Saturday, February 14, 2009

One Thing

DISCLAIMER: This post is religiously oriented. If you are offended by religious thought and can't get over the fact that other people have opinions, feel free to stop reading now. But if you stop now, you're going to miss something good. Those of you who do read this, please comment.


Ever wonder what God has planned for you? I'm not talking about your final destination or anything like that. I mean like tomorrow or next week. Does God micromanage our lives to the point where He moves us around like pieces on a chess board? Do we have any freedom to do what we want to do?


These are questions I've been considering (I was thinking of saying struggling with, but that isn't quite true) since the beginning of the year. You see, I am of the opinion that everyone has a purpose. That purpose may be somewhat self directed, but ultimately we have a single purpose; the "One thing" that was spoken of in City Slickers. Figuring out what that one thing is takes us through the experiences of life day by day.


So what's my one thing? Well, I've tried several things, work wise. Music, radio personality, computer operator, system administrator, programmer, general geek, teacher, husband, father, grandfather, chief cook and bottle washer. That's not what I'm talking about. What you do does not define what you are, or at least it shouldn't. I think that's one of the problems with society, not just today, but since we as a race started specializing (I'm not the guy who grows food, that's Jack over there. I go out and tend the flocks so my wife can make yarn so Jane over there can knit sweaters). To quote a great fictional man, "A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects!" But all those things will lead you to that "One thing". Just because you can do all these things doesn't mean you don't need and aren't directed by God.


OK, let's go back in time. Step into the wayback machine with me as we go back about 4000 years or so to the time long ago and a place far away. We see a rich man. Here, rich means he has a big heard of sheep / goats, lots of servants and mercenaries, etc. Not necessarily money. This rich man wigs out and thinks he hears a Voice. That Voice tells him to go someplace where he's never been but the Voice will tell him where to go. This rich man was named Abram. Abram lived in Iraq (well, that's what we call it now). He lived in one of the biggest cities in the world at the time (not that anyone could have known that then). He had everything going for him and left it behind because of this Voice. Abram had a purpose. His "One thing" was to become the father of a great nation. That's not to say he didn't mess up along the way because he did. He told people his wife was his sister to keep out of trouble. He was told by the Voice that he would have a son by his wife, but tried with his wife's maid instead and fathered Ishmael. Once he finally did what he was told, things started to work out. But then the Voice told him to sacrifice his son Isaac. He was no stranger to human sacrifice. I'm sure he was confused because this Voice had never asked for anything like this before. But he obeyed and God (yeah, not such a veiled reference) provided a ram to sacrifice in Isaac's place.


Fast forward to about 20 years ago. If we saw someone walking around talking to "themselves", we would have them sent somewhere that could help them. Today, we just assume they are talking on the cell phone with a Bluetooth headset. But what would you do if you heard a voice, and that voice wasn't like anything you've ever heard before? Would you ignore it? COULD you ignore it? Would listening to it help you find that "One thing"? Do you believe that God speaks to people?


I don't think I've found that "One thing" yet for me. I am still looking, though. I'm not comparing myself with Abraham except that I too am on a journey with an uncertain path. However, like Abraham I know where that path will end. I don't know when (thank God) because that would just be scary. The journey continues. Will you walk with me?


Heidi said...

It's pretty easy to see Abram's purpose looking back. I'm sure he was like us, not so sure of that ONE purpose in the middle of daily life. After all, how long did he have to wait for that child?

I've found many a small purpose in the different seasons of my (short) life. It may be those will work together in the end to reveal an obvious theme. For now, a theme is not so obvious.

I do have a passion that has driven me since I came to Christ and perhaps that has to do with a grand purpose. Perhaps that's just a... what do you call it?... a secondary theme to make the story more interesting.

I have absolutely no doubt that God does speak to people and people DO ignore Him. But there are times when He holds our face in his hands (like our parents have done) until we stop and look at Him, and then when He speaks it is quite undeniable and impossible to ignore. He IS bigger, stronger, holier and more powerful than anything we've ever experienced.

I'm walking with you, getting most of my "orders" day by day and obeying one at a time. usually.