Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Getting Ahead

I wandered as a little girl, not in deliberate disobedience, not belligerently, not out of defiance, but mostly from focusing on other things. Two occasions stand solidly in my memory. One was shopping with my mom in a department store. I was fascinated by the escalator, watching people coming and going, appearing and disappearing into another dimension. I watched for a while, I moved closer, I felt the handrail move under my hand, I held out my foot to feel the step magically emerge from the floor, and suddenly, I was moving very rapidly up to the next floor, my mother disppearing far too quickly. I tried my best to run backwards down the moving staircase, but the faster I went, I did not get any closer to the bottom. Finally, a woman took my hand, led me to the top and then back again down to where I had started. (I am not sure that my mom was even aware of what happened!)

On another occasion, my family was in New York City to see the Easter parade. We parked the car and then walked over to Fifth Avenue to find a viewing spot. As we walked, I noticed the window displays, decorated for the holiday (ok, I know that really ages me). Mechanical rabbits were dancing around a meadow, carefully crafted in the department store window. When I turned around, my family was gone. I didn't know where I was, but I did remember how to backtrack to the car where I waited for them to frantically return.

On both occasions, I moved ahead of those who were guiding me and I veered off-track. I had another agenda. And it didn't seem at the time that 1) they were moving fast enough for me, 2) it wouldn't matter if I checked something else out, and 3) I knew where I wanted to go.

I thought about the whole concept of getting ahead this morning when I read the verse in Mark 14.28, when Jesus promised His disciples, "... I will go before you..." And yesterday in Numbers 10.33, "...and the ark of the covenant of the LORD went before them." Are we following God's leading...or are we pulling God behind us? I don't want to get ahead of God. There is too much at stake. And there is too much I don't want to miss. God's design is deeper than we can ever comprehend. And even when we don't understand, there is eternal purpose. One of the side effects of the Fall is claiming to know more than God. "You don't know what You are doing," we mumble under our breath. (Really, do we even THINK that??) I am not the Creator of the Universe. And as I read on a website recently, "We are always looking for a chance to say to God, "I can take it from here." (JM Njoroge, Slice of Infinity, 11/26/2009)

And so I have learned most intently this past year and continue learning not to get ahead of God in my day. Not to lay my day before Him, but to let Him lay His day before me. It amazes me what He does. That does not imply laziness on our part, but readiness to follow Him into it... and not get ahead of Him. Biblical worldview tells us that if God is at the core of who we are, then the reality of who God is will affect, infect, and infiltrate every aspect of our lives. It is not keeping God in our rearview mirror to make sure we don't get too far ahead, (I don't see the headlights anymore!), but keep our eyes on Him.

"We don't know what to do, but our eyes are upon You." 2 Chronicles 20.12

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