“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding» (Proverbs 3:5).
Years ago, I took a creative writing class at the University of Hertfordshire, England. I enjoyed the class, except for one detail: at the beginning of each class our professor liked to ask us what kind of story we were going to write and how it would end. I never knew what to say. How would I know how a story was going to end before even beginning to write it? A story is like a river: it makes its way as it flows. As Madeleine L’Engle writes in Walking on Water, there is a similarity between writing a story and knowing Jesus: «The novel we sit down to write, and the one we end up writing may be very different, just as the Jesus we grasp and the Jesus who grasps us may also differ.» Our relationship with Jesus is like a river: it grows and becomes greater as it flows.
God is bigger than what we can imagine or grasp. Following Him entails being willing to unlearn wrong and restrictive ideas, as did the disciples on their way to Emmaus. If there is something we can be sure of, it’s that our story won’t end up being the way we thought it would be! Jesus transcends the theological concepts we feel comfortable with, our musical preferences, our common sense . If following Jesus does not challenge you intellectually, emotionally, and socially, then something is wrong: either you are following Him from the shore, without delving into His goodness, or you are following someone else, a false messiah, an idol. As Anne Lamott writes in Bird by Bird: «You can be sure you that have created a god in your own image when it turns out that God hates the same people you hate.» If God always agrees with all your opinions, then something is wrong.
I still remember that when I was learning how to swim, my mom would stand in the deep end urging me to jump in. She would move a little further back every time, forcing me to go further in, where I could no longer touch the bottom. In this adventure of faith called life, God calls us from the deep end, inviting us to go in deeper, forcing us to depend on His wisdom and not the tips of our toes. God promises that He will always be by our side. If we allow Him to, He will write a much better story than the one we could imagine.
Lord, I trust in You and not in my own understanding. Today I am willing to go in deeper, to go further in than yesterday, Because I know You are with me.