Never expected one little donkey to so profoundly change my thinking, but it has.
Matt and I are in the middle of deciding some stuff. You know –stuff. And I find myself disgruntled. Somehow I entered this new year with the conception that it would be mostly easy and nice. (Where did that idea come from?) No stress. A year full of smiling emojis.
But no. Decisions have come before us like the hats the Berenstein Bear tried on –big decisions, tiny decisions, fuzzy decisions, pointy decisions, striped decisions.
James encourages the believers, in James 1:2, to rejoice in various trials, and I’m thinking that making decisions falls into the “trials” category. The process can be confusing and stressful.
Here’s where the donkey comes in. A few months ago I was reading in Mark chapter 11, when Jesus sends two of his disciples into the village to bring him a donkey. He tells them where to find the donkey, what to do, and what to say if anyone questions them. They go, and the events happen exactly as Jesus said they would.
I had always thought Jesus simply knew what was going to happen in the future, but then I realized he knew because he was there.
In the future.
He was already there. He was the one who had gone ahead. He was the one who had placed the donkey. He was the one who influenced the people who spoke to the disciples.
Jesus is I Am –the self-existing one who has no beginning and no end. He is already existing and working in the future.
In approaching these decisions in my life, I remember that story about the donkey. My immediate second thought is that I Am Not.
In the future.
I do not exist in my own future the way Jesus does, and I know nothing. Nada, if you want to say it in Spanish. I don’t even know what’s going to happen tomorrow, let alone five or seven or nine months from now.
There is only one person in the room who is already in my future, and it is not me.
My soul rages against my own ignorance and limitation. I want to make decisions knowing exactly how things are going to play out. I want to be the one who has the control.
But James says trials come so we can be mature and complete, and the trial of deciding something means complete dependence on the LORD. The only action for me is to be a super good listener in prayer. Listening, listening, listening to the voice of the Lord telling me where to put my foot down next.
David teaches me how to pray:
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. (Psalm 143:8 NIV)
I know have your own decisions in front of you, too. Within them lie opportunities for the completion of your soul.
I pray for you and me -that we consider it pure joy to face the trials of making decisions. May we smile with the understanding that God is already at work ahead of us. May we grow in maturity, as we bend our knees in a show of complete dependence on him.