Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Been thinking . . . .

Been thinking lately, which is usually a dangerous thing. A lot of my thinking occurs in the twilight of the night as I try to fall asleep. Some people are blessed with minds that come with an off switch that automatically clicks over upon their head hitting the pillow. For me it is quite the opposite.

It seems that in the quiet and rest of trying to fall asleep my mind realizes that there aren’t one hundred and one things to occupy its time so it shifts into deep-thinking mode. I learned a while back to keep a notebook by the bed because it was in these quiet reflective moments that I needed to record my thoughts (and no you cannot read said notebook). The problem becomes that instead of drifting off to sleep my mind races and I am left tossing and turning thinking for hours.

It isn’t uncommon that I will spend an hour or two just thinking as the digital clock blinks the minutes away. This always isn’t good for my body as sleep is a good thing (a favorite thing in fact) but it often helps me to get a good grasp on where my head is at the moment.

So lately, I have had a thought going through my mind pretty regularly. It twists and turns as my mind tries fit it in a nice little box with a bow on top. Have I mentioned that I like to think something to a point where I’ve seen if from all angles, measured it, weighed it, and have a firm grasp of it? Hmmm, that might be my definition of “deep thinker” or better yet “borderline crazy” but really both of those phrases are pretty close.

So the subject of my late night reveling has been . . . . . .the sovereignty of God. Light fare for a late night thought party, wouldn’t you say? Ha, I could be pondering the purpose of the appendix (in the body not a book of course), or the status of Britney Spears’ marriage, or I could even be letting my mind wonder about how I can get some fresh seafood when I am 6 hours from the nearest coast. But no, I ponder sovereignty.

So this is what my mind came up with. My story, my life, exists on a timeline. There is a point of origin (my birth) and a point of destination (my death) and in the middle of those two points is a line stretched out that traverses all the events of my life. Each choice I make exists on that line. This of course makes the line veer from being a straight line and it instead looks like a cut-back trail going up a mountain. From an outsider’s point of view there is probably no rhyme or reason to the design of the line and from my point of view I can only see what is behind me but never what is ahead. This isn’t to say that the line doesn’t exist in front of me because I really do believe the line from the two points is already complete, marked out, and set. I have just yet to walk the line and set my footsteps upon the path that is “me”.

Now here comes the whole sovereignty part. God is the only one who knows the line in its completion. He was the one who placed the two points and he determined the breadth and length of the line. He also knows every kink, turn, loop-d-loop, and direction the line takes. He knows that because of one choice I made way back on the line that I will soon veer in a new direction sometime in the future. He also knows how many lines will intersect with mine, have paths of others will be crossed in mine. He know the length of time that these other lines (people) will travel close to mine and when they will diverge in their own directions. He knows when my line will slow down and crawl and when it will travel faster than I ever thought possible. God knows everything that has and will happen in my life. Nothing is hid from His sight, nothing falls from His grasp, nothing will happen on that line that He has not already known. And the greater part of all of this is that since He has seen my path, since He knows all that will occur, He continually prepares me for the next step. He knows I can’t see what is ahead, He knows that my feet move one in front of the other and each step is a new experience for me.

And in the midst of thinking about this two thoughts became apparent. 1) I’m glad God is sovereign and 2) I’m frustrated that God is sovereign. Very different thoughts aren’t they.

I’m so thankful that God is sovereign; I’m comforted by that truth. For it takes pressure off of me. I don’t have to wonder if this whole world is left up to chance. I don’t have to fear tomorrow or even the next hour because there is nothing determining it. I’m also glad that I’m not sovereign because I don’t have the shoulders to bear up that burden.

In the same breath I’m frustrated by God’s sovereignty, or more the outworking of it. There are times when I want to ask God why He allowed certain things in my life to happen if they were only going to come to the end that they did. I want to question Him and His motives. I want to understand His grand scheme. See I like God’s sovereignty but I just want to be clued into it. I want to know where I’m heading, I want a glimpse at the rest of the line. I don’t need to know the destination point, but just a quick glimpse at say the next few months would be nice, or a little preview of the highlights of the twists and turns.

The funny thing about this is that my second thought isn’t exactly compatible with my first thought. Liking the sovereignty of God but not trusting it leaves you in a tough spot. Oh I will probably always have questions, I will probably always want to know why, but the good thing is that having those questions brings me to the place where I can actually trust in the sovereignty.

