Thursday, February 10, 2005
God Rules For Us
This morning I was on my bicycle riding to the bus stop. I ride to the bus because connecting buses don't run early enough; I have to catch the first SMMBL #10 in order to get to work on time. There are two good places for me to catch it. Quickest is at 14th and Santa Monica. Farther away, but a nicer ride, is Bundy and Pico. I used to go to the latter regularly, but ever since the MTA strike there have been many people getting on at that stop and my chance of getting a seat with decent legroom is slight. So, I've been using the 14th street stop.
I'm on my way today and a little voice says "Go to Bundy today." It wouldn't be a problem because the time is about the same, but momentum just keeps me going north on 11th, to Santa Monica and then I jog over three blocks. Pat and I get on the bus there. It's even on time. We roll along until 22nd, and then the driver pulls over and shoots the brakes. This isn't a good sign.
"The bus quit. I won't want to get you guys out on the freeway."
We sit there for a time. Then we get out to wait for the next #10. It never shows. The driver of our bus calls in and finds out that it has blown up back at 4th and Broadway. Finally, we catch the one after that.
"This one's going to be full. There'll be a whole herd of people at Bundy."
There isn't. Apparently they ran a special bus to pick up the people there; we're only picking up the normal people for the run we're on. If I'd have listened to God, I'd have been on the earlier bus. It wasn't a crisis, but I'm a little upset because I heard God's voice but dismissed it. A quiet rebellion fueled by momentum, predictability, and not wanting to be troubled. Just do things the same way.
Now, what does this say about bigger issues? It's not good. Neil Nakamoto (of Mosaic) told me one time that he practices hearing God in small things so that when the big ones come along he'll be sure to get the message. Well, I heard the small message but couldn't be pried away from my usual track.
God does play by his own set of rules. They're our rules too because of how God made us and the world we live in. They aren't arbitrary.
Lu wrote "Yeah, I'm mad. I'm so storming mad I can't hardly see my fist in front of my face. I've been begging God for years, Larry, YEARS, for purpose. I just wanna know what the heck He created me for."
This is another area in which I'm cheating. Many people are very concerned for what their purpose is. I don't care very much. The only name I really want is "Forgiven" and everything beyond that is gravy. But then I'm pretty well burnt. To me, starting a day with a tiny bit of hope is so different from what I used to have that what would be a morsel to anyone else is a seven-course meal. Different points of view.
There are lots of people out there burning with passion for a particular idea. I wonder, though, how many of those ideas really need to be done. God has his own way of doing things. We can ride his bus, which never breaks down, or we can make our own and hope they just keep going.
One way to get really frustrated in life is to live it according to other people's rules. You take on their names and try to do what they want, and your own Name gets buried in the actions and reactions
Lu, I don't know why God isn't giving you clear direction on where you should go. I do know that the rules against which you're rebelling probably aren't from him. I get very crabby--you don't want to be around me when I'm like that--when I feel entrapped by rules. The Holy Spirit cuts through those rules and gives me his Rule instead.
Any burden that's not easy isn't from God. Not because everything we do will be truly easy, but because when we're moving in the direction he wants it will be as if we're paddling downstream. We have the current of the Holy Spirit behind us. With God all things are possible, without him nothing worth doing is anywhere near possible.
From what you told me last night, Nashville Mosaic is far from a failure. You're all learning, and you have attracted some people from outside your own group. Remember the God we're dealing with and what he went through to collect just one man. He's probably quite happy with the several for whom you've made a place.
Go ahead and rebel. I think rebellion, if not carried to extremes, is good for the soul. God listens when you're honest, and it's one way to cut through all the crappy rules that we all pick up. Rebellion blows those away... so that you can start collecting a new set. It's inevitable for a human being. God is determined to help us live by his rules, by his name, and by his name for us. This really is what is best, but not because he made the game and therefore all the rules. He made his rules with us in mind.
To refuse allegiance to and oppose by force an established government or ruling authority.
To resist or defy an authority or a generally accepted convention.
To feel or express strong unwillingness or repugnance: She rebelled at the unwelcome suggestion.
Wow... I know it's a nice thought and we are supposed to by status quo make all words softer or acceptable...but rebellion, when it's agaisnt GOD... is a LOSE/LOSE situation. If it's getting your emotions out to God...letting HIm know where you are where you stand... how you feel... that's completely different than saying I KNOW what you say... FORGET YOU... . I don't know anywhere that THAT would be a good idea. ;) Sorry if I am the hard - A here!