Saturday, January 28, 2012

pondering plan and purpose

It's no secret I wrestle with sovereignty issues.  I resist easy answers that seem more intended to bolster our faith against questions/doubts than to draw our hearts near to God. I reject the notion that God needs certain things to happen, otherwise the great "plan" can't be fulfilled.  I don't know how to reconcile all this - my best answer is summed up in the Sara Groves song, Mystery.

But what I do believe in - what I cannot deny - is purpose.  I am led along by His Spirit, called to go this way or that, often for reasons that I can't know right now.  I think of Princess Irene in George MacDonald's The Princess and The Goblin.  She was charged to keep her finger on the silver thread, to follow whereever it led, even though others could not see it and would not understand.  She did so, with complete and unwavering confidence.  That's the most beautiful image of what I'm trying to express. I feel that.  I trust it.  Not that "things happen for a purpose", but that my life has a purpose and the Spirit leads me in that.

Yesterday I spent a lot of time listening to these lyrics, from Rich Mullins,

Amidst these ins and these outs
There's a fine line of purpose
I follow even now
Through the haze of despair
That confuses and hurts us
I look to see that You're there
And I run toward Your light
Beyond these reasons and feelings
Beyond the passion and fatigue
I know You're there
And that Your Spirit is leading me

As I loved on the Northwest School of the Arts family (and they loved on me in return),  a phrase kept floating through my mind:  "for such a time as this".   I have a renewed, unwavering confidence that I have been led to this exact place and that my heart has been prepared for this exact moment.  The path from there to here has taken turns that others have not understood or approved of - it's brought some pain and division.  I suppose that's unavoidable.  But I wouldn't trade anything for the clear conscience and powerful peace that are mine.

Where the path leads from here, I don't know ... but I know this:  I'm more determined than ever to keep my finger on the thread.  

'Oh! I do feel it!' exclaimed the princess. 'But I can't see it,' she added, looking close to her outstretched hand.
'No. The thread is too fine for you to see. You can only feel it.'

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