One Christian expression that has always bugged me is, “the safest place is in the center of God’s will”. I have always hated it because to me, it reeks of health and wealth Christianity and the American nightmare. What I mean by all this is that People always say in manner that suggests that if you are experiencing some distress, you must not be doing what God wants. I you aren’t rich, happy, or healthy, you must not be doing what God wants you to do.
It has been my experience that the center of God’s will is the least safe place to be. By this I mean that I don’t always feel safe when I do what God wants. Case in point, twice I have moved to other side of the world following the will of God. That experience has not always been a picnic.
I liken my experience with God to my time in ROTC. I spent five years in ROTC, both in high school and college. During that time, I spent a lot of time in a rappel harness. I hate heights, so naturally hanging 60 feet off the ground from a wooden tower didn’t feel safe, and yet I trusted my harness. What I’m saying here is that the situation may not always feel safe, but there will be a general feeling of safety, a trust in your harness if you will, God being the harness.
One of the things I like about my life, and at the same time dread about it, is the out of control nature of it all. I not saying that I live a wild life, I just gave control of it to God a long time ago. And that decision has led to some unsafe acts. Moving to China, unsafe; Teaching high school, very unsafe; Taking a deeper look that wounds that were dealt in my childhood and trying (with God’s help) to change the effects and behaviors that came with them, insanely unsafe. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have learned that the love of God can see me through anything ( more on this in later posts.
Marcus Aurelius said that “the art of living is more like wrestling than dancing”. And while I agree that the day-to-day of life is more like combat than a dance, I believe that living within the will of God is a dance. It is a graceful art. It may lead you to acts of combat, but ultimately, the act of trusting God for provision and safety is a dance. I don’t know if I would it a dance for any other reason than the intense love that occurs between you and God when you are trusting in him. I think that is ultimately what makes being in the center of God’s will safe, trust.
I grew up with a dad I couldn’t trust, he was mentally ill and abusive, so there was no safety ion that relationship. It has taken me a long while to fully trust God in his love and to believe that he actually has good things in store for me. Realized last week, that the major obstacle to my trust in God isn’t that I believe he isn’t good, because I’ve seen his goodness too many times to refute it, I have trouble trusting God’s goodness, because in some deep part of me I’m afraid it won’t last, I am afraid that God will give up on me. But God is good and it seems that he always comes through and does so in such a way that I cannot doubt his love. It all part of the dance.