faith means "yes"

I am driven. The phrase “Be still and know that I am God” makes me want to jump out of my skin. My wife Kellie will confirm that the only time I am truly still is when I am sleeping. So, I spent many years faking stillness while demonizing my drive and stifling my creativity in hopes of becoming a spiritually centered individual.

The only way I could keep a thread of connection between being a model Christian and the driven person I knew myself to be was to try to find a calling that I would like and that God would approve. It’s like wanting to paint your living room bright red, knowing that your spouse will hate that color, and, after many hours of “discussion”, settling for beige, only to feel misunderstood and angry for not having done what you wanted to do in the first place.

My fantasies for my life were far more colorful than any I could imagine God approving of. In short, I saw God as a great big “No” – and, in my more faith-filled moments, He was a “maybe”, “I’ll think about it” or “wait”. Telling someone like me to wait…indefinitely… is like tying a puppy to a pole with a five-foot leash and placing the water dish at five feet six inches. I have three responses – fight, rebel, and get depressed – in that order.

Then I read an interesting book in graduate school about faith where the author described faith as the health of one’s “YES” to life. My inner puppy was unleashed and I began to imagine God as the author of Yes – not merely the giver of permission, “Please sir, can I have some more?” but the Being who delights in my living a robust, active, full and independent life.

Is it possible that God wants me to use my intuition? Make decisions without His stamp of approval? Live and learn instead of the other way around? The answer came back, “Yes.” It was as though God asked me, “What kind of love seeks to control another – even for his own good?”

I made a new deal with God. I’ll live with a heart open to being redirected. If I don’t hear a clear “no” then I’ll follow my intuition and trust that a new dimension of relationship will open between us – one where I am no longer a child in your lap or at your feet but a grown man, far from home but grateful for his roots.

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