Thursday, November 4, 2010

Open Eyes

“Seeing the light is a choice, not seeing the light is no choice.
-Douglas Horton

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately. I feel like I am back to having tons of things to write about because I am finally back to listening. I literally could not sleep last night because I kept coming up with things I think God is telling me and I wanted to get them all written into my phone for further exploration (in writing). I am seriously excited because I feel like I have been going through a self-imposed dry spell. I had been buying into the belief that this life is about me and that I can do it on my own. How wrong that belief is.

A good place to start (and I have no idea what kind of pace this entry is going to have since I have so many thoughts to expand on) is realizing why I keep getting to the place I need to start back over. I just started reading this very introspective book called “True Faced” by Thrall, McNicol, & Lynch. It’s about trusting God and others with who you truly are. I am only a couple of chapters in but I highly recommend it! One of the important points they make is the fact that we live with shame, guilt, hurt, fear, etc because of unresolved sin.

Being a Christian for most of my life, I find that I am all too guilty of giving wide berth to obvious sins and tiptoeing the line of “white-lie” typed sins. But I completely overlook the kind of sins that do lasting damage. Not the kind that we usually do and understand for their sinful nature, but the kind that come natural and we forget or don’t even realize we are sinning when we do them. Things like worrying, not trusting God, and believing we are capable of surviving this life without His help. I realize these kinds of sins are the reason God is keeping me in this valley. I need to resolve them before He can take me to the next place. I need to be undone before He can put me back together (that’s a quote Chris Alston from CCCC used last night at the Gathering, sorry I don’t have the name).

I have been asking God all this time to take away the pain I am feeling or change the way I feel about my situation (as in make it so I don’t care about it). Like the merciful father He is, He decided to take another unlikely route within my unique circumstance, He has decided to show me how displaced my feelings have truly been. This has allowed me to focus on the real problem here, not my broken relationships with others, but my fractured one with Christ. I have been looking for a tangible problem to solve instead of the reality that my problem is with my relationship with God.

I have lived a reasonably sheltered life. Although we have gone through a lot of problems within our family, I cannot say we aren’t blessed in so many ways. I think somewhere along the way I started to form these thoughts (mostly in the absolutes again) about how life would be or go. I wasn’t naïve enough to believe that I could control every facet of life, but I was pretty sure that I knew how things would go. To some degree I had this impossible list of parameters for what I want (sorry, back to being vague, but it’s important to guard some facts-nothing bad just too personal to me and other people for a public forum). I continued to believe that until God could fill every part, I would just continue on my life as best I could until that day came. So when the day came that I found the “missing piece” that fulfilled almost all of that list (specifically the more difficult of the list) I made sure it was what I wanted, I discussed it with wise counsel, and prayed about it. And then I leaped. I made a very crucial decision in life. Problem is, in hindsight I realize, I asked God but I’m not sure I took the time to be still and make sure it was what He wanted, I just saw what I wanted.

I look at the choices I have made and realize that while they weren’t bad or wrong, they may not have been wise or what’s best. I may have focused too much on the impossible part that I thought I saw God filling instead of making sure those choices are what God wanted for me. I was way too caught up in what I wanted rather than making sure that’s what God wanted for me. In the world of absolutes I was living in, it made sense that if the outside (the impossible side) was right than it must be right.

I have learned an important lesson about taking time to truly know and listen to God. To take time to be still. I have often wondered why I did not hear God the way I thought I should. I wondered if the problem was me or He was just going to take the “act out and let Him close the wrong doors” approach with me. But truth is, I often just want the immediate answer while most times God’s answers may be subtle or require endurance to hear.

While doing what makes you happy and seeking wise counsel are important things, stopping and listening to God is the most crucial part. While sometimes it is important to step out in faith and hope God leads by closing wrong doors and opening right ones, sometimes the best thing to do is nothing. Sometimes it’s best to wait to make decisions or take actions until you are at a place where you are pursuing God and listening when He speaks.

Thankfully God uses all choices to inevitably lead to His glory. All we can do is pick up the pieces and learn from the past. Use those choices to help us better understand why we are using broken things to supplement what is not yet broken.

Seeing things in their true light, for what they are, makes me sad. It makes me fear I have hurt others with my actions or sometimes wish for the bliss that seemingly accompanies naivety. But it also reminds me that the road I was on was incomplete and far from God. That path (at least the way it was and continuing that way) could never be God’s plan for my life. He promises wholeness and fulfillment, the kind I never could have found if I just kept wandering the other way. And every part of this struggle is leading me to the path He has and is creating especially for me.

We all have a choice to make, open our eyes and see things for what they are or stay blinded to the truth of our past actions and future choices. It’s time to start looking at life with my eyes wide open. When I do, I see God everywhere.



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