Your grace, please


The pros say you must blog on a schedule. Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Six days a week. Pick a schedule, any schedule, just be predictable.

I know it makes it easier for readers. If you turn up too many times and I haven’t written anything new, you may not bother to come back. If I write more often than you have come to expect, you may be overwhelmed.

For me it’s easier too. I have a strong streak of . . . hmmm. . . shall I use the “nice” term (responsibility) or the possibly truer one (control)? When I commit to something, as much as is in my power, I follow through. And feel ashamed when I can’t.

But here are the big questions. Who calls the shots in my life – God or “the pros”? To whom am I ultimately responsible – God or those who visit my blog? Why do I write? To prove that I have something to contribute, that my existence is worthwhile? To try to encourage you because I love you? Or because God has given me something to share that burns in me until I share it?

The question that underlies them all: Is Jesus Lord of my life in name only, or in reality?

I don’t want to give up medicine only to exchange it for another master. I am called first of all not to writing but to listening. To being God’s alone.

I don’t want to give you words that are not life, words that are not from Him. I won’t always get it right. But I seek to listen and share what I hear of God’s heartbeat.

It doesn’t mean I will wait to write until I have everything figured out. Prior to heaven, I’ll never stop being a work in progress.  And I know that often by grace, God uses us most when we are weak and struggling and confused. I seek to remain available to him even in the midst of the process. I hope to continue to write often.

It does mean that right now I can’t write on a schedule. God seems to be trying to break me of my habit of control. This illness is a good start. I can never predict when I’ll have a week of being able to sleep only a few hours each night, or which days I’ll struggle to function at all. Yes, this illness is a good start in breaking the habit of control. But God seems to be asking me to release control of writing to him as well. Not to insist on writing on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, but to wait for him. Not to demand, but to receive. To listen. To follow.

He reminded me the other day in the midst of my questions. “I want to follow you, Jesus. How can I serve you? How can I give my love to you?” And he turned my question on its head. He didn’t say “whoever follows me must serve me,” but “whoever serves me must follow me.” (John 12:26)  At the center of following him is not activity. It’s availability. It’s not the take-control and do-it-yourself responsibility but minute-by-minute responding to him: respons-ability. It’s about relationship and presence. Listening. Being with him. With him as he prays. Rests. Listens and then speaks (John 12:49-50). Reaches out in love. “Apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

And so I choose to wait for Him, even if it means going against the voice of the pros.

Thanks for your grace and patience as I learn to listen and follow.