Monday, August 4, 2014

A When-Then Kind of Life

Most of us live in a what-if kind of dream world. I don't mean that in the way most children dream. As kids, do you recall dreaming about what you would do if you won a million dollars? This is not the kind of dreaming I mean. 

We're adults, right? Our dreams are perhaps a bit more grounded. (I said perhaps, because I know someone out there is still dreaming of that million dollars.) We dream about what we will do if certain things happen. For instance;

  • I'll go grocery shopping if it stops raining.
  • I'll have plans on Friday if somebody invites me to something.  
Our dreams, to varying degrees, are based on things that could actually happen. But the mass effect of this kind of realistic day-dreaming is that we daydream multiple possibilities for our day, our week, our month and even into our distant future.

  • I'll move to Chicago if I get a job there.
  • I'll marry that girl if I work up the courage to ask her out.
There's only one problem with this kind of thinking. (Or there's only one problem I'll mention.) This manner of planning leaves us in the driver's seat, with no need for a touch from God to ensure success. 

Whatever happened to asking God what needed to be done and then acting accordingly? Whatever happened to taking a step of faith and then watching for God to move? Because if He didn't, we might fall flat on our faces. And if God isn't a factor, then what are we doing with our lives anyway?

There was a guy that lived this way, though you may only be familiar with his son. If you even glance at the book of Judges, you will see a mostly derelict group of leaders over Israel, and Samson just might top the list. This guy was every bad stereotype of a jock rolled into one. And as a former band nerd, I hold plenty of stereotypes. 

But Samson's dad?

In Judges 13, the Lord appears to Manoah's wife and tells her of this miracle baby she's about to have. She in turn tells Manoah, who prays for the angel to come back so he could hear it for himself. God obliges and, after a few pleasantries, Manoah gets down to business. 

“When your words come true, what kind of rules should govern the boy’s life and work?” ~Judges 13:12

Did you catch it? Manoah didn't begin making contingency plans. If we have a baby we will do this. If we don't, we'll do that. He didn't begin daydreaming about what might possibly come to fruition. He did not use the word if. He used the word when

More of us should live in expectation as Manoah did when told he and his wife would have a baby.
He said "when your words come true."  We have been given many promises from God. We have multiple opportunities and gifts to match. 

Instead of living by a rule of if...then, I believe it is time for us to begin living a when...then kind of life.

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