It’s a mistake

sword-and-shieldI prayed and prayed, and listened, and prayed some more.  Which way Lord?  I feel this incredible pull to write to write a fiction book series.  Is that God’s call?  I think so, but … I don’t know for sure.  I am involved in a tech startup that would change the internet as we know it for the better.  Should I even be doing this?  I need inspiration to write, I need wisdom to build, I need guidance to know if these are your direction.

There is only silence from heaven.  Honestly, I think what I am most afraid of is failure.  Let’s say I spend countless hours on the book … and it stinks.  What a waste of precious years; what a failure.  Or, what about the tech startup?  Startups are an insane amount of work and sacrifice; they demand 25 hours a day.  What if it fails, or what if I was supposed to be doing something else, and in doing the startup I miss my calling – going to my grave with my song unsung?  

There is only silence from heaven…or is there?  What if I get no grand inspiration, no great emotional or divine push or attraction to one or the other that I can discern? That does not mean that God has not answered my prayer.   He does answer.  He always always answers. He just answers in ways that I was not expecting.  I wasn’t looking, so I did not see them.

If I am spending time alone with him and walking in obedience, then I have to trust that his Spirit is within me, changing me.  He alters my perspective so that my heart breaks for the things that break his heart, so that I long for the same love, peace, kindness, and gentleness that he does.    Actually, I think it’s not so much that I become something else as much as that I become what I could not otherwise be. It’s more like the pitted rusty metal that is ground, cleaned, and polished until it shines like a mirror, reflecting the sun.  He removes all the things that prevent me from being everything that he made me to be.  I become what I could never have become alone.  

One of his answers is that he changes me.  He frees me from the things that blind me and disorient me, but does not take away my privilege of choice.  I choose, and have to trust that he did answer my prayer and he did guide me.  By making my perspective like his, my choice is also the one he would have chosen.  

Another answer even harder to comprehend is that God’s power is bigger than my failure.  What if my success or failure doesn’t affect God’s ultimate purpose?  What if my failure benefits he and I more than my success would?  If I walk in his way, no matter what I choose, even if I were to fail miserably, he will bring his will to pass; he will still succeed.

Think of it this way.  We do things and they don’t always come out right, or as we had intended. Sometimes even when we got it just right, it but it still does not work the way we expected. For example, the food was cooked perfectly, but everyone fought at the table and so dinner was a disaster.  Think of songwriters trying to write songs; if it was up to them, every song would be a number one hit; even the best fail more than they succeed. Think of people trying to start a business, or trying to raise a family, or even get to work on time.  If they could make it the way they wanted it, they’d succeed every time –  it just doesn’t work out that way.  

Without meaning to, we put that same limitation on God, but it doesn’t belong there. We look at our own imperfections.  We see the evil in the world around us as a dismal failure, and we think that God suffers from the same problem we do – which is that things aren’t working out quite the way he planned. But God is so much bigger, so much more powerful, so vastly more intelligent, more able to to control circumstances, that it’s beyond our ability to comprehend.

His word goes out from his mouth but does not return to Him empty.  It accomplishes the task that he assigned it.  He is not limited like we are.  He always gets it right – even if we can’t see it.  He makes a promise and always keeps it.  We have the benefit of centuries to see the way that God fulfills his predictions and promises.  Abraham is a great example, he believed God would make him a great nation even though he died before he saw the answer.

Remember that when you pray.  Sometimes we feel like our prayers bounce off heaven and fall back down.  We feel like our prayers are as an effectual as everything else in our lives, and that it is a hit and miss as to whether they are heard or whether they are answered. This is not the case.  God hears every prayer, has an answer for every plea, can work in every decision, and can ultimately reverse every failure.  You may not see it, but you can believe it.  If you’re with him, failure is impossible.

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.” And he replied: “Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”
– Minnie Louise Haskins