Going into this time of Lent, there have been some difficult questions that have been asked.
This was written in 2018, and I finally felt like sharing. I hope this is helpful!
The church I go to went over some of Jonah this past week, and the questions asked have been difficult to answer. the overall message discussed how we try to contain God by not wanting him to control certain areas of our lives. So then we were asked 3 questions:
- What areas do I not want God to be a part of?
- What do I do to escape thinking of His will?
- What am I doing to change that?
What areas do I not want God to be a part of?
This is such a hard question. Not because I don’t have an answer, but because I do have an answer… and I hate that. I wish I could say that I want Him in every area of my life, but I am realizing that I am unhappy when He shows up in a particular place.
My life plan.
I do not want to give up my ideas, and dreams, of what I want my life to look like. I want to look successful at work with a job that has an impressive title. I want to adopt children. I want to own a house.
These things are not bad things to want, so I tend to ask “Why can’t I have this?”. This leads to me thinking about other things that were good that I wanted, that I still don’t have answers for. I wanted to be a missionary, I wanted to stay single, I wanted….
Then I started thinking, “Maybe I should ask why I feel like I need these things.”
What if I change the question from “why can’t I have __?” to:
What if I stay a receptionist for decades?
What if we don’t adopt?
What if we don’t buy a house?
What if my life seems small and insignificant to the world?
Will Christ still be enough for me?
Honestly, the answer is gross right now. The answer is no. It doesn’t feel like it is enough. That leads to the question of “Why do I think I need these things to be fulfilled?”. If I am not fulfilled in Christ, then I am searching for other things to help with that. I don’t need any of these things, they are all desires I have. They are things that I have told myself I deserve because they are good things, and doesn’t God want me to have good things?
More than anything, God wants to be glorified through His will.
My desires have little to do with that.
So how can I shift this thinking? I think that I have to ask myself two questions:
What do I do to escape thinking of His will vs my own?
To escape the thoughts of “maybe what I want isn’t what God wants for me”, I watch The Office on repeat while vegging out on the couch. I don’t like to practice or train or work hard, so sitting in front of the TV is perfect for escaping any other responsibility or deep thought.
What am I doing to change that?
For the next 40 days, I am giving up watching TV.
Eliminating these escape mechanisms, according to the idea of Lent, is supposed to steer my thinking to God, rather than myself.
I am praying that this season will be a time of repentence, healing, and renewal in contentment in Christ. I am praying that I will be able to give up these things if asked, and that I would not cling tighter to them.