Tuesday, January 11, 2011

It's all about God (I think)

When someone decides to do something for God, I think the general assumption made (at the front end) is that this is just for God – especially if it feels sacrificial. Sometimes Christ-followers do something, because it is being asked of them. It is about obedience. It is about faithfulness. It is about doing the right thing.

It is hard to discover that what we think is for God is also often a lot more about us than we care to admit.

When I started writing my book, I believed it was prompted by God’s Spirit. I felt like I was on an assignment for God. There were words and ideas inside of me that had to come out. I believe they were words placed in me by God – not as some kind of weird mystical transaction – but words birthed out of life experiences, personal study and the occasional unexpected “ah-hah” moments (that I believe were essentially grace gifts from the Lord).

The assumption I made was that because these ideas wanted out of me and were also of help to people I spoke to about them, it only made sense that these ideas ought to find a broader audience. That felt right. It seemed logical. I encountered signs along the way that I interpreted as “go ahead signals” from God. I felt like God wanted me to do this for him. I was following his lead.

I still believe all that, but getting dumped (I mean, “delayed”) by my publisher created feelings in me that made it obvious that this project wasn’t just about God.

It was about me.

If it were solely about God, then it wouldn’t matter so much that it wasn’t happening on my time line. I wouldn’t be jealous of other people getting contracts from the “big boys” while mine was being put on the shelf. In short, I wouldn’t be taking it all so personally. If this weren’t about me, it would be less important to me.

I would be more ready to say what John the Baptist said as he watched Jesus’ ministry gain greater notoriety than his own. He said, (of Jesus), “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30). That ain’t easy to say and mean. That is the lesson of my week.

My good friend Dr. Rod Casey has a little saying that I love to share with others.

“Sometimes you are the curriculum.”

Sometimes, what we are experiencing isn’t so much about what we are doing – or hoping to do – sometimes it is more about who we are becoming and what God wants to do on the inside.

I much prefer sharing that idea than having to re-learn it myself.

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