Thursday, July 11, 2013

A Golden Calf named "Certainty"

 I just got home from my Holy hour and am too excited to sleep about the epiphany I had when I was there. 

I worship a golden calf named "Certainty".   

I am willing (and greatly desire) to sacrifice my freedom to know that I am doing God's will.  I beg God all the time, "Just make Your Will known to me, and I will do it."  I'll accept anything from God except not knowing what He wants from me.

However, now that the hook I've been hanging all of my certainty and plans on for the past two years has been removed, I'm becoming a little more open-minded.  The hook removal (not being accepted into the Spiritual Direction program) was also a good lesson in humility and detachment.  Leaning too hard on anything, if it is not God Himself, is dangerous.  Even if it is something good.  Even if it is something you think He wants. 

I've read several things over time that all came together tonight.  Like when you pass the tipping point in Solitaire.

The progression went something like this...

"Does the way seem a stony one?  Not one stone can impede your progress.  Face the future, but face it only with a brave and happy heart.  Do not seek to see it.  You are robbing Faith of her sublime sweetness if you do this."  ~God Calling   

"And Christ still sends me roses.  We try to be formed and held and kept by him, but instead he offers us freedom.  And now when I try to know his will, his kindness floods me, his great love overwhelms me, and I hear him whisper, Surprise me. ~Mariette in Ecstasy, Ron Hansen

"Can we surprise God?  Probably not in some ultimate metaphysical sense; God knows all in his dwelling place in eternity.  But in our daily relationship with Jesus, I wouldn't dismiss the idea out of hand.  We crave certainty; "instead he offers us freedom."  This opens the door to surprise.  Even if we don't surprise God, we can surprise ourselves."  a simple life-changing prayer - Discovering the Power of St. Ignatius Loyola's Examen, Jim Manney

It makes sense that we crave certainty because we recognize how important doing the will of God is in the life of a Christian.  It is paramount.

"The only thing that really matters in life is doing the will of God.  Once you are doing the will of God, then everything matters.  But apart from the accepted will of God, nothing has any lasting reality.  So, If God wills that you should be bowed over the sink instead of over the pew in your favorite church, then washing the dishes is for you, now, the most perfect thing you can possibly do."
Holiness for Housewives (and other working women), Don Hubert Van Zeller

So, my freedom isn't the curse that is often feels like...Should I do this or that?  Work or stay home?  Write or not? 

There is not a pencil thin line drawn through my life that is "God's will".  It is not something that I should fear missing or messing up.  It is not something I need to lean forward to catch a glimpse of, or strain my eyes to see.  I am robbing Faith when I do that.

"God made the angels to show Him splendor - as He made animals for innocence and plants for their simplicity.  But man He made to serve Him wittingly, in the tangle of his mind."
~A Man of All Seasons, Thomas More

My freedom is God's gift to me, and He does not intend to exchange it for certainty.  About anything.  This makes sense, because now I know that certainty is its own god.  And my God will not put up with that.

Dear Awesome and Gentle God,

How could anyone but You make me feel good about the realization that I'm violating one of Your ten commandments?!  How can an all-powerful God nudge so gently?  I have been worshipping a false god, and I didn't even know it.  Thank you for nights like tonight when the stuff of years aligns itself.  Thank you for friendships which help me to know You, myself, and others better.  Please forgive my attachment to all that is not You.  Please give me the grace of Your Presence, rather than knowledge of Your plan.  I'm sorry I've been trying to take something You never intended to give, and robbed Faith of her sweetness.  I love the idea of trying to surprise You.  I think I'll try it.  I love You.  Please make me love You more and more.  Amen.

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