It’s one of those little fluffy kerfluffles of human philosophy, one that at least has the honesty to face the reality of we’re not home yet and try to make peace with it.
“Maybe it’s about the journey, not the destination”.
I say bogus.
I say the Christian life is about the destination.
(WARNING: Scripture ahead. I know some of you experience an instinct to kinda “check out” and skip Scripture because it’s too dense, too preposition-heavy, too hard to understand, it’s something you just plain don’t like, etc. DON’T. If you’ve honored me by clicking on this post, I urge you to fight that instinct. Read through the Scriptures. There are treasures waiting.)
You know what I mean.
You experience some amazing sermon or mountaintop experience and come out all fired up for the glory of God, proclaiming “God, take ALL of me! My finances, my physical location, my family, my occupation, my heart…everything is yours. I’m seeking what you want for my life!”
And then you pause and go, “Wait…what have I just done?” Your breath catches a little, as if you’ve just leaped off the edge of a fifty-foot cliff.
Because you know that’s a prayer God will answer. And you know he isn’t going to mind your comfort zone when he does. You start looking around nervously, half expecting a team of angels to appear and start packing your stuff for that move you’re hoping God won’t think of.
Some of us never make the leap. We just stand perpetually on the edge of the cliff, looking down, turning over in our minds the idea of asking God what he wants for our lives, left breathless by the knowledge of the floodgate that could open. He might have you move to Nigeria and do mission work for a year – or a half-century. He might choose not to heal your loved one of that heinous cancer. He might ask you to let go of that attractive guy/girl you can’t stop thinking about. He might ask you to walk away from a dream – or, perhaps more terrifying, to run towards it. He might tell you to forgive, or admit you were wrong, or make an annoyingly inconvenient change in your household. Or he might simply tell you to stay faithful and keep doing what you’re doing – the same exact “what” that you’ve been doing for seemingly decades.
Yep. Asking God what he wants can be a terrifying thing.
But what if it doesn’t have to be that way? What if instead, the terror reveals something about us that should not be?
So I’m sitting in youth group yesterday, listening to someone recite James 1 from memory. It’s a well-done affair, with only an occasional reversion to cue cards. But one verse leaps out and trips me up, and it occurs to me that it’s always done so.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” (James 1:5)
There’s a quick splash of non sequitur in there, the kind that makes you blink, jump back, and scan it again to make sure you read it right. As if you were reading this sentence and suddenly octopus. That’s how it feels.
God gives generously to all…without finding fault?
It’s the Bible, so it can’t be a typo (despite what the skeptics say). It must be telling it like it is. And the reason for my dissonance becomes clear all too quickly.
“Without finding fault”? I thought that’s all God ever does.