Faith can be so elusive. And obedience can sometimes involve sacrifice.
Whenever you manage to grasp both, does knowing that “the best is yet to come” make sacrificing what looks to be very good any easier? Maybe a little.
It’s funny how quickly we become attached to things, ideas…people. Objective logic can simply refocus and redirect. All you need is more information and facts and your mind can change in an instant. But what happens when emotions get involved and an attachment has been formed?
True…new information can change how we feel, but what if there is no new information? What if there are no detailed facts or explanations? What if all you have are instructions to either slow down, stop, or go in a totally different direction altogether?
You can tell me to slow down, stop, or retreat in order to avoid a bad situation and I would have no problem with obedience. If I can see the red flags and all the warning signs, it isn’t hard to connect the dots once I’m told “no”. But it’s when all the flags look green, and the signs, instead, look promising that obedience gets hard and faith comes into play. All I have is this message of ‘slow down’ and ‘stop’ without any information. So now I’m left wondering…. “Why now?”.
Now let’s not get it twisted. Past experiences have afforded me the wisdom to choose obedience over what looks good despite what information I had at the time. Pain and failure are two of the best teachers. It’s wierd, though, because those very same experiences also taught me that situations like this are not only good, but rare. It’s like when a woman who learns to wait for a man who’s morally upright and employed, yet when one comes along, she’s advised to ‘slow down’ or ‘stop’. Even if she heeds to that advice, she ought to struggle with it. At the very least, she’d probably wonder if she’ll end up missing out on this rare opportunity. However, once she overcomes any initial emotional distress, she might begin to wonder if this ‘rare opportunity’ is really as good as it seems afterall. She still won’t know the answer though, and she has to accept that she may never find out.
This is pretty much what it’s like being obedient without an explanation. And it involves quite a bit of faith to do it.
Faith in what, exactly? Well, personally, I’m pretty confident that the source of my ‘slow down’ and/or ‘stop’ has much better foresight than I do. I am also confident that the wisdom and discernment of this source is far greater than my own. I also remember the last time that I was told to ‘stop’ and didn’t listen. I learned a profound lesson as a result – several, actually. Needless to say, then, my faith has grown in that ‘source’.
To be honest, I still want to explore where I was told to stop exploring. I still want to unfold what I am apparently not supposed to unfold. I still wonder how long I will be in this holding pattern, and if simple timing is the underlying issue. Or, maybe this is no holding pattern at all, but rather an ‘access denial’ and reroute. The latter possibility would really suck…at least from my finite perspective. So I guess the only option now is to wait… either for a green light to proceed, or another intersection on a different road altogether.
Either way, it’ll turn out okay.