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Trying to stand still

by Victoria Tkachuk  
8/30/2007 / Christian Living

I used to think my life was a series of disjointed and disconnected events. Friends swirling about, boxes and cars packed moving me somewhere new, a different topic or idea as yet undiscovered being brought to the forefront of my mind, etc. I never really thought any one part was distinctly reliant or the result of any other. Every now and then, mostly in my college years, I would reflect on the most recent pieces, trying to make some sense of it all. There was, I suppose, an underlying desire for it all to have come together for a reason, a purpose. Everyone wants that, don't they? To look back on his/her life and say, 'Aha! That's what it was all about!"

But total clarity about one's life doesn't come easily to everyone. More accurately, one can recognize clarity for some of it, but usually not all. This is the great mystery of God's will acting upon one's life; is it all for a purpose? Is it all for the same purpose?

I ask myself these questions almost every day. Is that the same as worrying? I say no. I never worry about what God has in store for me because I know it's what He wants. If He wants it, it's for my own good. You could say I'm not concerned about the outcome, but the method. Specifically, which parts of my life are getting me to where He wants me to be and which ones are, for lack of a better term, arbitrary?

Here's an example (purely fictional of course): Let's say I've been praying for the opportunity to witness to someone and simultaneously for a boost in the economic department. Now imagine that I suddenly am offered a well-paying job for a company whose employees are mostly lost. Seems like God agrees with my plea for these two things and has given them to me, right? I'm with it so far and I will witness accordingly.

But what if when I start the job I find out that, because of the nature of the job, I'll never work with the same people more than once a month and when I do, I'm forbidden to talk about 'religion' with anyone (by company policy)? Now what am I to assume by this turn of events? I could still witness (to the same person maybe twice overall) but would risk my job by doing so. Now, no one job is important to me- definitely not more important than the Gospel- except that without a job there's no money for rent or bills or bus fare to get to work and that dampers my spirit a generous amount, rendering me a lackluster witness. So should I quit the job because I can barely witness? Or keep the job, knowing that all the time I will be there, I won't be able to be myself and could have been elsewhere sharing the Gospel freely? Or, is all of that trivial and I should just do the best work I can and ask for a second job or second opportunity to witness?

The real question is, if you receive what you asked for in prayer but no longer want it, are you obligated to accept it? Forgive me if I am too blunt. I know what scripture says about worrying (not to) and questioning God's motives (not to). What I don't know is how to discern which circumstances I should be a part of, and which I shouldn't.

I don't think we are to trust our feelings because, especially as women, they are so easily changeable. Then again, what else do I have to go on? Most circumstances I am presented with now are new, or with new twists on old themes, and I simply don't know what to do.

We are supposed to stand still when we don't know what to do. We are supposed to let God move. What if God is moving around me all the time and I'm too scared to just stand there? If I keep moving to a different room, or house, or state, will He keep moving with me? How much can He take from me before He says, "Enough! I've given you so many opportunities and you still can't take a directive!"

He's right; He has given me everything I've asked for in prayer. The trouble is it hasn't always been the right time for that prayer to be answered (at least not according to me). I don't mean to give an excuse for myself. I just haven't known how to proceed. Sometimes I think He's given me too much and that's what makes it so difficult to choose.

If you reprint my article to a website, please e-mail me to let me know: [email protected]. I'm trying to keep track for my portfolio. Thanks!

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