JenellYB Posted October 10, 2011 Share Posted October 10, 2011 While clearing old posts from my email box, I ran across one of those forwarded chain posts, titled, "Be still, Woman of God." And it started me thinking, about that idea expressed in other such expressions, as "Let go and let God", .."....those that wait on the Lord," etc. But how do we know when the best course is to just be still, let go and let God, just wait on the Lord, vs when to get up, get moving, take charge of the course of events in your life? How do we ask ourselves, seek the truth within ourselves, our situations in life, "Am I really waiting on the Lord to do what I should be doing myself?" "Have I really let go to let God, or have I given up when I shouldn't?" "Am I really accepting, or going along with what seems easiest and most convenient?" How do we really seek that guidance? How do we really discern when in our journey along the path, as we travel The Way, we are at a place at which we need to just sit down and rest, waiting upon the Lord, or actually just come to a fork in the road, where there is a choice we must make, or even just a steep, rough and difficult stretch on the path that is going to be a bit harder to make it through? I've considered upon this matter many times before, and can't say I've yet found a really good answer to this question. Perhaps in my thoughts seeking that wisdom, digging through my own experiences in life when things turned out quite well, and others, when it didn't, others can find insight into this difficult aspect of their own journey. I have an awful lot of experience with realizing, in hind sight, that the choice I made perhaps wasn't the best one, and in deeper self examination, probably wasn't made out of my better use of intelligence, common sense, or even personal values and morals. My own failures of integrity, weaknesses of character, have been my undoing more than once in more than one situation. It has been where I've failed to stay true to myself, my core values and beliefs, in making choices and taking actions, that I've most often made a mess. While I try to take from those occasions what lessons are to be learned, forgive myself, and move on, wiser and more mature, I still must live with some of the difficult, even painful, consequences and memories. The worst of those, how my choices caused difficulty and hurt to others, complicated their lives and even the course of their futures, is where I most often get stuck. That I messed up my own life is a lot easier to deal with than the realization that by that I was an agent contributing to someone else's stumbles and falls. Some of my occasions of poorest judgement many years ago still have lingering consequences in my own and the lives of others, and always will. It isn't the times when I honestly, truthfully, made poor choices out of lack of information or having been effectively deceived by someone or something, believing I really was making the best choice, taking the best action, but those in which my downfall was ignore-ance of what was plain for me to see and know. Sometimes, is was because it seemed the easiest at the time, or to go along to get along, to enable myself and another in co-dependency under the pseudo-motive of being a peace maker. Sometimes, it was my failure of courage in standing up for what I knew in my heart and even mind was right and best, against the prevailing standards of society around me, the opinions and beliefs of others, whether my peers, friends, family, community. Too often I did that even when I knew, those others did not have the information I did, were not aware of all the facts of a situation that I had to work with, and might have seen it differently as well, if they had. Some of that weakness came out of, perhaps, simple laziness, because it seemed the easiest, the course of least resistance, or fear of violating my social conditioning toward considering others before and above myself, or making too much of what others might think about me if I didn't do what was expected or that others thought best or most right. In that light, I can see that sometimes it was really my own falling into seeking "unrighteous gain" (mammon)for myself, that led me into trouble in the end. The allure of the material social or egonomic gain through playing the counter-role, even where I was well aware, at least at some level, of the co-depency game I was playing into with another or others, seemed, at least in the short term view, worth the sacrifice of my values. I was often afraid of losing the support, approval, respect, even love, of others if I went with my gut feelings, struck out on my own against others' opinions or wants. It is so easy to do that in The World, when justications for it so commonly pervade popular thinking...that's just the way it it in life, that's just what you have to do to make it in this world. Everybody does it. Nobody gives without something in return. Exchange theory. When focused on immediate pressures in life, it can be awful easy to let that experience of the immediate "cash in hand" press back the sensible considerations of just how high the long term cost can be when we enter into a contract with a loan shark. Or, as in another metaphor, sell our birthright, our future, for an immediate bowl of stew because we happen to be tired and hungry right now. Our present World culture fosters, encourages, instant gratification over long term consequences. In our present socio-economic culture, a good citizen is a promiscuous consumer. As what is above is as what is below, and the inner in accord with the outer, and the spiritual principle of "consistency throughout" the nature of the plant from root to fruit, so does that weakness pervade our