Saturday, September 22, 2012
Living in Response
I've also been "off the blog" for a couple of weeks because I was being blocked by the blog host. I sent multiple help requests to the host, but never did receive any aid. I finally followed my wise husband's advice and tried a different browser. Brilliant! I'm back on with no problems.
I've been mulling the concept of living in response to God. My first thoughts contrasted responding to reacting. Totally different experiences! I used to react to my birth father's rejection of me and my family, but I've learned to respond instead. Instead of feeling abandoned, I choose to feel loved by my step-father. I haven't given up praying for or loving my birth father. In fact, I pray for him with more love than I used to; I can't help but feel bad for someone who would reject their own daughter. But I don't waste time feeling sad or wishful about his return. He will return to my life or not, as he chooses. I choose to love him and to love my step-father, both.
Then I tried to think if I'd ever lived in reaction to God, and I don't think I have. So what do I mean when I think/talk about living in response to God? It is the intention that makes the difference. Living in response to God means that I am intentionally looking for God's work and God's grace in my life and in the world around me. And when I see it, I live in ways that acknowledge God's work and God's grace.
So when I see natural beauty and recognize God's hand in its creation, I choose to live in a way that appreciates and sustains that natural world, to the best of my ability. And when I know God's forgiveness for my irritable attitude, I choose to live in a way that also grants grace to those around me. A great example of this is my current peaceful frame of mind when driving. I used to be an antsy, easily upset driver, watching for the "stupidity" of those other drivers. Now, most of the time, I am able to simply slow down and allow the other driver to drive his/her way, without my derision. This may not make much difference to the other drivers, as I've never been a road rager, but it's sure more pleasant for me and my passengers, and a better model for my five-year-old!
And when I read Psalm 66:20 (NIV), its words inspire my deep adoration of God. It says, "Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!" The Bible says this for ME???? How can this be? But because I live in response to God, I trust God's word, His promises, God's grace, even for me. I didn't, and CAN'T, start this relationship between God and me. I can only respond when God initiates. I can only live in response.
So I walk through my days, watching for God's hand in my world. So I lie awake at night, thanking God for His grace extended to me. So I volunteer to help with community meals, to drive someone to the doctor, to watch a dozen two-year-olds, so that my life shows God's work in me, and so that someone else might see God's hand in their life as well.