Saturday, February 03, 2007

the raft and the river

Nine months ago I was a worried mess about some very important decisions in my life. There were many nights that I laid in bed tossing around possibilities, ideas, and questions in my sleepless mind. The decision I finally came to entailed no dramatic display of heroic efforts, no announcement of great leaps and bounds ahead. No, really my decision looked more like a quiet, seemingly unnoticeable tiptoe of obedience. But that quiet step brought me peace.

I was fulfilled. I was happy. I was residing in the will of God.

Like I have so many times before, I started to wonder about this thing we call “the will of God.” The way most people talk about it, you’d think “God’s will” was a dainty raft on class 5 rapids. Flailing about, you’ve got to work your tail off to stay in the raft… One wrong move, and you’re overboard. No wonder I had driven myself to fear “missing it,” and falling out of the eternal raft.

You see, I have a funny history with rafting. I went several months ago, and ended up throwing my oar in the water. Yes, on purpose. I threw it in panic at a snake, but that’s beside the point. The fact is, I threw my only source of direction and momentum right into the water.

It’s funny what panic will do to a person. It causes us to react circumstantially, and muffles the gentle guidance of God.

I’ve really tried to shake myself free of this catastrophic view of “the raft of God’s will.” It just doesn’t seem to align with my understanding of who God is. God has never handed me a couple of oars, tossed me on a bunch of waves, and said, “Go ahead and try to stay afloat!” There have been times that I’ve felt that way, but when I really examine the situation, it’s usually my own fear creating that sort of picture.

In the times that I have been keenly aware of “being in God’s will,” I find that I just kind of… floated there… like water flowing downstream I suppose. There was some sort of natural progression that propelled me in the right direction. No flailing, no oar throwing, just a gentle progression in this tributary of the river of life.

My quiet step to peace nine months ago has flowed into quite the river of possibilities. I’ve sailed into opportunity after opportunity, and have been shown favor like never before. I’m so glad I haven’t spent the last nine months worried about falling out of some raft. The view is too beautiful to miss.

And there is peace like a river...

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