Tuesday, January 8

Dodging Potholes

I don't know how to respond any longer to people who ask me to pray for things that will go smoothly, safely, or that some event that looks like it could be a huge thing would be nothing. I am pretty sure God uses each and every bump, ding, scratch, fender-bender, or totality to teach us more about Him. When we ask God to "please keep so and so safe..." or "Quickly heal whatshisname..." aren't we essentially asking God to make our lives easier at the price of getting to know Him better?

I am not saying that there isn't a time and a place to ask God for things like healing, or safety, or... stuff. But isn't it always the first thing we ask for? The past couple times we have driven back and fourth to Colorado I have had a really hard time with this. There is so much road, so many possible connections we could make with people between here and there, I felt like asking God to give us a safe trip might mean that we miss something, or someone that God would have liked us to experience or encounter. (Though, full disclosure, He has given us safe trips.)

God answers prayers. Are we asking for things that are dulling our lives? Think about it: we don't tell stories of safe travel or regular afternoons. "So THEN after making a perfectly safe drive from Houston to Amarillo we drove AROUND the city and safely made it to Colorado Springs without incident." Not only is that a boring story by anyone's reckoning, but it's forgettable, and no one learned anything. It's the harrowing stories, the close scrapes, the scares that teach us something about ourselves, our friends, our family and our God. It's those stories that we tell to our children, our grandchildren, and those stories that we remember when we talk about God's goodness to us.

I want to make it clear that God does invite us to ask Him for things, but in the asking perhaps we should be open to realizing that God wants us to know Him better, and while studying the Bible is a great tool for that, it is only head knowledge, and not experience. That is where we learn about faith, that is where we grow our faith is in the meeting of head knowledge and our experiences of God.

People have said I am brave, or "stronger than they could ever be". That's not true. I don't know why God has chosen to take me down the path He has, but I have learned a lot from it. Would I like to be healed? You bet. Would I like to move on to the next thing that perhaps doesn't hang my life in the balance every day? Indeed I would. Am I going to get that? I don't know. I've asked, and He's responded with No's, and I have learned about Him through that.

Thank you for your prayers, for your continued prayers. If I could leave anything with all of you it would be to embrace the life that God sends your way and don't view the danger and frustrations as things that need to be quickly overcome, but as opportunities to learn about God. I of course, need to work on this as well. So, please take this from a fellow traveler on the road of life, not as one who knows better or thinks he has all the answers. (I know I have tackled this topic before here, but I am further down the road in my search for answers so consider this a followup.)

My PET scan results are in tomorrow. We'll see what's been happening, details tomorrow.

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