Thursday, February 17, 2011
In Joshua Harris' book, I Kissed Dating Goodbye (which I highly recommend, even though I am not even mentioning the main ideas in the book in this post), one of the things he talks about is the difference between thinking of something as a line not to cross versus thinking of that same concept more as a direction. Specifically in avoidance of sin (or, more aptly put, pursuance of holiness), this speaks of the difference between trying to not put a toe across that line (not fall into some certain specific act of sin), while actually trying to get as close to the line as possible, and trying to stay as far away as possible from sin and the appearance of sin and, yes, even the temptation to sin.
Applying the idea more broadly than simply thinking about things that are definitively bad for us to do, this can be about our lifestyle, our everyday choices, our overall directional choices that determine our future. I've been thinking a lot lately about the direction of my life. I'm wondering where it's leading me, or, more accurately, where my choices are leading it. Am I going where I want to be going? Are the things that I am engaged in now leading me towards the skills, the knowledge, the character, the lifestyle that I want to have?
Years ago, I was sure what I wanted to do--maybe not for all my life, but for the next few years at least. I had a starting plan, but I wasn't sure what the long-term plan was. With a few small unexpected things that have happened along the way, I am still pretty much on the path that I set myself on then. But somewhere, somehow, something went wrong, and I'm thinking about changing direction.
Why? I can't explain why very well, although I've been trying--to myself, to other people. I have been struggling with a sense of dissatisfaction and discontentment with where I am and what I am doing. Not only because it's hard, even though it is. Not only because I am afraid of certain things that I see coming up down the path, even though I am. Not for these reasons alone, but because I cannot justify to myself why I am on this path. I couldn't justify it very well when I started on it either, but I thought I should pursue it anyway, and I am not sorry that I did, because I have learned a lot and pursued a lot of worthwhile things. Thing is, I'm losing my conviction that it is what I should still be pursuing. I would have thought I would have a justification by now, but I would be OK with going on without that, if I still felt certain it was the path that God wanted me to keep following.
Lacking in peace, lacking in a sense of wisdom about the priorities of my life, lacking contentment in who I am and what I am doing with my life right now, I have been praying and asking my friends to pray for me for the peaceable and gentle wisdom that comes from above that James writes about under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. I am surprised and a little frightened at the changes to which I think that peace may well be leading me, but I am going to keep seeking that wisdom and trusting that God will lead me where He wants me to go.