Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Baby steps and the BIG ZAP

I began 2011 with the lofty ambition of teaching my children 20 Bible verses over the course of the year. Twenty. It seems like a good number to me: not too many, not too few. I jotted down in a notebook twenty verses that I'd like my children to know; twenty verses that I'd like them to have tucked away in their memory to help guide them through life. I have a couple of verses like that in my mind that make me think of my Dad, and I thought that perhaps I could manufacture that same sort of thing in my children's thought life.

So in the first week of January we worked on Proverbs 3:5,6. "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not on thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths."

It's a good verse I think: full of meaning, applicable in many circumstances, and painfully familiar. I say "painfully familiar" because while I know the words by heart, I still struggle with their meaning.

Isn't that the way? So often simple spiritual directives take a lifetime to learn, apply and live out.

Here's what I mean:

One thing that Kim and I have wrestled with over the past year is ... what to do with the house? That one question has a whole lot of baggage associated with it. Do we build a costly addition to give ourselves and our growing children more living space? Do we move to a larger home? (if only we could afford it!) Do we seek after this material thing before we adopt again, or after?

Do we somehow hang spiritual significance on all this? In other words, do we say that when God provides us with this material thing then we will know it is time to adopt again?

It's hard for Kim and I to swallow that line of thinking. I mean, we recognize that over half of the world's population lives on less than $2.50 a day.

In light of that reality, who are we to pray for this so-called need? God has already provided for us materially; so much so that we get confused between needs and wants!

So .... what to do with the house? For the moment it seems that a sort of compromise has won out. We're not planning to move, and we're not planning a big costly addition in the next year. Instead we're pursuing some minor improvements that should allow us to make better use of the space we have.

Kim and I have peace about this. I couldn't help but wonder if we are leaning a bit on our own understanding here. But I have decided that we're not. From our perspective this is trusting in the Lord. We're trusting that when we have a real need, God will provide. And we're trusting that God will guide us through this new chapter of our lives, even though we don't have all the details (including finances) sorted out.

In short, it's a baby step. Over the last week our pastor has mentioned the idea of "progressive revelation" several times. The idea there is that God only rarely zaps a person with a big heaven-sent vision or drops all the resources a person could possibly want in their lap. Instead of the BIG ZAP, what we see a lot of in the Bible (and in everyday life) is God meeting us where we are, one little bit at a time; one day at a time.

That's what Kim and I are banking on. That's what we're trusting that He will do. He'll meet us at our point of need, one day at a time.

Baby steps ... Baby steps ...

No comments:

Post a Comment