Saturday, March 2, 2013

Mine or His?

You know a dream is like a river - ever changing as it flows.
What did you want to be when you grew up? Did you become that?

I didn't. I wanted to be a lawyer. (That was until my first pre-law class in University. I couldn't run far enough, fast enough.) But I actually remember the day when I decided I wanted to be a lawyer. Now giggle if you must but I bet your story isn't too far off.

I was watching a soap opera with my sister after school one day when one of the characters who happened to be a lawyer was asked by someone on the show to take a pro-bono case for a boy in distress.The lawyer laughed and made some comment to shrug it off. Only later in a different scene he mentioned the absurdity to his "wife". While he continued to laugh she looked him in the face and asked, "who wouldn't want to do that for so-and-so."

I didn't even know what pro-bono was until I pulled our dusty dictionary off the shelf. Right there, at that moment I decided to become a lawyer so I could do pro-bono cases.

Looking back, I don't think my dream was to spend my life working for free. I think I was drawn to the concept behind the term.

Helping someone who can't help themselves with the specific set of skills I have.

That sounds like a servant's attitude to me. So even though I never became a lawyer
I know I can fulfill my "dream". Instead of in a court room helping people in distress I can write stories of hope and redemption to minister to those who are enduring or recovering from their own crises.
And a dreamer is just a vessel that must follow where it goes.
However, I have been grappling lately with pride in connection to my dream. I believe without a doubt it's a dream given to me by God. I didn't create it. Yet, now that it is underway I want to claim it, cradle it and control it. I am having difficulties letting God steer.

Which to me is such a paradox, because I know without a doubt as well that I cannot accomplish this "God-sized" dream on my own strength or merit. Yet, still I want to get my hands on the reins.  Why do I do that?
Trying to learn from what's behind you. Never knowing what's in store, makes each day a constant battle just to stay between the shores.
I was reading in 2 Chronicles 20 about an attitude of prayer spoken by King Jehoshaphat. To help you see the full picture you need to know that not one - but three - armies were marching towards King Jehoshaphat.  The scriptures say he was alarmed and sought the Lord for guidance (verse 3).

This would have been my prayer if I was there. Lord, can you please help us. There are armies coming to destroy us. Give our fighting men courage and stamina. Help our weapons to be strong against the approaching enemies. Bring victory to us today Lord because of Your great Name.

See, I know God loves me and He wants to help me and lead me. I know that He wants to bless me and protect me. I learnt all that through the scriptures and bible stories. (Psalm 23 for instance.) So I am not wrong to pray for those things, am I?

Jehoshaphat did something completely different. He recalled God's faithfulness from the past and focused on His consistent character. Ultimately, he praised God instead of listing all the things he wanted from God. Jehoshaphat didn't pray for strength. He didn't pray for might, or even extra sharp arrows. He prayed for God's goodness.

(Read the full section of scripture in NIV here)

Can I do that? Can I focus only on the character of God, trusting in Him? I hope so.  Trust is, after all, my word for 2013. Lord, my ... "eyes are on you". (verse 12)

There’s bound to be rough waters and I know I will take some falls but with the good Lord as my captain I can make it through them all.
Yes I will sail my vessel till the river runs dry.  Like a bird upon the wind these waters are my sky.  I’ll never reach my destination if I never try so I will sail my vessel till the river runs dry.

In case you were wondering the italics words above are lyrics from a song title The River co-written and first performed by Garth Brooks. Here is a video of one of my top favorite artists singing it accapella. I play this song every time before I sit down to my computer to write.

"Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." Matthew 6:33

So today I am committing to a new lifestyle of prayer - instead of my grocery list of things I want from God I am going to praise and exalt Him only. 'Cuz after all He already knows what I need better than I do anyway.  Want to join me?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for this challenge Jodi! I have been making a point of spending more time time just praising Him too!