Talking with a few of my friends who are getting into (ok, well into) the second half of life we are all finally discovering something; we have been successful and tend to not leave a lot of room from God to work through us.
We each fill our spare time with “Christian” activities and strivings, but do we actually leave room for God to work? I, for one, have not done that. I try to fill every void with myself and God humbly steps aside most of the time and lets me. When will I learn that I can accomplish so much more through God than through myself?
Well, I am a stubborn, type-A, Texan!
That is so often a badge of honor for me, and just as often (maybe more often) a source of regret.
At my age, I know what I am and what I am not. I no longer play the games a younger man plays trying to be this or that to please the group I am with. I am who I am and that will be who I am through the remainder of my life I suspect. It’s not that I necessarily like all of the components of that make up, but I have learned to live with them all and try daily to suppress the ones that are the least inspiring.
So how can I leave more room for God to do what He knows is best with me and my life and not continually strive to interject myself into the equation?
My father drilled into me “God helps those who help themselves.” For the most part I agree with this statement. However, it does not leave space for God all too often. God does expect us to put in the sweat equity, no doubt. However, how often am I just putting in the sweat equity for myself and what I think is the right thing to do?
This leads me to the question – How often do I ask God what He wants of me and then sit back and wait for an answer?
Patience is not one of the virtues that I was imbibed with. In fact, I am a VERY impatient person.
I don’t want to be, but I am. I expect people to move at the same pace that I move and few do. That is not an indictment on them as much as it is on me. The outcome of all that fast paced movement on my part has been, typically, stress. My family and friends will tell you that I do not know how to relax, and this is true. I am not good at being still.
But what are we told in scripture;
11 The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.
Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
When I read that I am immediately drawn to the last line; “What are you doing here?”
I so often think that when I do actually show up where God wants me, when I have allowed space for Him to work, He looks up and says, “What are you doing here?”, because I so rarely actually find my way to the place He wanted me all along.
I have no answers to this; I strive for it more and more each day. I want now more than ever to be in the right place at the right time to do what I am built to do.
I want more than ever to listen and hear that gentle whisper.