July 25, 2011
It wasnt a bad day in the sense that EVERYTHING went wrong. In fact there was really only one mishap last Tuesday, but it was a big one. Big enough to change and ruin my mood.
And so I lost it!
The meltdown took place while driving home from an unsuccessful event. Stuck at a traffic light my fist started pounding the steering wheel, my face was red with anger, my voice screaming at the top of my lungs.
Oh, Id tell you what I said but theyd never repost it here not on a religious site. All you need to know is that in that moment, My One Word was made up of only four letters, and it was directed at God. I was cursing Him literally cussing God out!
It must have been loud. I think the woman in the next lane heard me. The windows were up, the radio and air were blasting, but she knew what I was saying. She had to! She gave me one of those looks. You know the type. Your eyes meet and then the other person nervously glances up, scrambling over the sky in search of that pending lighting bolt.
This month weve been asked to talk about surrender intervals shorting that period of time between those occasions when we turn everything, including our behavior and actions (our word) over to God. Truth is I really didnt understand the concept until now.
Looking back it wasnt so much a case of something going wrong, as much as it was that things didnt go exactly the way I had hoped.
Just a few hours earlier it really felt like God was in action. He was opening doors, providing opportunity, making promises and coming through. Only in the end- He didnt come through not in the way He should have- at least not in my way.
Why? Whats the reason? Did I get it wrong? Was my discernment off? Was it a physiological thing where I just created all these signs, all these coincidences in my head? Or was the other possibility true? Even though its not Biblically sound a big part of me was wondering if God had purposely deceived me. If He gave me false hope only to pull the rug out from underneath.
Weve all been there. But we never talk about it. To do so would play up our doubt, to ruin our image as the perfect Christian to make us appear weak and fragile.
My friend John is the exception. For the last several years hes felt as if God was making a promise. If only he could keep the faith and stay the course then God would come through at a predetermined hour and place. The problem is that time has come and gone yet my friends circumstances havent changed.
Yeah, I was mad at Him, John told me on the phone shortly after my blow up. In a way I still am. I dont think He lied to me that goes against what I know of his character. But it does feel like he allowed my mind to go down a certain path even though He knew what I was hoping for wasnt meant to be.
Character was an interesting choice of words.
Surrender intervals work to help us mold and change who we are to transform us into His image. First on a weekly basis, then every few days- and finally moment to moment. Other people have already written about the process. But what my friend knows is that Surrender Intervals are most important not in those times when we fall short when it feels like we let God down, but rather when it feels like He let us down.
What happened brought me to another point of choosing. Was I going to change course, or continue moving forward with Him. And then my friend quoted scripture although I am not entirely sure he meant to do so Where else would we go?
Perhaps it is in getting it wrong that faith reaches the ultimate interval. It no longer is about the future, whats down the road and where we hope He leads us. Instead it becomes about just the next day ahead.
And so when the face returns to its normal color, when the voice has lost out to the screaming and the fist have gone sore- you decide to move forward one day at a time.
Thats what my friend did a few months ago- and its what I am attempting to do now.
Maybe today God will reveal what all this was about. Maybe by the evening it will all make sense and be clear. And if not – then maybe Ill give Him tomorrow, too.
Doug Wahl is an award winning broadcast journalist and the author of the book Gradually to God. You can find out more about Doug at http://www.dougwahl.com/