Friday, September 28, 2007

Not what you do... but how you do it

Ok - so here is my question. So many times, in the Christian world, I have heard the phrase.... "God is not so concerned with what you do, but how you do it." What exactly does this mean? I believe that God has a "best" plan for our lives. I believe that His will for our lives in the general sense is VERY clear. Micah says "to live justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God." Jesus says "to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself." Paul says "living sacrifice, holy and acceptable which is my reasonable act of service." All of these have very much to do with the "how you do it" mentality. Ok, I understand this. This makes sense. But where I am stuck right now is in the "what I do" idea. Here is what I mean. I am going to back up to a recent story in my life.....
In 2006 I considered looking at a job opportunity in Singapore, going to seminary in Texas, and traveling with Wings of Morning. Based on the statement "not what you do, but how you do it," any of these would be fine options. Looking forward in time, that sounded good. It sounded like I couldn't mess up. I could do all three of these and be equally in God's will. I could live justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God. Does this make sense?
Fast forward..... In January, as most of you know, I met my husband while traveling with Wings. Now, I cannot second guess as to whether or not going to Singapore, or going to school in Texas would have some how eventually led our paths to cross. However, I don't see how either of those other options would have led me to Danville, Virginia to meet the man of my dreams. God does have mysterious ways of doing things.... and we shouldn't play the "what if" game. But the question remains... Do you see my point?
So, at this point.... Ronnie and I have discussed, not with anything in particular in mind - but just generally speaking, so we are prepared if (when) the actual situation arises. If it TRULY only matters "how I do it" and TRULY doesn't matter "what I do" then how can we ever determine God's best plan for our lives. I am sure that many of the options God presents to us in life may lead to good ideas. However, I do not ever want to get to the end of my life and say "hmm... wasn't that good." I want to end it knowing that I lived to the fullest, that my life was "exceedlingly abundantly more than I could ask or imagine." That is, after all, what Jesus promised to His followers right? Not an easy life. That isn't what I am asking for. I simply asking that I be put through the opportunities to risk it all, and yet know that I am really NOT risking it all, because I have a promise that "the righteous will not be forsaken, nor will their seed beg for bread." I want to know that the struggles, the failures and the victories will have the same passion behind them. I don't want to look back and wonder if I really did my life fully.... To wonder if I missed the best while I was distracted by anything else. I heard once that our enemy wants to put a price tag on our service. He knows we are distracted easily by money. He wants us to get so worried and disctracted by the dollar signs, that we forget the main point. I don't want to be distracted by money, fame, the big time... but I don't want to miss that either if that is part of "my" abundant life.
So, I can talk in circles about this all day. I don't know the answer - and I can fully argue either side. (isn't that frustrating?)
Ideas? Thoughts? Advice?


KathyW said...

I don't really have any words of wisdom (sorry)..... as I find myself going in the same circles around myself! But I can share that recently I feel that God is showing me that maybe "what I'm supposed to do" isn't the huge complex plan or career that I've been looking for but maybe it is a little closer to home.

JustJessie said...

You know the great thing about having a godly marriage? When tough decisions arise, if you both communicate openly and honestly and pray about it, more than likely you will both have peace about the same solution. That's how it works around here, anyway. Honesty is key, though. Every big decision Jeff and I have worked through, we have both had a deep sense of certainty that we were doing the right thing, even when it wasn't the easy thing. Remember, though, "sufficient unto the day is the trouble thereof." Cross those bridges when you come to them. You'll be ready when you get there. :-)