Friday, 17 January 2014

Natural Inclination

Our natural inclination is to be so particular—attempting always to predict precisely what will happen next—that we gaze at uncertainty as a bad thing. We think that we must reach some set goal, but that is not the nature of the religious life. 

The nature of the spiritual life is that we are certain in our uncertainty. Consequently, we do not put down roots. Our common sense says, “Well, what if I were in that circumstance?” We cannot assume to see ourselves in any situation in which we have never been.

Certainty is the mark of the commonsense life — gracious uncertainty is the mark of the holy life. To be sure of God means that we are doubtful in all our ways, not knowing what tomorrow may bring. This is usually expressed with a sigh of sadness, but it must be a look of breathless expectation. 

We are unsure of the next step, but we are certain of God. As soon as we discard ourselves to God and do the task He has placed closest to us, He begins to fill our lives with shocks. When we become just a promoter or a defender of a particular belief, something within us expires. 

That does not believe God—it only believes our belief about Him. Jesus said, “. . . unless you . . . become as little children . . .” (Matthew 18:3). The holy life is the life of a child. We are not unsure of God, just unsure of what He is going to do next. If our faith is only in our beliefs, we build up a sense of self-righteousness, become overly critical, and are limited by the sight that our beliefs are absolute and settled. 

But when we have the right bond with God, life is full of spontaneous, joyful uncertainty and expectancy. Jesus said, “. . . believe also in Me” (John 14:1), not, “Believe certain things about Me”. Leave everything to Him and it will be superbly and decently doubtful how He will come in—but you can be sure that He will come. Remain faithful to Him.

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