God’s doing it again.
He doesn’t need my boat to come and calm the storm.
He opens doors, brings opportunities, takes me places I can’t imagine going myself. all of this inspite of acting disinterested in what He seems to be showing me in very very subtle ways.
The subtle God. Mind you. He doesn’t figure on any of our radars. He works in completely different ways. We just can’t imagine.He has a different route. Something we don’t realise existed until we went through it. I am beginning to like it, because it is adventurous. Actually, it’s because He is being faithful and is continuing to shower encouragement in one way or the other. Praise God.
Action, not the feeling?
Believe me, it is a difficult task to listen to God’s voice. I haven’t heard it and I am not even sure if one can actually hear, although there are people claiming that they have. Good for them; really.
Finding out God’s will in life is even more difficult.
Finally, I have just let Him do whatever. From where I thought I knew what the Lord had in store, in the form of an idea and a dream, I have come to make this short 5 month journey wherein I realised the God I knew is actually the God I hadn’t known. There’s too much about God that no one really knows Him that well. Of course, this pearl of wisdom came from Jesus Himself when He said only He knew the father. But theology attempts to look at God in different ways, trying to put together the puzzle, with pieces which we believe He gave us. It’s interesting. You could spend a life time putting it together, and still not find him. Still the journey is worth it.
But a journey where we do just this and nothing else, is in itself not worth merit. That’s where your purpose in life comes in, I think. I just think, that’s all.
So it’s a surrender. Not yet complete. It never will be. But He still accepts.A surrender which says, you ride the boat, I’ll just sit here with you, because I have no clue where you are going.
Whether He wants me to ride it for a while, is something that I don’t know. Will I regret not being persistent? For giving up when I became tired mentally? Actually, it’s His problem. Really. That’s where it’s come to. I’ll just help solve His problem.
Take me with you. And I am damn scared, God.
Do some theology now and study further in Psychology/ Counselling later.
Enroll on a Ph.D Psych programme and do a bit of theology later.
Two options have I before me:
Theology figures in both places, because when you set out for the Lord, you ought to have a clearer understanding of the troubles in clearly understanding God.
Psychology, on the other hand, appears twice, as it is a my special are of interest.
Which way? I’m waiting for some emails from some Universities about their Ph.D programmes.
If I have to do theology next year, I’ll have to apply this year and the dead line for applications is August 31.
My sister, very sweetly wrote in detail, amidst her busy schedule, that I should look for opening and closing doors now. That’s the best way to decide on His will at the moment. If it’s his will, doors will open, if it isn’t the doors will shut. She herself has an amazing story to tell of how she enrolled for her Ph.D at an American university all in just three and a half months. God opened the right doors and without wasting time she just entered them. Of course, she has a super supportive adventurous husband who’s achieving his big dreams one after the other! I’m very proud of both of them.
I’m taking a walk down life’s corridor. Come and open door and I hop in.
This is a very exciting phase.
“Surrender don’t come natural to me
I’d rather fight You for something
I don’t really want
Than to take what You give that I need”
- Work in a Christian institution or organisation for a while
- Apply for Seminary this year through the Church, to become a priest
- Apply in a Seminary to study theology privately, leaving me a theology graduate and not a priest
- Apply for a Ph.D or M. Phil
Today I lack the determination with which I left Bangalore for vacations to Kerala, after my exams. I am thoroughly demotivated to set out on my own thinking of problems that might crop up at home. An elder brother of mine said that if that’s what you are called to do, they will come around to it.
I am not convinced yet. I am still holding on to myself. I have not surrendered. The use of ‘surrender’ is deliberate. Your wishes stand aside to the wishes of the church. You go where the church sends you. You minister where they place you. Of course, merit matters, but not always. You could study further, but you have to be in parishes and lead the Parish mission, Women’s Fellowship, oversee Sunday School and youth league (if time remains after the committees of the church and the previous two organisations). But the influence you have on people is immense. I’m not talking in terms of power, but the ability to make people think and change the course of their life so that they can live their purpose in life and be part of Kingdom building. If my father were to read this, he might ask, don’t you want to give back anything to the church which gave you so much and made you what you are today. True, I can’t be ungrateful. By the way, I don’t want to be ungrateful in the first place. But this isn’t the only way to pay back. Plus, I don’t think God expects a pay back. Which parent gets the exact pay back for bringing their children up and all the sacrifices they make in the course of it? You just can’t , so you just pass it on to your children. I guess the same principle works here. Now if anyone’s doubting me being a true Mar Thoma christian, must now that I am a hard core Mar Thomite. May be the best way or the only way to repay need not be becoming a pastor.
So where’s God’s will in the whole game? That’s the elusive part. I am sure of a calling for Christian mission work – that my life is to be spent sharing the news that Jesus loves you and wants you to know and get closer to Him so that you could have the gift of eternal life with Him in heaven, after you begin pushing up daisies. But which way? What route?
I’m tired. I have to admit it in spite of believing that God has His place and time to reveal things. Lately, this thought has been coming to me, subtly but strongly: Take whichever route and He will bless you.
