When faced with an option of whether to commit wholeheartedly to something or not, I sometimes find that I prefer to have a number of options available. This can be in anything from the clothes that I am wearing to what I might do with my evening.
I like to always feel like I could do something else, if I wanted to. Whilst this is a suitably relaxed and easy-going attitude to have in theory, in practice I find it somewhat exhausting. When looking at your life and thinking "I could do this, or that" do you ever feel tired?
When I have found myself questioning my choices I ended up becoming good at saying "'I'll just try this" or "I'll just give that a go". What often happened was that I gave it just that; a go. Not only did I not commit, but (and this makes me laugh) I got irritated with myself when I did not seem to get any better at what I was trying to do. I expected to grow in a skill, without putting in or expending any effort or hope from my part that I could get better.
I realised that in order to get better I have to commit to it. I cannot "just give it a go" and expect the skill that I desire to form, as though by magic.
The recurring picture I have in my head is of the famous story of the talents. Jesus talks of a master giving three different servants money. Two of them take the money and come back with more. They increase on what they have been given and one of them buries it in the ground. The two that multiplied their money received recognition and the guy that hedged his bets or did nothing received the rebuke.
It seems overly harsh when you read it, but it makes sense doesn't it? This guy was not committing or risking in faith that he would receive. When I read this sentence back to myself I feel uncomfortably challenged. Do I risk in faith or do I hedge my bets? I felt challenged by God on this – he said to me that faith is not singing about it, but it is walking in it.
I am trying out something new with my life and it is a week-by-week challenge. I am not going to lie here - I have thought about quitting already and cutting my ties with this thing I am exploring. I am confident that if I journeyed the decision to go in the first place, that God will extend his grace to me if I decide to exit.
It was funny though, as I was talking to God about taking this thing "week-by-week" God challenged me strongly not to see it that way. God had got me there "on purpose" for an allotted time. My timing and place and standing there was not an accident or something that I had stumbled across, but a God-ordained time for growth and change.
This bought me up short. I wanted to believe that somehow, the plan of God was sufficiently flexible to be almost but not quite non-existent and bending to my whim or lack of vision. I wanted God to acquiesce to my little-mindedness and "try it on" thought. This, needless to say was not what he had in mind for me. It sounds so obvious to say this but it is true. God REALLY DOES have a plan for your life and it is big, if you let him in to it. Whilst it is healthy to sense check your choices and keep asking God on things, there comes a time when we need to abide and walk in our purpose.
If I begin to think of it like that, although it does not change the challenge or toughness of the journey, it takes away my worry. I stop thinking about if I am meant to be on the path and start focussing on how to walk along it. I can relax, for I know that the path I am on is the right one. Although when I walk, I can get lost, there is one who is always there beside me and for whom, there is no such thing as a lost or "wrong path".
Jeremiah chapter 29 verse 11 "For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. " Plans to prosper you and not to harm you; plans to give you a hope and a future".
Rosie Robinson resides in Manchester where, in between feeding herself coffee and bagels she works for an international financial services organisation. She attends a lively church called Audacious, enjoys reading, running and watching films and slowly discovering life with Jesus.
Rosie Robinson's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/rosie-robinson.html