I'm pleased with a shift in my thinking.
Yesterday a friend mentioned that he is thinking about a project that I happen to be very interested in, and that he has 4-5 people in mind to invite to participate. My first thought was, "I hope I'm one of them", but then it shifted to, "But, God, what do you want?"
Several years ago I had a divine appointment with the founder of DivorceCare (www.divorcecare.com)an international ministry. I'd called on him as a provider of Christian Marriage ministry while working with The Association of Marriage and Family Ministries. Steve invited me to his office where he invested in our friendship for several hours. "As you enter your mid-forties, Jeff, you will have to begin to focus very specifically on the thing that God made you to do. Up till now you've been able to try lots of different things and probably thought like many strong and gifted leaders that you could do them all, but that's simply not the case. To make the Kingdom contribution that God has planned for you, you're going to have to focus."
He was right. Three years later I'm approaching 45, and thankfully, what I want is becoming less important than what He wants. Besides, I've tried what I want, and He has foiled my ambitions enough times that I'm finally surrendering to what He wants. At least it's close second to thoughts about what I want, as evident in conversation with my friend yesterday.
I know He works through our desires, and that the best we can do sometimes is to get our ship out of the harbor so He can steer it. Sometimes he steers in directions we didn't anticipate. That's cool. He remains all-knowing God, and the course corrections are His right, and they are good. Do I really accept that all things work together for good for those that love God and are called according to His purposes? (Romans 8:28).
It's fairly easy to ask ourselves what we want, and beneficial to ask our loved ones. But it can be scary to ask God. Why? Because perhaps he'll answer and then I'll need to make a decision to either cooperate or to resist. Still, at the end of myself and efforts to direct my life down the paths that I have wanted, I come back to the same conclusion, "Asking Him what He wants is a good first question."
Papa, what do you want?
Searching and serving,
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