14 July, 2014

Oh Captain, My Captain

When contemplating the Bible and your relationship with God, consider the time in which it was written.

In the time of Jesus Christ and for nearly 1,900 of the 2,000 years which have followed, the most common method of transporting goods and people over great distance was done by ship - a method in many ways still true today.

It is commonplace to hear people speak of "turning it over to God", to "Let go and let God", or any number of other similar sounding personal responsibility-dodging clich├ęs.  God gave man free will in the very beginning and almost immediately man showed God why this was a bad idea.  In any number of 12-Step programs one will hear the common refrain that in order to conquer ones addiction, one must be willing to abandon the concept of self-will.

What it does NOT say is that there are times when self-will is appropriate, even necessary, for survival.  God did not give us the authority - the dominion over this world - and the ability to reason in order for us to watch all of creation evolve around us independent of our influence.

How I like to examine the idea of "willpower" is not as the shiny new sports car which God wants to drive while you sit in the passenger seat fiddling with knobs and flipping the sun visor up and down.  I suggest that willpower is as a ship at sea.  God is the wind.  I have complete control over which direction I want to steer.  I can chart any course I want.  But if I want to get somewhere I have to learn how to read the wind and I have to use it to actually GO anywhere.  With God as the wind, He is directing me with His will, it is up to me to steer in the direction which takes advantage of it.  If I choose to steer a course contrary to the direction the wind is blowing, I will move slowly, if at all.  And in doing so, I will become more and more frustrated as I fight with the rigging, the helm, and even with myself to do that which is against God's will.

Why make it so hard on yourself?  Give in to God's WILL.  He is not telling you what decisions to make, He is SHOWING you the proper course.  Your responsibility is in deciding to heed His advice.

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