Monday, April 20, 2015

Dining with God

"writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way." - A quote from Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, quoting E.L. Doctorow.

I've always wondered how one would quote an excerpt from a book that involves a quote but until now, I never needed to do it. The above quote took me 10 minutes to write out and I'm still unsure if it is the proper way to quote a quote with a quote (I do not know if there actually is a proper way to do so) but by the tenth minute, I came to the realization of - I don't think it matters how I write it, I'm sure people will get the point.

I've always been afraid of critics when the real oppressor is perfectionism. I spend so much of my time trying to make my writings perfect, my art perfect, anything I do perfect in worry that people won't like it but in reality, I'm thinking more about me than others. In the world of art, there will always be people who like what you create and people who don't. I have freedom in choosing what I prefer so I shouldn't expect everyone else not to have the same freedom.

There will be people who like what you do in life because they like what you do. And there will be people who like what you do in life because they like you. People will like what I create because they like me, support me, care about me, and all that other mushy jazz. If I choose to be a writer, than they will want to see me write and not necessarily write perfection. I'm sure my friends and family would prefer that I actually do something and be "unsuccessful" than be stuck in trying-to-do-something-but-never-completing-anything-because-I'm-trying-to-make-it-perfect limbo and not have the opportunity to be "unsuccessful" or "successful".

I think this is what Anne Lamott was getting at. When it comes to writing, we just have to do. We know we are writing *insert project here* and we may not be able to see what the 500th page will say but focus on the couple of sheets before you. One by one.

Well what if this applies to life too.

I'm always trying to perfect my life. I always feel like I shouldn't do anything unless God "calls" me to do it. God is perfect and I want a perfect life so yes, I would like for God to make my life perfect. I want God to tell me what to do before I do it because I'm afraid of making the "wrong" decision. I know I'm on a journey and at the end of the road is what God wants me to do but I feel like I'm driving at night only seeing a few feet ahead.

What does God want me to do?
What career does God want me to choose?
What church should I go to?
Who should I date?
Where should I live?
What college should I go to?
What degree should I get?
Where should I do ministry?

Questions we all think about and we see them as big decisions and we only want to make a choice if God is behind them all. I'm not sure if people will agree with this but hear me out.

What if God doesn't care?

Not in the "Do whatever you want because I honestly do not care" kind of way but in the "I'm with you no matter what you choose" kind of way. I believe God cares about me as a person, as His adopted son, more than what I do for a paycheck. What if God is saying "I just want to be with you. I just want to get to know you."

Every year for our birthdays, my parents would take my siblings and I to dinner at any restaurant we wanted. I went to Red Lobster almost every year. Every now and then I would change it up. I remember the first year we moved to Albuquerque, I chose Sonic because in California, they didn't have them where I lived. I thought Sonic was the greatest thing ever. Present Josh knows past Josh is a fool but in that moment, it was the best birthday food. My parents were surprised but they didn't mind, they took me there and paid for our meals and enjoyed my birthday dinner. They didn't care where we ate cause that wasn't the point. The point was to make the birthday child special and spend time with them.

I understand that there are callings in life. There are times where we feel, "Yes. This is what God wants me to do." There are also times where we don't hear anything. What if those are the times God is saying, "Hey. I want to go to dinner with you, wherever you want." And the point isn't the restaurant but who you are eating with and who you're spending time with. Maybe you go and pick God up in your 2001 silver Hyundai Elantra and still don't know where you will end up but He's with you. Maybe God isn't so concerned with going to the perfect restaurant to eat the perfect type of food but concerned about who you are as a person. 

In His grip,


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