Pathways - Lesson Learned
Destiny. Is there such a thing? Are we all pre-determined to do something, be something, go somewhere? It depends on who you ask.
Some would say, without any hesitation, that everything in our lives has been predetermined, planned out, and meant to happen. Others say life is nothing more than a bunch of random events brought together by chance and that our life is whatever we choose to make it.
Without getting into the theological arguments for each (I’m sure some of you know them well and others of you could care less), it all boils down to one thing; our view of God. Do we see God as an all powerful being who chooses ‘the elect’ and everyone else be damned? Or, do we see Him as an aloof, all-powerful God who chose to throw the dice and see where they land?
I know a few people in my life on the far side of either argument. Most of those I’ve known, however, like myself, fall somewhere in the middle. Oh, and there’s a theological word for that too…
There was a time when I was at ORU studying for the ‘ministry’ when I simply didn’t know what direction I was to take. I knew I was where I was supposed to be, which had been confirmed by events coincidence couldn’t have made happen. Yet, I still didn’t know which pathway I was to take after college.
I had become so caught up on the title of ministry that I lost the meaning of ministry. I wanted to know, ‘am I supposed to be an evangelist or pastor?’ I wanted to have the path all laid out for me before I got there. After all, if I had enough ‘faith,’ then it should have been, right?
It was my junior year and I had become so stressed by that decision, that I decided to attend an evening service being held by the church I was attending on campus. They had a guest speaker I just knew would help me find the answer.
After the service, I went forward for prayer. Many wonderful things were happening all around me in the service for a lot of hurting people, but, all I could think of, was finding an answer to that question, ‘what am I supposed to do (what’s my title?) and where am I supposed to go??’
I asked one of the pastors, after they prayed with me, that question. His answer, ‘Just do what God tells you to do and the rest will follow. People may say, ‘he’s a pastor’, or, ‘he’s a prophet’. If you’re doing what He wants, they’ll see it’. That was an answer I hadn’t expected.
I left that service more frustrated than before because he didn’t tell me what he felt I was supposed to do; what path I was supposed to take. Looking back, I’m so very glad he didn’t! It wasn’t for him to say and he knew it. What he did say was worth a lifetime of experience, though.
Sometimes, wisdom hits us right in the face and we don’t see it because of our preconceived ideas of God, life, and ourselves. It may take a lifetime for those blinders to come off our eyes. Today, even while typing this, I sense even more that, what the pastor said to me that night, was straight from God.
Today, I get it, and have learned that lesson the hard way. It’s not about a title, a position, a denomination, or about what we see ourselves as. No, it’s all about our letting go of those things and just serving others around us as God commands us to do. The rest will follow. He made it so simple that people had to build entire religions around it. He must be laughing (or crying) every time someone promotes themselves as ‘God’s man’.
One of those movies I loved as a kid was, “Oh God” with George Burns and John Denver. I loved it because they brought God down to our level and He used a simple, non-religious guy, to spread His word.
Tonight, I’ll leave you with a scene from that movie which is a good depiction of what I had to learn about choosing the right path and just trusting God. He will make our paths straight when we simply put our trust in Him and not in ourselves.
Amen and goodnight my friend,
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