Big life decision
It seems like 2012 is not only the year of the Olympics, but also my year of big life decisions. I seem to be getting through my fair share this year, and I don’t think they’re all down to the fabled mid-life crisis. As I write this post I’m going through yet another. I need to make a big decision.
My Christian tradition suggests that I ‘seek God’s will’ as to the way forward. One of the approaches suggested to me as a wee one, was to simply open the Bible at a random passage and let God speak. Over the years I have tried this approach, admittedly not for the past twenty years, but when I was younger it was the way to seek God’s guidance. However, the problem is that this reduces Bible engagement to little more than a glorified horoscope, and equally as helpful.
The next option is to look for specific Bible passages about guidance and see if they can shed any light on our own situation. This is a little better than the random approach but has one inherent drawback. We are always in danger of reading our own meaning into the Bible. This isn’t wrong in itself, but doesn’t let the Bible speak. I believe that when we approach the Bible we should seek God’s agenda not our own.
Of course whenever we sit down and open the Bible we bring our own agenda to it. We are human, we feel and we have messy lives. There is no way that we can read the Bible without bringing a little bit of ourselves along for the ride. But perhaps this is exactly the approach to take? Paul tells us what the Bible is good for (2 Tim 3:16,17) and put in its simplest terms that means to transform us, change us, help us be the people God wants us to be.
As Paul points out in Romans 12:1 this is the way we should be; transformed. So getting back to my issue with making the right decision and seeking a little guidance from God through the Bible, I’m wondering if I am looking at things a little too closely. Perhaps the focus should be my lifestyle and not my life-decision? If my focus is on living a life that is rooted in God’s Kingdom; setting the captives free, helping the poor, seeking justice, being humble and so on, then whatever choice I make, with regard to my future, will be in line with God?
Take a chance
When the disciples had to choose who would replace Judas, they
- knew what should be done (God’s Kingdom, having read the Bible)
- they prayed about it (Shared their concerns and need with God)
- and decided by ‘drawing lots’?
In the end the disciples left the decision to what looks like random chance (although that depends on your view of how interventionist God was on this occasion).
As I have gone through this year, and begun to deal with this latest big decision, I am realising that being right with God is the important bit, not the life decision. If I am trying to follow God and seeking God’s Kingdom, then the decisions will look after themselves. If anyone has any advice for me or others, then please share it in the comments below. In the meantime, I have one last question, where’s my magic 8 ball?