can do it myself ... let go, give Him the reigns"

This is timely reminder who is in control and that I need to just quit playing tug of war with the reigns of my life if I truly want to get somewhere worth being.