As I lay awake at night with my brain processing all of this I reached the point where I found comfort in knowing that He knows the story, my story, and that I know Him. He knows how each event in my life will send out ripples to the rest of my life. He knows that as people come and go in my life the effect they have and the changes they inspire. He knows everything there is to know about me, even the things that I don’t know. And I know Him. I know Him. I know the God who sees everything, who knows everything, who marks it out and calls it forth, the God who lovingly never leaves me to walk my path alone, who lovingly set my path for my footsteps alone. And I love Him too. I know Him, I love Him, so I trust Him.

The sovereignty of God is such a big topic and I know I’m only dancing on the fringes of grasping it. In all actually, I will never grasp it, but I can experience it. I can live in it. But most importantly, I can trust in it, even with my questions, even with my doubts, because the sovereignty of God is part of God. I can’t accept Him without also accepting this part of Him.

This is a pretty heady post (as in you are taking a peek inside my head). Sorry for the length.

10 Comments:

Blogger Ryan S. said...

I say Psalms to myself sometimes before I goto sleep, whether aloud or silent... It clears my mind, and takes my focus off mind-clutter throughout the day. Try that!

6/07/2006 9:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

KT, it sounds like you need to work on the "gotta be in control" problem a little bit more. Take it from someone who also struggles with a similar problem. I don't need to feel in control but I do feel responsible for other people when I shouldn't. You will probably never stop wanting to know "why". But you can learn to be content with not getting an answer too. You will have to be content with things that are irritating and petty to you. Learn to go with the flow even if the flow is going the wrong way. This reminds me of the book titled something like "IF You Want to Walk on Water, You Have to Get Out of the Boat" I went to a study on this book at my church and the leader (preacher) said that Peter always questioned stuff and when he saw Jesus walking on the water, he said to prove who he was by making him able to walk on the water too. But that the other guys in the boat were to scared to even get out of the boat. Sooo my question or statement was....maybe they didn't question that Jesus was who He said He was. So why get out of the boat and test him. That was met by a long silent period and then the leader started talking again and totally ignored me. I was so embarrassed!

6/08/2006 1:09 AM  
Blogger Luke said...

Katie: I like your point that you don't know where the line is ahead of you, and you're not expected to.

If you want something else to ponder/post, I'd love to hear your thoughts on how our free will fits into the message of God's sovereignty. If the line already exists and God can see the whole line...do we have a choice but to walk it? :-)

6/08/2006 9:47 AM  
Blogger Ben said...

I thought I commented on this... OH yeah... blogger was down.

I can't remember what I said before... but I am one of your friends, who's line is parallel to yours. ;)

6/08/2006 10:13 AM  
Blogger Eddo said...

just testing comments...

6/08/2006 1:04 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

Anon (I think I know who you are by the way), control . . . such a big thing to realize when you are face to face with the soverignity of God. I'm learning, it's a struggle at times, but I think that is one of the things you let go of when contemplating this kind of thing. It's a good struggle at least because the less control I have the more I trust in God.

6/08/2006 2:02 PM  
Blogger Jayleigh said...

I read this last night, but the comments were down.

"I’m also glad that I’m not sovereign because I don’t have the shoulders to bear up that burden."

I feel this much of the time, right after I have wondered why on Earth God let THIS or THAT happen.

I'm just glad I'm not in charge, because I don't know enough to make things work out perfectly to His will like HE does.

6/08/2006 10:08 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

AMEN!

(I tried to say that about 8 hours ago, and Blogger wouldn't let me.)

6/08/2006 10:56 PM  
Blogger MsThang said...

Great post! I love that you make us think at the same time putting yourself out there.

I have a control issue too, and it's something I am trying to let go day by day.. definitely not an easy process.

6/10/2006 5:15 AM  
Blogger Aim Claim said...

wow... what a wonderful post.

If I had your mind, I don't think I would EVER be able to sleep.

God is soverign, and we are called to have faith... ha! seems so easy. I mean, why can't I understand? I don't have to be in control, I just want to "get it".

Thanks for these beautiful thoughts of your mind and heart!

6/12/2006 2:52 PM  

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