So all the strong feelings I have about what to do are not to be trusted, according to my dad, because they are feelings. Most of the things I dislike is what I am called to do or at least seems to. “Don’t you think God must be speaking through all these people?”, asks mum trying to make me talk. I can see people asking the customary, ” Monum achenaakaanalle?” ( Isn’t he going to be a priest, too?), often with connotations – “…like his father”, and a smirk.
Seems like the next best thing in town. Just because He’s calm and a silent and talks less to people He doesn’t know and isn’t so mischievous, publicly, he might be on his way to becoming an ‘achen’ (Pastor). And to count that as God speaking through people . . .and, I’m tired.
This is the point where I begin to feel guilty. Aren’t I asking for everything my way? The fact that I don’t like to be in Kerala for too long and can’t even imagine serving in parishes and being busy trying to calm down committee members while wanting to go after the youth out there perishing, not knowing Christ? To be wanting to work in a multi-cultural setting like an urban environment . . . Is this where I am going after the ‘good life’ than serving God?
I am terribly confused.
What exactly does God want me to do?
Am I doing all the right things I’m supposed to in finding out His will?
Am I sitting back and waiting for God?
Why can’t I hear Him speaking?
Why isn’t a clear direction pointed out? Every time I think I have a somewhat clear direction, another point supporting the opposite direction pops up.
How do I choose?
It’s a matter of life. It is very difficult.
If I am not convinced, I am not going either way, because it’s a matter of life.
Or… life shouldn’t be taken so seriously?
Does God have back up plans or a variety of options like a bunch of WordPress blog themes? You could choose any one that suits you and what matters at the end of the day are blog posts and people who read them?
I am tired of waiting
Am I supposed to be doing something else?
Where is the direction? I’m asking and searching everyday. Doing good things.
Please reveal at least the next step.
Should I just take a decision and go ahead?
(If you know me and more people who know me, let’s just keep whatever written here with ourselves, at least for sometime. Thanks!)
It’s very scary, man. The question has been, for the past two weeks, narrowed down to With the church? Or, Outside the church? Now if I am with, it means working within the system of the church. Closest sources urge indirectly that church ministry has evolved and specialized ministries will emerge by the time I finish studying the course which would enable one to work as a church pastor. These two questions have been posed by my closest sources. If I frame them, it would rather be In the church? Or, With the church? Since I don’t see a ministry other than through the church as a something with the church to further the gospel. So all the dreams I thought God had given me- were they all just a mirage? All that I read and believed through The Purpose Driven life – was everything faulty since it was all written by one of the human beings, a group which is well known for going wrong and making mistakes? Did I trust the Bible less and lean more on readings about the Bible? I would like to add that, I have tried reading the Bible, the primary source, without much external help. But each passage could have a million different interpretations(So Our Daily Bread was always a helpful guide).
I totally understand questions asked by many youngsters like me:How did you know that this was the will of God? How do you discern the will of God? All that I ever knew of discerning God’s will through lectures and readings and camps, stands void (at least for now), as my closest sources have tried to convince me saying that all that I dreamed of is impractical and will take a life time to establish and may be even unnecessary since the church has the resources and infrastructure; Why not work through it?
Now when I choose to take a different stand, I begin feeling lonely. This is the very thing Maxwell warned of while pursuing one’s God given dreams. But how can I trust Maxwell? Can I? For he does not know the cultural nuances of our Malayalee Mar Thomite traditions, where decisions are taken after consulting one’s closest sources, like parents, relatives. One doesn’t necessarily decide for oneself, which in fact could be even considered waywardness, in certain circumstances.
Referring back to loneliness, it is a feeling which comes out of the fact that what I decide and think is the way I should go isn’t strong enough to build my case. A sense of incapability. Being practical. Taking a safer route, because you don’t have time to experiment. It arises out of a realisation that your closest sources are not on your side. They don’t want you deviating from expectations of them and others. Mind you, they have been quite respectful and calm, but persistent about it, whenever I took up the topic. So which way? It’s a fork. Is my belief in God’s provisions impractical? For a really long time I have felt I won’t fit into pastoral ministry the way it is. It would be selfish to expect a change too. I love the way my parents go about doing it: full of joy, full of love, full of concern. I was proud to hear a lot being said about their genuineness and the surety they had that these were two people who were out there on God’s call. What more do you want to hear! Praise God. They really are doing what they are called to. They have been blessed with that passion in their hearts. I can’t imagine being them. Or something like them. My heart burns for the young people who move around aimlessly, hopelessly, though appearing to be leading good and happy lives without a hint of what life is with a great Shepherd like Jesus, the one who knows you inside out. It’s scary and at the same time “faithless” to say that your dreams which you used to believe were God given is right for you unlike the other significant suggestion. Why significant? Because the source and urgers of the idea are significant in my life.
See, both can’t be sin. This is what makes it all the more confusing. I am re-writing my definitions of faith and beliefs regarding how God speaks, over this summer. It’s been a mentally draining summer time, since it is scary to re-think what you always believed in, realize that you took many things you didn’t know about your faith for granted and let other forms of subtleties acquire a place in your life, even though they concern a Secure, Unchanging, Omnipotent God and the life as His child for the benefit of His creation.