Do you remember that Meatloaf song? I had a soft spot for Meatloaf. Still do. I can fancy only blokes who are older than me and he just squeezes in, by 14 months.
I read something today that made me wince; “Let me give you a litmus test to determine if you are engaging in a spiritual discipline. Are you willing to offer something to God as a discipline and to keep offering it day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year – to continue offering it for God to use in whatever way God wants in your life and have God do absolutely nothing with it?”
That’s in the book ‘Shaped By The Word’ and when I read it a few months ago I drew a large exclamation mark next to that little passage. Then I hastily moved on before conviction could grab at my withered little soul, knowing that this was a litmus test I failed. Today I’m revisiting it and asking that question of myself, and I’ll keep on asking it until I can answer in the clear and unambiguous and joyful affirmative. Will I truly do anything for God, or do I whisper as a sort of afterthought “but I won’t do that”?
BECAUSE, my little chickens, much as I like bleating on and on about submission, this is something I really struggle with. I think it reveals all sorts of stuff about me, A for arrogance, B for bloody-mindedness, C for contrariness, D for defiance, E for ego, F for … well, I’ve run out of alphabetic relevance. Oh! I know… F for frustration.
This is exactly where I’ve found myself for the last few years – offering my days to God, asking Him to use them, do whatever he wants to with them (and I add all sorts of good pious stuff like “You are the potter and I am the clay” ) but when he hasn’t seemed to take them and use them, I am left feeling, well, miffed. The very opposite of submitted to His will.
I mean, here I am, champing at the bit, pawing the ground… charging into this space and that space, elbowing my way in, full of bright Luce ideas…. and none of them are wanted! Not a single idea out of my many ‘brilliant’ ideas has been wanted. In 5 rotten years!
But here’s the thing; All my ideas were good ideas but none of them are suited to the place where I now live, the church where I worship, the times that I’m in. I am a square peg in a round hole. They were good ideas but not God ideas. No one likes to think of themselves as a busybody but I think that’s what I am. Was. Am. Whatever.
Ages ago I typed up “Treat people the way they need” and put it on my fridge…. great idea but I realise that I am still treating people and church the way that I need.
I’ve realised that I will do anything for God, but I’m a bit shirty about waiting on him. Give me heroic stuff to do, Lord! Lifesaving, blues and twos, rushing to the rescue stuff! That’s what I’m good at! Give me your problems, Lord, and I’ll show you how to sort them.
Isn’t that terrible?
Oh, stop looking at me like that. I bet you’re nearly as bad.
And God loves me anyway. So there.
Hey, Chickadees, I’ve just been sent studio dates for my Christmas play on radio 4 and so now we start the casting, talking about soundscapes, all that. This one’s from God because everyone wants it to happen.
Oh, Meatloaf…. you can go off a guy, you know.