Heather Kopp is one of the most inspiring soul feeding writers I have read; she’s up there with Annie Lamott for Warrior Writers who HEAL. Check out her BLOG at Sober Boots.
Here is a reprint of one of her blogs that fed me, and still does, so I hope you enjoy it and support her.
A friend recently told me, “I keep praying under my breath, ‘Lord, your will not mine,’ but I don’t think I really mean it.”
Her honesty sparked a conversation about how we both come from Christian backgrounds where we got the wrong idea about God’s will—in short, that it is probably gonna suck. Or hurt. Or be way too hard.
In my case, I also learned that the only thing harder than doing God’s will is figuring out what it is. And woe to you if you miss it. Get one degree off track today and in a few years you’ll find yourself deep in the boonies where God can’t bless you.
This belief led to the kind of silliness wherein I ignored God’s clear will regarding the big stuff—like love, honesty, and compassion—while I treated random twitches of the universe like spiritual Morse code meant to help me decipher God’s will on important matters—like which car to buy.
But I’ve been learning a new approach. To my surprise, a lot of people in recovery talk a lot about doing God’s will, not ours, but minus the hand-wringing, confusion, and fear. Many of them operate on the radical assumption that God is good, wants our best, and if we just do the next right thing he puts in front of us, we’ll be fine.
Crazy stuff, huh?
Some time ago, Dave and I went for a hike in the Front Range near where we live in Colorado Springs. The trail followed a creek up a steep canyon. Mostly it did, anyway. Actually, the trail split, disappeared, reappeared, and crisscrossed the creek so often that it was impossible to tell if we were following the “right” trail.
It also didn’t really matter. The entire hike followed the creek. Follow the water and we’d be fine.
Later this week, I have a big decision to make regarding a project that’s close to my heart. And it’s got me wondering: What if God’s will for me—or for any of us—is as wide and deep and roomy as that canyon?
It would mean that regardless of which rock I step on, or which path I follow, if I stay near the creek, I’m still in the middle of God’s will. It would also mean that to miss God’s will, I’d have to leave the creek and start huffing it up the side of the canyon—and I couldn’t accomplish that without noticing what I was doing.
I find this metaphor deeply comforting. It also matches up pretty well with what I believe about God today. I think he wants me to seek his will for me, but not because he’s hiding it. I think he asks me to want what he wants—not so I can suffer, but so others and I won’t.
So this week, I’m praying for guidance. And yes I’m telling God, “Your will not mine,” and meaning it. But I also feel like I’m rambling through a wide-open space with God’s Spirit running through it, and there’s no place I’d rather be.
And if I spot an appealing rock ahead—one that looks friendly, put there just for me, and steady enough to hold my dreams—I’m free to leap.
Either way, how much you wanna bet I land smack dab in the center of God’s will?