by: Staci Stallings
Every year I think I’m doing great getting finished with the raffle at my son’s school. I always think, “If I can just get everything done through that date, I’ll be in great shape.” And every year, that date comes and goes, and life goes on after it… without me.
I don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s that last frantic week trying to count and sell 4,000 raffle tickets. Maybe it’s the day of the Carnival and the 9 straight hours of adrenaline-pumping panic. Or maybe it’s having to get up the next morning and teach Sunday School like I’m awake and functioning.
Whatever it is, I always get to Monday morning and crash! Then I get up and scramble trying to get bills paid that I’ve put off so our electricity doesn’t get turned off and creditors don’t start calling for my husband’s business. Long about the time I get those done, I notice that I can’t see the floors nor any cabinets in my house. And the fact that my kids still think they need fed and have help with homework doesn’t help matters.
This year was particularly challenging because I now have multiple other ventures going as well.
So all that to say, “Sorry.” I didn’t mean to go MIA on you. It just happened. I’ll try to get a bit more organized in the future.
Today we’re going to turn our attention to questions. I’ve been reading a book that delves into symbols and spiritual lessons. One of the most fascinating things about this book for me are the questions, both that it poses and that strike me as I’m reading. So we’re going to talk about some of these questions. Feel free to answer them in comments if you feel so led.
Most of them are not “answerable” like yes, no, true, false, etc. They are what I would call “soul questions”–questions that when you answer them in your soul, you get a road map to how and why you do what you do in life. For example, if you’re angry, you may find at the bottom of one of these questions an injustice you suffered that you’ve never gotten past. If you’re holding onto other people’s approval, you may come to realize through these questions that God holds the key to letting that go and being free.
Here’s our first question. Read it, and write your answer before you read my take on it:
How is your belief in God and what He is and who He is working for you?
As I stumbled on this question, I marveled because I used to see God as a harsh, judgmental employer. I was the servant, He was the Master, and I’d better get everything done right or else!
I was scared of God, of His power, of His wrath… of what I saw as His capriciousness. He could wipe out a village with a tsunami or He could spare a farmhouse from a tornado, and we were powerless–aside from begging and performing “well enough” to affect any of His decisions.
My belief this way affected everything. I felt like I never did enough, and never did enough right. I was constantly on the lookout for things He might judge me for doing or not doing. I was on a tightrope that I was destined to fall off of, but that I had to stay on or I was worthless, and worse, worthy of condemnation.
It was a sad, small way to live.
Then, my understanding and belief in God and who He is changed drastically. Over the course of about two years, I came to know that God wasn’t a capricious, vain employer, but a loving wonderful friend. He didn’t cause bad things to happen, but He was right here with me when they did.
I learned I could rely on Him in the little things and the too-much-to-carry things. I learned He really does love me–when I’m doing His Will and even when I mess up. He’s right there to pick me up, dust me off, forgive me, and help me to forgive myself and move on.
The transformation in my life has been huge. The way I used to see God was not working for me at all. This way works wonderfully, sometimes mind-blowingly well. I can finally relax and enjoy life–rather than rushing around trying to prove something. I can be excited about opportunities rather than desperate about them. It’s a cool way to live.
So if you’d like, please share what thoughts struck you with this question. I’ll be back next time with another one!