Remember those Choose Your Own Adventure books maybe you read as a kid ?
In each story, you, the reader, get to make choices that determine the main character’s actions in response to the plot and its outcome.
We like Choose Your Own Adventures because we have control, right?
But real-life God capers aren’t necessarily like that.
ADVENTUROUSLY EXPECTANT is my One Word for this year.
This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” Romans 8:15
Recently I received an invitation to participate in a trip and project with World Vision. It was totally unexpected. I was grateful for the invitation, but I wasn’t sure I was the right person for the project, and it is at a very inconvenient time when I’ll have to miss out on some meaningful events at home.
This isn’t just about me. Our two daughters recently had new job opportunities to consider. A young friend of mine is trying to discern where to go to college, and another started her own business.
When an invitation comes or a new opportunity presents itself (think new job, new project, new challenge), consider these steps:
- Ask friends to pray and give feedback.
- Ask questions:
- What are the expectations of me before, during and after? (Every time we say “yes” to something, it means saying “no” to other things)
- Are my gifts in line with this opportunity? Will I potentially add value by saying yes?
- Is this opportunity or move likely to draw me closer to Jesus, or distract me from following Him?
3. Pay attention to the promptings of the Holy Spirit (not your ego).
This recent invitation made me think of the story in the Bible of Paul and the man from Macedonia. Take a look, and try not to get bogged down in all the weird names.
6-8 They went to Phrygia, and then on through the region of Galatia. Their plan was to turn west into Asia province, but the Holy Spirit blocked that route. So they went to Mysia and tried to go north to Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus wouldn’t let them go there either. Proceeding on through Mysia, they went down to the seaport Troas.
9-10 That night Paul had a dream: A Macedonian stood on the far shore and called across the sea, “Come over to Macedonia and help us!” The dream gave Paul his map. We went to work at once getting things ready to cross over to Macedonia.
It’s not wrong to make plans as long as we’re paying attention to the ways the Holy Spirit may want to tweak, refine, or change them.
Like I wrote at the beginning of the year, I’m trying to learn more about my “One Word”, so I read this and I reflect…What can I learn about God and myself?
- God’s adventures are
sometimesoften inconvenient. I like convenience.
- God’s adventures require open hands. I like control.
- God’s adventures need us to pay attention. I am spiritually ADHD.
Sometimes the adventure lies in saying “no”, sometimes in saying “yes”. After prayer and counsel, I said “yes” to this opportunity. What about you? Where are you in the process of being adventurously expectant?