Thursday, January 31, 2008

God Constantly Waiting

“Knock and the door will be opened for you” (Matthew 7:7)
Several months ago I went through clearness for a call to ministry through writing. I had felt strongly for several months before this that the writing I was doing on different subjects within Quakerism was Spirit led. However after going through clearness I stopped writing. I could and did sit in front of my computer while no words came. Part of my mind was concerned by this, but other parts brushed it aside, I was and still am looking for an Elder to help me with discernment about my writing. I was also overwhelmingly busy with school and work and so it was easy for me just to let my writing or lack of it slide to the back of my life. However last weekend I attended the FGC traveling ministries consultation in Pittsburg PA. While in meeting for worship on Friday night I received a strong sensation of a voice speaking to me. It said, “I have given you words but know it is time for you to listen.” Almost immediately afterwards a Friend rose and spoke of the things in our life we use as excuses for not following through with what God is leading us to do. Then another Friend spoke saying that we as gospel ministers need to not be afraid of taking risks and being wrong, trusting that our community will catch us when we fell. Later that weekend another Friend spoke of how it can feel as if God gives you a feeling that there is something She wants you to do then leaves you waiting for directions and how frustrating that can be. As she spoke I through that yes, this reminded me a lot of what had happened to me about my writing, as I thought this I had the physical sensation of turning around and there was a door held open.
I realized that God had not abandoned me and my writing, but I had been so set on expecting it to proceed in a certain way I had been blinded to God’s actual plan. I had been looking for the Spirit in all the wrong places. I have come to believe that God never simply leaves us just hanging as it were. Instead God is always there waiting just not always in the places we expect. Often we become so set in an idea that we will find God by doing this or in this place that we actually stop listening to all the hints and messages God is sending us. I know in my life sometimes it takes a while of fumbling around and missed opportunities on my part before I finial in my human imperfection realizing what it is I am being asked to do. It is also so easy for us to procrastinate to let other things eat up our time and take away our energy. What I always try to remember though is that God is always there, holding the door open patiently waiting for us to turn around.

8 comments:

Flaneuse said...

Hello! I can't remember how I found your blog a few weeks ago, but I'm happy to see that you are still keeping it. I'm out here reading/listening, and your post had a lot of resonance for me.

Best,
~Flaneuse in DC

Liz Opp said...

Anna,

Much of what you say resonates with my own experience, about the need to remind myself that God is still with me, even when I don't feeeeel God... and I have to get out of my own way... stop thinking that I think I understand just how God wants me to be and where God wants me to go and how God wants me to get there.

It's a sort of self-discipline, to instead hang out in the "Okay, I know I'm feeling led about something, and I even have a sense of what that something is, but I don't know what or how or where, so I'll just hang out here and Pay Attention until I'm clearer about the details..."

Does that make sense?

Blessings,
Liz Opp, The Good Raised Up

P.S. Maybe some sections of Brian Drayton's book will help... which reminds me:

I don't think I ever was able to introduce myself to you at the Pittsburgh consultation, did I? That was a WEIRD weekend for me... And I'm sorry: I felt bad when I realized we hadn't met up as we had hoped.

Laurie Kruczek said...

I really understand what you are saying. I also felt a leading from the Spirit to write, and I did quite faithfully, on my blog whenever possible. By the time summer came, I was so busy (and also frustrated by some discussions online) that I closed up my blog for a few months. I really thought I was just going to shut the thing down, as I felt that I wasn't enough of a Quaker "authority" to write topics of interest for the Quaker online community.

Well, as you can see, I came back. God was there all along, and sensing I needed a break, allowed me that, surely. But when I felt His calling again, I returned to start anew. I suppose I was trying to get God's leading onto my schedule, but really, I was moving onto His.

Good luck in your writing endeavors. I enjoy what you are doing here.

Laurie

Liz Opp said...

Hi, Anna--

It occurred to me today (Tuesday, after Midwinter) that you were the Friend who asked about possibly having a greet-and-meet at FLGBTQC. I blew it, completely.

I had a lot on my mind that distracted me, plus committee meetings I wasn't counting on. ...I feel embarrassed at having missed the opportunity to say hello to you--you and I had also attended the November consultation for FGC's Traveling Ministries Program... I think we rode the van together from the airport to the site.

Anyway, if you wish to be in touch away from the blogosphere, you can email me at lizopp AT gmail DOT com.

Blessings,
Liz Opp, The Good Raised Up

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