Wrestling with God and the future

God and I have been arguing lately.  I have been uneasy for about 6 months… a bit off kilter. I seem to have been telling myself that what I want is obviously what God’s desire is. But it has not been coming to fruition. A couple of job possibilities evaporated – there is great change in what has been. I am no longer a “rector” – no longer in charge, no longer have an internal sense of authority or influence. There are new people, new technologies, new understandings. There are other changes on the horizon and I find I have been fighting them.Wrestling with God

I awoke in the middle of the night the other night and strangely recalled a quote from an interview I heard long ago, “We are always fighting the last war…”  I have thought a great deal about this disembodied quote and realize that this is exactly what I have been doing. I have been trying to recreate an upgraded past rather than move into the future. But I am not alone. Most of us seem more comfortable trying to recreate in the future a better version of the past than we are in living into a new life in the future.  We know the past; we are familiar with it and its circumstance while the future is uncertain, unknown. And often it is unimaginable as we are not sure what to imagine.

Christianity is about new life – not the old life recycled and dressed up in prettier clothes. God calls us into the future and we can choose whether or not we will walk with God into that unknown future, or turn back to try to stubbornly recreate the past on our terms.

I know it is time for me to repent – literally meaning to turn to God – to place my trust in this unknown future and allow God to lead me. So easy to say, yet so hard to do.


About don

The Rev Don Hill is an Episcopal priest, rail fan and writer. He and his wife the Rev. Dr. Nancy Woodworth-Hill are currently Co-Pastors of St Paul's Episcopal Church, Jeffersonville IN, in the Diocese of Indianapolis. They also work as parish consultants in Appreciative Inquiry, strategic planning and spirituality development for parishes and vestries.
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