Safety Dance

 

            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.

Safety Dance

 

            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.

Stepping Stones and Altar Stones

 Greetings dear readers. I Jon Timmerman (aka Mr. Buffalo) bring you a new blog for your reading pleasure. The Ebenezer project will be much different then The Wandering Buffalo, as it will focus more on my spiritual musings, rather than my travel work. enjoy.

   The word Ebenezer comes from Hebrew and it means “stone of help”, these was the name given the heaps of stones that the Israelites often made to commemorate something that God had done, such as when God stopped the flow of the Jordan river. I have always loved that story. When I was growing up, my Mom always stressed the importance of remembering what God had done for us.

  Today, I hold a view that we should celebrate our stepping  stones by using them as altar stones. In the 17th century, Ebenezer came into the English language, as meaning “Hither hath God helped us” . I see the importance of being able to point at something and say “Hither hath God brought me”. I am not suggesting that we build actual piles of rocks, for me that would be too many rocks. I am suggesting that we make mental monuments or we write things down. 

    In my own life, in the last four years, the monument shave been many. I live in Beijing. I just got a new job working for a company I like, and I am getting a new apartment. God has brought a long way from who I was when I first believed. I am no longer the angry young man with a chip on his shoulder, I am a man who knows what he’s here for. And for this I will build altars.