I think we are spending a lot of time asking God to tell us what to do when the whole time He’s asking us what we’d like to do instead. I think He’s asking us what’s in our hearts, what makes us come alive, what ignites our passion and saves many lives.
Donald Miller, Storyline
If my life is supposed to matter, if my time here on earth is supposed to amount to something (I’d argue that it is)… then what exactly is my role in all of that and what results are only attributable to God? I know I’m accountable for using the resources God’s made available to me in life, but aren’t there supposed to be some kind of instructions included when I dump out the box? What exactly does He want me to build with all of this stuff? What if there are pieces leftover?
My kids sometimes play with Leggos – you know the plastic blocks that cripple you in the darkness of night when you step on them. I’ve noticed something, though. Occasionally, they’d get a kit that’s specially designed for building a particular character or ship or building of some sort. These kits are expensive, which is why ‘occasionally’ means only when someone else gives it to them as a gift. Every piece is specialized, every sticker with it’s own place to go, and a sheet of instructions to make sure everything gets to the right place. They never come back to those kits. We have a little Leggo graveyard for all the flags and swords and axles and windshields that don’t fit with anything but their kit.
They do, however, spend hours connecting and rearranging the plain square and rectangle blocks. We bought a truckload of them on ebay a few years ago. No instructions. No blueprints. Just a bunch of blocks. They make all kinds of things! One of their favorites was to make these 8-bit looking replicas of Mario & Luigi and make stop motion videos with them. They’ve gotten the most enjoyment out of the freedom to play like that, and I love it. I love seeing them create something that was only imaginary moments earlier.
I wonder when we stop engaging our imaginations and just start asking which piece goes where? What is it that paralyzes us in life to the point where we just keep going through the routine because that’s what someone told us the instructions said? I wonder if that’s really the way God wants us to live our lives, fearing that we’ll miss an assignment or something? I wonder if we’re really honoring God while we wait around for the writing on the wall to tell us what to do? Are we saving lives, or are we living scared? Afraid we’ll miss out on His plan…
But look at this:
His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. And this gave Him great pleasure.
Paul, in his letter to the early church in Ephesus
What gives Him pleasure is bringing us into His family! What kind of Father do we think God is? Back up from that question a moment… What kind of art would my kids create if I only let them paint by numbers? Will I be more proud of them or take greater pleasure in the lives they live if they never make any messes and only build what the box says to build? No. I love it when they think for themselves and come up with something new… or at least something they think is new. I love to watch them figure stuff out… to sort through the Leggos life has given them and make something!
And I think God likes that, too. I think, when I was adopted into His family, He reminded me of all the stuff He’d put in me. Then He added to that the power and presence of His own Holy Spirit and cleared out all the stuff I shouldn’t have picked up along the way that was cluttering the place up. I wish I could say that I immediately started to make something that mattered and never looked back. But too often, I’ve dug around looking for clearer instructions to lean on, or to blame when things didn’t work out quite right.
Maybe you’ve been digging, too. Maybe it’s time to stop asking for the blueprint and live like His kids. Let God play around in your imagination and bring Him pleasure by coming alive! What do you want to do to ‘save many lives’ and bring God pleasure?
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.
Paul, in the same letter to the Ephesian church
So He did plan something! More on that later…