natural & miraculous (part 1)

When faced with life decisions or everyday choices there are many simple spiritual answers: “Just pray about it. Just wait on God. Just have faith. Just trust God.” As if we have no responsibility or hard work of our own, or freedom to choose our own path. The way I see it now is that God made us a certain way and we must take ownership. We are responsible to be who we are, to use what we have. Prayer, waiting, trust, faith, these matter, but they’re not magic. They matter within the context of action, ownership, follow-through, hard work. It’s almost better to de-spiritualize it for a time and live as if it’s up to us, as if it’s our task to make things happen, to move our lives forward in the right direction. Over-spiritualization can justify excuses, procrastination, laziness. “I just need to pray about it. I’m just waiting on God. God will show me what to do. God will bring clarity.” Of course he can, and sometimes does; these are all good things. But sometimes we already have the truth we need. 

Instead of us waiting for God, God is waiting for us. Instead of us believing in God, God already believes in us. 

How might this change our thinking and action? Doesn’t it express more faith and trust to live this way than in religious indecision and paralyzing mind games? And the reality is that in most areas of our lives we already do live this way. (That is, until we begin to over-spiritualize and over-think.) Most of us don’t ask God what cereal to eat for breakfast, what shoes to put on before we go out the door, what gas station to fill up at, what to make for dinner, what movie to watch tonight. We may ask God where to live or what job to take or who to marry, but even then most of these decisions are based on good judgment, wisdom, self-awareness, knowing who we are and how we’re made (and if we’re lucky what we’re made for) and in what direction we want to move. If we’re in tune with ourselves and with God we often intuit what to do and how to do it in our season. Sometimes God surprises us and we sense to do something contrary to the norm or our nature. But we need not frantically seek the supernatural or out-of-the-ordinary. The pressure’s off. And there is peace in this. We can be open, aware, listening, paying attention, but need not be anxious about it. Isn’t this a better way to live?

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