Direction: Can You Google It?

2 06 2010

Sometimes finding “direction” leaves you in the weeds, you know, hunting around in the tall grass for that elusive thing called “the answer.” Yeah, that is the distinct picture I have of myself, foraging around, not wanting to miss something when I make a decision. I want 100% certainty that I am doing the right thing, making the best choice, setting my life on a straight course; faced with two options, I want to pick the correct one! I want to reap the benefits of choosing the right door.

The writer of the biblical Book of Proverbs seemed to know something on the topic: “I know where to discover knowledge and discernment” (Proverbs 8:12). That’s confidence, hey?

What I know is that I can Google pretty much anything and get a pretty good answer instantly. This week I was comparing cell-phone plans and customer reviews, looking for the cheapest/best possibilities; amazing what I learned, just sitting in my chair in the living room. If only I could do the same with all my Big Life Questions: set up a profile, put in the right search parameters, and at the press of the button, an answer! Wait a minute; 6,789,432 answers. Hm.

This morning I am reflecting on the goodness of a God who knows me from the inside out and has given me unique gifts and abilities and set me free in a world I will affect (positively or negatively; quite a bit or just a little; there is no neutral). Often I feel lost in it; should I do this, or should I do that? Should I be this, should I be that?

From a chair in my living room I cast a net; I search. It’s called prayer. My prayers aren’t a phrase I repeat; a mantra I recite. Prayer is a conversation between God and I (two-way). I don’t do this enough of course; I talk to myself more than I talk to God. Or I tell God what’s going on (as if He doesn’t know). But when I am not being stupid, I sit down before the very up-close-and-personal God and ask Him for help.

Does God answer me “in the moment?” There have been times when, yes, I clearly know what to do next.

This often happens when I ask God my parenting questions. When I have a child who is locking horns with me, I pray that desperate “help!” prayer and it is like I can see God seeing into them and translating them for me. I suddenly find myself knowing the question to ask, or the response to give.

I can’t explain this, I just know that God knows how my kids are wired and He loves them more than I do. I know that I am merely a steward of them, given the duty to water them and grow them in a way that they will understand who they are. Yes, God has specifically and creatively answered my prayers for my kids. What a relief, because I am as immature as they are sometimes, and I need some pretty supernatural knowledge and discernment to do this right.

In the moment, God has used Scripture passages to affirm the “right thing to do”. In the moment, I have seen myself and have known I am off and thus my decisions will be off if I don’t say sorry to God and match up with His footsteps once again.

Some answers have been more general. Should I do this, or should I do that? Often the world is not going to fall apart if I do one or the other. Often both are fine choices and I think God just nudges in these situations. Sometimes He says, write your pros and cons and apply the wisdom I have already given you and then go there. Sometimes one little thought is enough to put more weight on one side than the other.

I think God is just asking for me to be in conversation so that He can help me figure things out; not only that, but to keep first things first. He wants to freely and lavishly give me knowledge and discernment. He wants me to walk with confidence and not flounder.

I am never lost in God’s presence. I may be uncertain about what is going to happen today or tomorrow, but because He is with me, I am not adrift.

Because I know where knowledge and discernment live, I can show up before God with curiosity, wearing my adventure gear, prepared for what He most certainly will show me is next.

— Teresa Klassen

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