“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
I am learning the truth of this the hard way. Lately God has been asking me to follow him into the dark – to do things that seem to make no sense.
I’m slowly making my way through C.S. Lewis‘s abundant collection of brilliant writings. Right now I’m conquering his Space Trilogy, which consists of Out of a Silent Planet, Perelandra and That Hideous Strength. They are an interesting mix of science fiction, theology and philosophy.
I was already thinking about how God asks us to do things that we don’t understand sometimes when I came across this passage in That Hideous Strength:
“There you go again! You grumble about being given nothing to do, and as soon as I suggest a bit of real work you expect to have the whole plan of campaign told you before you do it. It doesn’t make sense… The great thing is to do what you’re told…”
Now the character speaking here is working for an evil company and does not have the sincerest intentions in keeping Mark Studdock(one of the main characters) in the dark, but the idea can be applied to how God works as well.
I like knowing things. I like knowing why things happen. I like knowing the future. All of these tendencies are not conducive to building a trusting relationship with God. Often when I ask God to reveal his will to me, it is not what I was expecting or what I wanted. And then I complain. Sound familiar? We don’t just want our prayers answered, we want them answered in the way we want. We ask God to give us a purpose, and then complain when that purpose is different from our own plans.
God is asking me to do something unexpected for reasons that are beyond my understanding. The only thing I know right now is that he is begging me to trust him.
As you may know, for the next year I will be participating in Chi Rho Service Corps. I’ve been slowly getting prepared and transitioning to where I’ll be living. This has been a huge test of trust. A couple of weeks ago I found out my placement and it was one of those moments when you wonder if God really knows what he’s doing. I’ll be working at a Catholic elementary school, assisting in a kindergarten classroom and helping with the after school program. I walked out of my meeting with the principal in a confused daze, with the need to know threatening to take away my sense of peace. My fellow volunteers are working in soup kitchens, Catholic Charities and a family services center – all places perfectly suited for a social worker. So why is God asking me to do this?
My need to “figure it out” quickly took over. Am I supposed to be a teacher after all?(made worse when I was asked to teach a ccd class). Is this even what I’m supposed to be doing?(squashed by very clear signs). This is simply what God is asking me to do for the next year. I’m not supposed to know the whole “campaign,” but trust him with each new day.
“The sooner you drop all that talk about what you came here to do, the better you’ll get on.” – That Hideous Strength