Thursday, April 3, 2014

coffee pots, broken spells, and fasting from my plans

It's a classic rainy day in Fort Wayne. The raindrops pattering on the windowsill sound to me like a percolating coffee pot, and the swish of water under the tires of cars passing my house on Columbia Ave sounds to me like the magic sound effects on "Once Upon a Time" - the sound of a curse being lifted... sounds of everyday enchantment. Today is Thursday, my day to be alone at home and do things that are quiet. I want to sit by the window and write poetry, or curl up in a blanket on the couch and take a long catnap. But I need to grade papers today. But not quite yet... right now, I need a minute to listen to coffee percolating and spells breaking. And I need a minute to be still and quiet before the LORD.

I am trying out this discipline of going six weeks without trying to figure out my life - sort of a fast from making my own plans. I'm on week three, day 18, and it's tough. It seems backward, I know - normally people will take a set amount of time to pray and fast to seek direction and guidance. But I'm a planner by nature, and am much happier when I know what is happening and what to expect and what I should do... and I've been restless and anxious for the past eight months because I have no idea. I've been given some suggestions, and have some ideas of my own, but haven't been able to make any decisions or received any solid answers. And it is driving. me. crazy.

And I realized how much this reveals about my lack of faith in God. I want him to tell me things and show me things, and he really just wants me to sit in the backseat, enjoy the ride, and let him drive. So that's what this six weeks is about - just practicing the discipline of trusting God. That means when I read the Bible, I'm not combing the text for clues to answers I want; it means when I pray, I worship instead of complaining about how confused I am; it means I spend my personal reflection time on all the ways he has been faithful and trustworthy in my life so far, instead of worrying about how he'll be faithful tomorrow and six months from now.

It's hard to not plan and not know - it's a part of my brain I have become so aware of because I have to keep going back and telling it to calm down and take a break. But I think this is what is necessary in this season of my life... and I'd be so grateful for your prayers during this time.

"Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart, and wait for the LORD." - Psalm 27:14

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your path straight." - Proverbs 3:5-6

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