If you’re desperate for God to bring clarity on some big issue in your life, you’re not alone. There’s a whole bunch of us in the waiting-for-guidance club. Maybe we should get tee-shirts so we’d recognize each other when we are out and about—though perhaps the slightly bewildered expression is enough of a giveaway.
There was a time when it all seemed a lot easier. As a still baptismal-wet-behind-the-ears Christian looking to decide where to buy a first home, someone suggested I try Fleece’s. At least, I thought they were giving me the name of a realtor. Turns out they were suggesting I follow Gideon’s method of discerning God’s will, as in fleeces.
That went pretty well for a while, and then one night I discovered Matthew 7:7. “Ask, seek, knock” seemed like a great three-step process. I was sensing something in the wind but was not sure what or where, so I asked God to send me an address that I could seek out, then knock at. The next morning I got a letter extending an invitation that would significantly change the course of my life.
Things haven’t always been as clear since. Great excitement at a recent-ish clear call to “step out and follow me” has dwindled in the long months since, waiting for a clue as to what’s next. Some people have advised do something, anything, it’s easier to direct a moving ship, and all that.
Maybe, but to me that sounds a bit like direction by default, pinball machine living. And, after a while, we can end up trying so hard to work things out that we just further complicate matters. Like Winnie the Pooh and Piglet on their great Woozle hunt, going round and round in circles and misreading their own footprints for signs of an apparently growing number of potentially Hostile Animals.
Right now I’m trying to apply Jeremiah 6:6: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it.”
Ironically, the advice is as much about the here-and-now as the future, of course. While I am too busy getting all bent out of shape about what God wants me to do tomorrow, I can forget what He has for me today. Micah 6:8 provides a list that can keep me busy enough: “Act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.”
That sounds awfully like the good way, something I can follow even as I am waiting.