lives and thought at every level. The intent and goal of examining such matters in one's life can't be about guilt, shame, beating one's self up...it must be made into something useful, valuable, in moving forward. to come to a point of being able to frankly, honestly look at ourself, and others, see ourself and others as who/what we really are, and still love ourself and them, is, I think, one of the greatest milestone markers on the journey to true maturity. The central issue I seem to find here is of learning to trust, have faith in, myself, over any other whether person or element of The World, whether of the written and unwritten laws and rules of my culture, society, community, or even religion. To be "under the Law" is to be what is psychologically termed as being "rule-bound." To be "rule-bound" is to believe we really can't change the rules (that we humans made and implemented to begin with!) for one person, break the rules for one situation, no matter what the mitigating circumstance. It is to elevate the written and unwritten rules, the Law, to the position of BEING our God. It is to seek God, and God's guidance, from without rather than from within. It is to have lost the Spirit of the Law through the insciption into stone, the Letter of the Law. In so many of my occasions, it was my subjection to Law, acceptance of it as always good, as a set of rules that were not to be broken, as I knew and understood it at the time. It was so often cultural, social, religious, both written and unwritten Law, and how that was interpreted and applied in my social environment, that tripped me up so often with as psychologist Karen Horney termed "the tyranny of the 'shoulds'." I think this is what the author of Romans, in his lament in ch. 7, from which I excerpt : (though I find that entire chapter relevant to this interpretation) 9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. 10 And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. This is an untenable position whether in our spiritual life and growth, or best interests in everyday life. Criminal profilers devote equal attention to the victim profile. The most crucial area of the victim profile has turned out to be failure to trust our instincts, heed our "gut feel" in a situation, about another person or persons. The victim's lament is so consistently, "I KNEW it just didn't feel right, but..." "I just had this gut feeling, why didn't I pay attention to it?" Criminals and abusers of all kinds know, perhaps out of their own instincts, just how to pull the right strings, evoke just the right response to the right elements of our commmon social conditioning and weaknesses of being "under the Law", to manipulate their victims into their trap. It is the skill and art of making the wrong thing seem right and the right thing seem wrong, and using it to take advantage, to trip someone up. Where have we as Christians heard THAT before? And why do we find it so hard to recognize it, for what it is, in every aspect of our daily lives, from the most intimate choices to the greater issues of our society and communties? 2 Corinthians ch 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of LIGHT. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works Progressive Christians participating at TCPC.org have incorporated into mutually agreed principles, Point 8: By calling ourselves progressive, we mean that we are Christians who recognize that being followers of Jesus is costly, and entails selfless love, conscientious resistance to evil, and renunciation of privilege. A major part of that cost is extracted when we find ourselves at odds with elements of The World, that place us in real life situations in which we risk disapproval and resistance and even harsh judgements for standing against social forces that exert real power over our socio-economic success in The World, and people whose acceptance and love we care about that would have us ignore that gut feeling, that this just doesn't feel right. That cost can be material when to do so can cost us financial gains and socio-economic advantage and priviledge in The World in which we live. The social cost can seem even more painful at the time. But this cost is not a loss, but an investment in greater gains. When I look back at the outworking of consequences in those times I made choices and took actions out of less than honest and noble motives, and contrast them to other times when I stood on solid ground of my personal core values and deeper instincts, what I felt, knew, was right, those cost/gain considerations look very different than they had in my short-term view when I made them as I did. Often when I stood on that solid ground, it was terrifying, because I seemed to have rejected my best or even only option for a secure outcome, and didn't know where or how to proceed, but somehow they right path always appeared before me. Doors often opened I'd not even known existed before. Sometimes, it was so profound in this way, it gave me a sense of trully, that God had gone before me, preparing the way. I had leaped, blind, from the cliff, and was caught up as if on wings before I struck the feared rocks below. And each time that happened, my faith was gorwn, built ever stronger. This is true in both matters of my material situation in life, and my overall psychological and spiritual sense of growth toward wholeness and well-being, and connectedness with the ground of my being. Matt Ch 13:44 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. 45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: 46 Who, when he had found one PEARL of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Join the conversation
You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.