Drawing circles – not dots – Winter Issue 2009

Drawing circles – not dots

I needed an answer – it was down to the wire and I was completely and utterly stuck. I had prayed about this decision [as all good Christians do] and had waited for God to direct me and  . . .  nothing.

 When I find myself in troubling situations, like this one, my default always seems to get counsel from others. I rarely internalize things – trying to figure it out on my own.

 So, it was in this frantic frame of mind that I sank into a chair across from one of my friends at the Ministry Centre. I learned something about “the will of God” that I have never forgotten.

 My friend listened patiently as I shared all the intricacies of the situation –explaining how I had not “heard from God.” Finally he asked me one very simple question, “What do you want to do?”

 I was stunned. What did that matter? Had he not been listening this whole time? I’m sure he noticed the baffled look on my face, because he continued as I was still unable to respond.

 “Lisa, you see the will of God for your life as a very specific point.” To emphasize his meaning he took a piece of paper and pen and made one dot on the page. “But, what if you have a choice? Perhaps God has not said anything on this matter because it’s entirely up to you. What if this is more representative of the will of God?” He then took the same piece of paper and drew a big circle, writing on the inside of the circle, “The will of God.” He continued, “Stay inside the circle and you will be fine.”

 It took me a long time to process all that he had said, and by that I mean several days! I slowly began to work it through and a few things came to mind.

 The first was something that I knew about God – He gives us the ability to choose. For example, we choose whether we will follow Him or not – no one is coerced into serving.

 The second thing that occurred to me was that God wanted to partner with me – not have me act as a mindless robot. Jesus came to restore our relationship with God. Perhaps part of that process was trusting that God was enabling me to make decisions?

 And thirdly, I finally realized that God’s ability to communicate [with me] was far greater than my ability to mess things up. If my heart was pure in seeking to honour and please Him, then He would make it clear to me if I was headed the wrong way. Someone once told me that it’s easier to steer a ship that is already moving – and I believe that is true.

 But He’s already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women. It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, And don’t take yourself too seriously — take God seriously.
Micah 6:8, The Message

Lisa Howden
Managing Editor