Sunday, January 15, 2006

Figuring Out God's Will In Your Life.

This is a topic which can make a normally sensible Christian totally crazy. I assume other faiths go through this anguish, but I stay with the group I'm involved in. There are books everywhere on this topic. I used to think I could study my way into that magical state of always "knowing" what God wanted from me. God is not out to play Hide and Seek with you. I have discovered, a bit sheepishly, that determining His will in my world is so simple, I have dismissed it. He prompts me, with a "desire" to change churches, or speak to someone, or buy a certain book. I assume my mind is deficient and ignore this simple system. God then lets me comprehend what is happening around me, and I can no longer "resist" the temptation to leave my old church. The new church is in my neighborhood, and a much better spiritual fit. I arrive at the new church and discover they need my particular brand of prayer. I am assigned the emergency prayer line duty.

Then there are things that are so absurd, they could only be orchestrated by God. Even though I have 20/200 vision, I've had three different job assignments as a graphic artist! It began like this:

"I know you do things with a computer. Can you make Place Cards?"

Me: "I don't know, what's a Place Card?"

"Those things that say: "reserved". I need six of them for Mother's funeral."

Me: "Sure, I can try. When do you need them?"

"Tomorrow by 7:30 AM" It is now 10 PM.

Me: "Sure, They'll be ready" Because it was a rush job and very important, Pastor's Wife's mom had passed away, I got unexpected payment for my work. It was easy. I found a simple sketch of a cross, made a border and selected several different fonts to convey the message that these seats were reserved for the family. Only God could have come up with this one. The colors in the sketch I used were a perfect match to the decor of the room!

Then there is the matter of being "led" to people, companies and information I will need in the future. Note, God will NOT give you His plan, as He knows you'd probably argue with Him about it! I was in one of my beloved bookstores, wondering through their "Sale" section. I saw a huge book I really wanted, even though I had no idea why. It was on economics! I just had an overwhelming urge to buy it. It was 70% off and I snagged it. Six months later, I ran into an ecumenicist who wanted to know about Jesus. I then quickly read through the introductory portions of this text, to get a bit of a feel for what my friend did for a living. When I needed a reference book, it was already in my home.

Pod Casts came to iTunes and I began searching for what I wanted to listen to. I laughed when I read: "MacPhilly Almost Live! A twisted show about the Macintosh". Bingo! Subscribed without previewing. If its twisted, I like it! MacPhilly requested Geek stories. I sure had one. Friends assume I'm a systems engineer because I (now) know the difference between a Megabyte, Gigabyte and a Megahertz! And a continuing association was begun.

Finally, as my focus on product invention becomes sharper, I'm stumbling over companies and people who will be invaluable further down the road. How does this happen? I'm reading something and a website is recommended, or an ad shows up on a site I trust. Relax! God will use your personality to direct you. He knows you really want to do right and please Him. He even uses your mess-ups. I'm amazed how an apology, when I've been out-of-line, speaks to people. Apparently, it is rare, in our world, to be apologized to. I have to engage in it, as I am prone to shooting my mouth off without bothering to check in with my brain!

There will be times when you feel a prompting, which is misread, or just plain-old wrong. Always consult the Scriptures. If what you want to do conflicts with scripture, DON'T DO IT! Prayer is always helpful. I can get very excited over a new adventure and need to pray to keep my feet on the ground. Also, don't hesitate to check-in with trusted friends. I am learning to worry less and live more. Remember, it is easier to keep a heavy box moving across a floor, then to start it moving in the first place. Keep moving and doing! God will correct you as you go! Relax and enjoy the process of life!

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