It’s hard to begin a post that has no title and, seemingly, no aim. I start and begin a million times. It’s clunky and fake and frustrating. I begin to doubt my gift with words and openness. In fact, the doubt is so strong that I avoid even an attempt at writing for months.
I become frustrated! My ideas are good… well, at least I think they are good because they are mine, but when I begin to write with no title,no preconceived notions, no “end” in mind, no need to control the topic, I can hear the message God has for me. Today that message was contained in something as simple as an untitled document, the 14th untitled document to be exact. Evidence of my obvious inadequacy. Each of those documents is a failed attempt at writing. Something I started but didn’t finish. I can’t bring myself to read back through all of them, but I suspect that they are writings in which I tried to control the outcomes. I set out in obedience and then wound up in the control room. The story of my life.
I saw it, plain as day. It’s not about the title. It’s not about the ultimate message. It’s about the journey.
Will you write (worship) when it seems silent?
Will you write (worship) when you are angry?
Will you write (worship) in the waiting?
Will you write (worship) when you have questions?
Will you write (worship) in the “yeses”?
Will you write (worship) in the “no’s”?
Will you write (worship) in the journey and not wait to arrive at the ultimate destination?
I take a deep breath. I like to control outcomes. I’m the master at setting specific goals, creating unrealistic expectations, mastering task sheets, making phone calls and sending emails. I can make things happen, like a Boss! Don’t get me wrong, these skills are wonderful and necessary except when I’m supposed to be waiting and learning patience and faith and keeping hope when the journey is long and I’m not sure what the “end” is. At every turn, I’m trying to navigate. I create my own security by managing outcomes, but that is not my job. My job is obedience. God is in control of outcomes. If I’m trying to do his job, who do I trust? Yes. Myself. I am implying that I can do the job and achieve the desired outcome better than the creator of the universe.
He reminds me that I can only do the next thing he has asked me to do. It’s really hard when that thing is, “wait, trust me.” I can do those things that are action steps because they require physical action and it’s easy to see results. Where I struggle is when the heavy lifting is actually spiritual work. Waiting is hard because doubt creeps into every little crevice. Inadequacy stares back at me from all of my insecurities. I get in my own head instead of digging in to the word. I complain more than I pray. I drive all of my people crazy with all of my questions and the, “Are we there yet’s?”
When my students try to rule the classroom, I send them out into the hallway to see whose name is on the door and then I follow up with, “I’ve got this. Relax.” God’s message to us is similar, “Who was it that created the universe and who formed you in your mother’s womb and who chose you? I’ve got this. Relax.”
Stop trying to control outcomes. Look for God in every step of the journey, not just the destination. Don’t title your journey until you’ve reached the destination God has for you.
Make the choice to relax. Wait. Trust. Like me, you may have to remind yourself a thousand times a day that this isn’t your “thing” but do it. Make that choice.