I wish I could share with you, through one word or one touch, all that I am feeling right now! It seems like, at this point in my life, the only purpose of this blog is for me to – in my clunky, rambling way – attempt to share a portion of the wisdom and encouragement I’ve been receiving in abundance.
How to start?
In the past few months, I’ve sensed quite strongly that God is preparing me for something. If I had any idea what that something might be, I’d already be moving toward it at a sprint – which, I suspect, is why He’s asking me to wait. I don’t wait well. I want to be industrious! And to have plans! And then meta-plans, with pro/con lists, and packing lists, and timelines, and…I probably get a bit carried away with figuring out The Best Possible Way For Maggie To Complete The Task. So, even though I’m chomping at the bit, God is like, “Chill. I’ve got a plan.”
So I’m waiting. And my brain, knowing that A Plan Is Afoot, but not able to grasp onto even a corner of it, has been in hyperdrive, dreaming up over-elaborate parties, building increasingly more-complex spreadsheets at work, and constantly asking What? Where? Why? How? Who?
It seems that one of the lessons I’m slow to learn is that…I can’t know it all. I have to trust God in this ambiguity and uncertainty.
This morning, my prayers are full of impatience and irritation and anger and impassioned pleas. I returned to this book, to a selection which I’d attempted to read before but which had been completely incomprehensible.
But this time around, it was as if my heart and mind were leaping off the pages through the words of this dead guy. I don’t have any more of a clue about my future than I did before reading this, but am encouraged to find myself struggling in such good company, and knowing that God will answer my big questions just as faithfully as he comforts my early morning distress.
A few thoughts from Thomas R. Kelly about submitting to God’s will:
It is the drama of the lost sheep wandering in the wilderness, restless and lonely, feebly searching, while over the hills comes the wiser Shepherd. For His is a shepherd’s heart, and He is restless until He holds His sheep in His arms….
It is to one strand in this inner drama, one scene, where the Shepherd had found His sheep, that I would direct you. It is the life of absolute and complete and holy obedience to the voice of the Shepherd. But ever throughout the account the accent will be laid upon God, God the initiator, God the aggressor, God the seeker, God the stirrer into life, God the ground of our obedience, God the giver of the power to become children of God…
Begin where you are. Live this present moment, this present hour as you now sit in your seats…but within, behind the scenes, in the deeper levels of your lives where you are all alone with God the Loving Eternal One, keep up a silent prayer. “Open Thou my life. Guide my thoughts where I dare not let them go. But Thou darest. Thy will be done.”
…if you slip and stumble and forget God for an hour, and assert your old proud self, and rely upon your own clever wisdom, don’t spend too much time in anguished regrets and self-accusations but begin again, just where you are…
Don’t grit your teeth and clench your fists and say, “I will! I will!” Relax. Take hands off. Submit yourself to God. Learn to live in the passive voice – a hard saying for Americans – and let life be willed through you.