Why Do We Need to Have Answers for Everything?
- Tuesday, April 23, 2013
I ran into an old friend the other day and we were catching up with everything that had been going on in each other’s life. Having visited his church a number of times, I inquired about it, to which he responded, “We just need to trust God more.”
He went onto explain how his church has become stale in a sense, relying on the same leadership, the same ideas, the same methods, the same styles, because that’s what they’ve been doing for years. When any questions regarding the direction of the church arose, those in charge always seemed have the answers (often the same) for everything.
They appeared to rely more on themselves rather than seeking God to guide them.
Over the years, he said, the attendance has dwindled and become a shell of its former self. They have seen a vibrant church in the midst of a growing area turn into a building where people work but seek spiritual growth elsewhere.
Our conversation got me thinking, “Has my trust in God become stale, has it taken a backseat to my beliefs in my (God-given) abilities, where and how do I need to infuse God more into my life each day?”
Throughout my vocational career, I have had the opportunity to work in a number of industries, and most of the roles I have held were of a managerial nature. Simply put, I have been the one responsible for knowing (or finding out) the answers, for solving problems and for leading the project.
When are we going to get help? How is this going to happen? Who do I talk to? When is this going to be finished? What do we do about this problem? Where are we going to get the money?
The questions continually come in and I’m the one who is “supposed” to have the answers.
Although my roles have been (somewhat) prestigious in a sense, and I have been blessed to have the attributes to serve in such a way, it can also become a hindrance to living a God-inspired life if I allow myself to rely upon these positions and “gifts” to direct my own life.
I know, O LORD, that a man's life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps (Jeremiah 10:23).
From the moment we speak our first word or take our first step, those around us are already plotting what our future may hold, and almost immediately after our journey begins we are asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
We are prodded to decide upon the course of study we want to pursue, determine the occupation we will seek, find a lifelong spouse and make decisions along the way which will allow us to get there.
This is all well and good as long as we are seeking God every step along the way. However, in the midst of our common everyday struggles, stressful situations, disappointments, conflicts, and disillusionment we face in trying to accomplish our goals, not to mention the busyness of our journey itself, we can easily lose sight of God.
There have been several times in my life where I have thought I knew what was best for me and have shunned or didn’t take time to listen to what I felt God was directing me to do, thus as a result of pride, fear or ignorance, I opted to “figure it out” on my own only later to discover it was not the path or direction I should have taken.
This seems eerily familiar, sounding like how we all got into trouble in the first place – utilizing our remarkable ability to “reason.”
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it (Genesis 3:6).
Since that time, we continued to use our “gift” to evaluate, discern, deduce, and determine what we should do in most situations. The “better” we are at it, the less we take the time to consider God in our thoughts, plans and decision making process.
I’m reminded of the Israelites who were promised “manna from heaven,” but told not to store it up, only to gather what was necessary and leave the rest. Many thought a better plan would be to save it up; however, when they did, they found it had become rotten (Exodus 16:20).
What I have discovered over the years (through some difficult lessons) is sometimes I don’t need to have all of the answers. In fact it’s refreshing and freeing to say once in a while “I don’t know” or “I don’t have the solution.”
Some of us have an innate “need” to find and enter into situations (welcome or not) to “fix,” make right or change (for what we feel is best). Even worse, oftentimes that “situation” is a person and we “move into” a relationship in order to “solve” what we may see is a need when we should just trust God to do it through them.
With all of the efforts many have made over the last couple of decades to take God out of everything “public,” the last bastion is on our currency. Ironically, the one thing many of us try to save, accumulate and put our trust in is the lone place in society where we find the words inscribed, “In God We Trust.”
Maybe as we use our currency each day, it can be a reminder to each of us to notably trust God with ALL facets of our life and not live in a way where we feel we have to have all of the answers, where we need to figure everything out on our own and where we feel we need to fix every situation.
Let’s not allow our faith become stale by not trusting Him in EVERYTHING.
Cliff Young is a contributing writer to Sandlot Stories (ARose Books), as well as the monthly column, "He Said-She Said," in Crosswalk.com's Singles Channel. An architect and former youth worker, he now works with Christian musicians and consults for a number of Christian ministries. Got feedback? Send your comments and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Publication date: April 23, 2013
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