You ever been to the arcades, maybe at the beach or in the mall somewhere, and played or seen the "Whack-A-Mole"? Its the one where the person playing has a hammer and is standing at a surface with 6 holes in it (very similar to the image to the left). In each of the holes is a mole and they will pop out of one hole at a time and the object of the game is to hit the mole before it ducks back into its hole. You ever have the feeling that trying to find your direction in life is a lot like playing that game? I do at times. I feel like I just keep poking my head out in different directions only to be slammed with some giant hammer telling me this is not the way I should be going. I'm glad at times that there are those hammers there stopping me from going a direction that I shouldnt, but I just keep thinking there has to be a better way to figure out where God is leading me.
Its interesting how God prepares us for situations in life. This week one of those hammers came down on my head showing me that i wasnt going the way I should be right now. Right before that happened I decided to sit down and watch the "Nooma" DVD that our bible study was going to be watching the next night, something i rarely do in advance. This week Rob Bell was talking about how often in life, because we can only see our immediate surroundings, we think that God is taking something good away from us for no reason. And often we get upset at God because we think we know what is best. But the problem is our vision is limited, when God's is not. God can see what lies in front of us and knows exactly what we need. So while it may feel like God is taking something away from us for no reason, maybe we need to realize that He is Good and that should be enough for us to trust that He has things in control.
An amazing and sometimes misused verse is Jeremiah 29:11-14 (The Message):
"I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. 12"When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I'll listen. 13-14"When you come looking for me, you'll find me. "Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I'll make sure you won't be disappointed." God's Decree. "I'll turn things around for you. I'll bring you back from all the countries into which I drove you"—God's Decree—"bring you home to the place from which I sent you off into exile. You can count on it.
The problem with me is that I want the result without following through on my part. I want God to just tell me where to go the minute I ask, but thats not the way it works. God is desiring to be in a deep and conversational relationship with me. He's longing for me to set aside my time and seek after Him. Another passage that I came across this week was the story when God led Elijah up on the mountaintop. And as Elijah was waiting for the Lord an earthquake, fire and strong wind came but God wasnt in any of those, then he heard God speaking in the silence, in a still small voice. My problem is that I get caught up in the loud things and never wait long enough to hear the voice of the Lord. I never sit in the stillness, listening for the voice of the Lord. I want directions on the fly. Maybe thats why I feel like I'm a mole in one of those games, maybe I'd do better to sit and wait for the Lords leading before I poke my head out of one of the holes.