I finished Eugene Peterson’s classic book, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, and found again this theme of God’s enduring call, our struggle to follow in a fallen world and the deep blessings that come from our faithful response to that call.
I am reminded again that blessing is no guarantee of a way of ease, and in fact is an invitation to struggle because responding to God’s will means that I will be forced to give up my way, my comfort and my preferences. Yet at the same time is this remarkable experience of finding ourselves in the will of God and finding therefore the blessing of God.
As Peterson notes, this is a way that is much discouraged by the world where getting your way, finding your preferences, and being in control of self is the mantra of the world. Whether it is in the pursuit of personal happiness or finding personal fulfillment.
As we left Keat’s Island last week I was struck by the transit nature of life. After 5 days with 7 other men, we moved on to our lives where we have the opportunity to grow again in our commitment to being given over to this long obedience in the same direction, where downward mobility calls us to grow less and serving more. Where the objective is to be in line with God’s way at the expense of our way. Part of reconciling this is to set aside the things behind us, other than taking the lesson of God’s faithfulness forward and looking forward.
In looking forward it must be with eyes to see the things of God and count on Him to be our guide and to set the agenda and values of our living.
“…thy will be done as it is in heaven….”