Don’t you just hate it when you think of something important or significant but can’t make a note of it, and when you need to remember that thought all you can remember is that it was important or significant? I have that sensation about this morning’s blog entry. I am sure I had a good idea yesterday but did not have the chance to record it, and now I am reduced to blogging about the failure to remember such an important or significant thought.
Still, it’s not all wasted. At least it has given me something to blog about!
My experience of God is that he does the same with us. He might have something important or significant that he wants us to do, but we forget it, ignore him or simply refuse to do it. Does that mean we have then blown it? Does that mean that God is going to give up on us? No. He adapts to us. He accommodates his plans to our weakness and goes with a different version of Plan A or even moves to Plan B. That’s grace!
As a teenager I can remember being almost paralysed with fear at the idea that God has a specific plan for my life and that I could blow it if I did not follow it specifically. I have come to realise that this is not so. His plans for us are to live as followers of Jesus, to allow his Spirit to change us gently so that we are more like the people he has created us to become. There may be specific moments when he has a specific task that he would like us to carry out, a special calling to follow or something he wants us to say to someone else. But I do not believe that he has a roadmap for my life which I must follow religiously (I use the word advisedly). Rather I believe the analogy is more like he has a destination for me and some places he would like me to visit en route. This is not a free licence to go anywhere and do anything. There are parameters to the journey. There are directions he would not want me to go in and ways he would not want me to drive.
But rather than fret about what they may be, my experience is that I can find the parameters and directions to avoid, the guidance about how to drive in the Bible (his Highway Code, to stretch the analogy to breaking point!). I can discern special moments when his Spirit prompts me in different ways and I find that he usually makes it very clear on those occasions so I can’t claim to have missed them, even if I have ignored or disobeyed him.
Enjoy the journey today!
Three men were trekking through a jungle when they came across a violent, raging river. They had no idea how to cross. So the first man decided to pray.
‘Please, God, give me the strength to cross this river.’ Immediately he grew enormous muscles in his arms and legs, and he managed to swim across the river in a couple of hours, nearly drowning twice.
The second man saw this and he prayed ‘Please, God, give me the strength AND the tools to cross this river.’ A boat appeared from nowhere, and he battled across the river in an hour, nearly capsizing twice.
The third man saw this and prayed ‘Please, God, give me the strength, the tools AND the intelligence to cross this river.’
Immediately he turned into a woman. She looked at the map, walked upstream a hundred yards, and crossed over the bridge to the other side.