Saturday, June 19, 2010

Creator, savior & king – Part 3 (kind of, but a little bit different)

One thing that has always baffled me about the absolute sovereignty of God is this: How do I know when to let go and just accept what God has allowed in my life?

For example, if I know that God is all-knowing, all-powerful and all-loving, and He allows a banking error that leaves my account showing $500 less than what I actually have, do I:

1. Just accept it and move on?
2. Contact the bank once and ask them to fix it? And if nothing happens give up?
3. Keep contacting the bank until they file a cease-and-desist order?
4. Rob the bank, but take only the $500 they owe me?

Assuming that #4 is disqualified for obvious reasons, what about numbers 1 through 3? What about number 2.5 – which is probably right, but I don’t know what it is?

If we fight too much, we may end up fighting God.
But giving in too quickly could also make us disobedient - not to mention irresponsible & foolish.

So, where's the point of balance?

I don’t know.

I’m the guy who either gives up too easily or continues to fight too long. Or (worst of all), I give up at exactly the right moment, but then question my decision. And when I do that, I go around & around in small tight circles in my head, getting more & more stressed out trying to decide if I should re-open the issue or if it's too late for that. I don't do this every time, of course, but when I do it can be very unpleasant.

It would be great if I could figure out exactly what my responsibility is and then, when I hit that line, give it up completely with a peaceful and trusting heart. What I really want is a formula – something clear, precise, universally applicable, and easy. But I suspect that no such thing exists. In fact, if I had to guess, I’d say it’s probably more a matter of applying faith, maturity, responsibility and wisdom to every decision I make. Worse yet, it almost certainly differs situation to situation and moment to moment.

And that's hard and it's frustrating.
But here's the silver lining - the inevitable "God's working even in this!" element: While this kind of slithering ambiguity is the toughest thing to pin down, it may also be the very best thing for me in the long run. Because if nothing else will, maybe it will force me to sharpen my spiritual ears and inspire more quiet time just listening to my Lord.

Anyway, I think it's a good question, this question of divine sovereignty vs individual responsibility.
It's is one of the core questions of the Faith.
It's where theology meets real life head on.
It’s where the rubber meets the road.