Saturday, September 24, 2005

God is in Charge

I am a confirmed Calvinist, utterly convinced it is nothing of mine that saves me. We must be very careful not to assume we know if someone is saved. We also have to be careful when those who we think lost, are simply going off in order to come back.

The story of Abram comes here. Isaac is the best thing Abraham has ever had happen. His firstborn son, miracle promised by God. The most important thing in his life. This is what God demands Abram be willing to sacrifice. It is "easy" to sacrifice our weaknesses. "Easy" to come to God and say, I can't do it on my own, I am in bondage to bondage, I look with lust in my heart. I have been known to get angry from time to time Lord, so could you help me deal with it. Billy Graham and his not being alone with women. Not allowing temptation. Those blind Pharisees who smashed into walls, so they would not look at a woman.

What is hard is to sacrifice like Abram, your strength. That thing you do better than anyone. The one thing you think God might be proud of you for. Your ability to comfort those in pain. Your ability to reach those no one else can reach. All those things we think are our greatest gifts....Gifts, you note, gifts given to us for a reason, all these threads all tie back in the parable of the prodigal. The father gives up his most prized possession, his son. His son to come back, must come back crawling on his belly, giving up his pride.

Where this all leads is that he lets us go, so we can come to him. Alice taught me a great deal in her life, and dying. One of the most important was that in order for someone to come to me, they must be free to go.
Free to go, to give up our strengths.

My most recent teacher on this subject is a crusty old cat named Ninja, so named because if anything does not suit him, his claws slash swifter than eye can see. This opinionated creature has learned to trust me, or rather, i have learned how to show him i am trustworthy. When Ninja comes and curls up next to me(never on my lap, he would have to trust too much), it is a wonderful sign of how we have developed a relationship. He even sticks his head around the corner of my office and meows "Mello (hello)." The other English word he says is "Mo,(No)." I see my relationship with God in this pattern. God ever so patient, waits for me to come curl up next to Him, and trust Him. He waits for all of us. In this patient waiting, God is fully in charge. He knows the start and end, for God, time is not linear.

For me, this crusty old Presbyterian, grieving for a demonination that seems headed for schism, I've learned I can trust Him, and curl up next to Him. Glad my salvation is up to Him, not up to me. Glad I don't have to rely on my church to save me. Glad that occasionally I hear his voice.

Here is a poem from 2002,
about how to live.

Be Whole and Holy

Be at peace
wherever I send.
Be humble
able to do My will.
Earnestly desire
to be My servant.
Don’t just know
but do My will.

Know Me.
Know My will.
Apply it
in your life.
Be holy.
At peace.
Doing My will.
(Ephesians 4:20-28)
© Presbypoet, September 15, 2002


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