I don't know how comfortable this one is for me. Do I really want to tell God every Sunday that I want His will to be done? More often than not I want to be the one in charge. It is scary to surrender my life and the direction I am going to God who shares his plan on a need to know basis. Often, I don't need to know. It makes me uncomfortable when my life is out of my control. But this is a pray that God loves to answer.
Matthew Paul Turner recently published a blog post about the need to be in control. Turner was responding to what he had heard Brian McLaren say about the Holy Spirit. McLaren compared the work the Holy Spirit does to a wild fire. The comparison is that the Holy Spirit gets rid of the old to make room for the new, just like a wild fire. Turner responded saying,
“Why did I feel conviction? Because I like holding the matches and burning what I deem to need burning. Because ultimately, I don’t trust God to burn up the right things. And God is slow. And sometimes God seems to do nothing at all. Which is why I so often like carrying my own matches.”
I can understand that. I don’t want to give up my matches either. Most of the time I want his kingdom to come, but my will to be done.
The thing is, that can’t happen. His kingdom is so counter-intuitive. I mean, who instinctively says that the first would be last? That isn’t how we are wired in this culture. We are always working for more. More money, more friends, more stuff, more pride, more, more, more. Jesus said you can’t serve two masters. I can’t really want my plan, and God’s plan. It has to be one or the other.
So which is it? Do I want his kingdom or my plan? There is not and possible. In my heart I say I want his kingdom to come. My actions say otherwise. I act as though I want my plans to work.
My friend Meredith O. said the other day that she heard someone give the analogy of a hand. She said that planning is ok, but it’s how you hold the plan that matters. There are two ways you can hold your plans. One is with a clenched fist. When God takes that plan, it hurts. He has to pry your fingers from around the plan you are clinging to for dear life. The other way to hold your plans is with an open hand. This way God can just pick it up and mold and change it to match his plan.
I think it is time for me to put down my matches and hold my plans with an open hand.