Just a Little Nudge

Back in May I wrote a blog entitled “All In?” in which I detailed how my wife and I were finally willing to tell God that we were all in. We were ready and willing to do whatever he wanted to with our lives. I can look back and say with absolute, one hundred percent certainty, that I meant it… mostly. 

That’s not quite true, actually. I did mean it pretty sincerely, but I don’t know that I actually expected anything to change. If you’re a frequent reader of this blog, you may recognize that I’ve linked that same blog post several times now. The reason for that, is that I keep finding myself in situations in which God is asking me, over and over, “Are you in?” I’ve been all too happy to look around and see nothing out of the ordinary and respond with an enthusiastic, “A-yup!”

The thing is, God is a master of surprise.

Four months to the day of posting the “All In” blog, God has presented my wife and I with an opportunity that could be absolutely life changing. (Once my wife and I have a little more direction regarding the matter, you can bet I’ll talk about in detail.) God, it seems, has called our bluff and I have to wonder how it came to this.

I think the answer is, “Inertia.” Inertia is the material property of things to remain at rest or to remain in motion. For example, a giant rock will sit and do nothing all day… Until you provide it the nudge it needs for it to go careening down the hill demolishing everything in its path. Or, and I’m just pulling this out of the air, say… A chubby blogger decides to start posting no matter what, and then he sees that he can. So he decides he can do anything and begins a six month journey to lose weight via a “biggest loser” contest with some friends mere weeks after choosing to begin seeing a spiritual director.

My spiritual director has grown fond of what he calls, a “Red-Spot” (so named for the red “you are here” spots on a mall directory) prayer. The idea is that you take some time to pray and meditate and ask God four things:

1. Where am I? What is the state of my spiritual life?
2. Where is God? Where does he want to be?
3. How do I go from where I am, to where God is?
4. Is there anything else that needs said?

Today during the prayer, the mental image that came to mind regarding where I am, was on the top of a steep hill. I have my arms wrapped around a tree. I’m safe, but I’m not moving. I need to let go and make my way down. The question, however, is whether it’s going to be a safe, controlled descent, or if it’s going to be a head-over-heels express trip from the top to the ground.

When I asked God where he was, the mental image that immediately came to mind was that shot you see in movies where it looks like someone has just plummeted over the edge of a cliff, but suddenly we see a hand reach out and grab them by the back of their shirt as they stare down into the waiting depths below. “I AM THE HAND.”  Personally, I was hoping he’d be an escalator.

I moved on to the third question, and was similarly disappointed. “WATCH. THEN ACT.” The thing is, watching feels way too passive for me. I want to be doing something. I want to research, I want to figure stuff out, I want to know if this opportunity is a good fit for us or if it’s meant for someone else.

I went back and relayed all of this to my director. I told him it feels like there are a thousand things up in the air, just out of reach. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to try catching all of them or if I’m supposed to duck and cover. He laughed, and asked what I felt like was being asked of me. I told him, “For now? I guess just baby steps…”

And that’s when he said something terrifying. He pointed out that the blog posts, the choice to begin seeing him, the choice to start exercising and eating healthier didn’t sound like baby steps. They sounded like the kind of baby steps you take when you’re walking down a steep hill; the tiny little foot movements that help ensure you don’t lose your balance.

I guess the bottom line here is, sometime during the course of the last year, I’ve begun moving… And it’s starting to look like my inertia has carried me to a series of decisions I couldn’t imagine making even just a few months ago. I don’t know where it’s leading me, I don’t know what it’s going to look like… But I think at this point I might be willing trust that maybe it’s somewhere good?

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3 responses to “Just a Little Nudge

  1. I love that God is teaching us some of the same things across the miles between us. Really pumped for you both after chatting with Leah on Sunday and then reading this! I can’t wait to hear more about what you are learning and practicing through spiritual direction – I have always been super intrigued by the idea and toyed with the idea of finding someone here in NY when I first moved here. Sounds like your SD provided some great insight.

    • Sometimes I think of God as an Arbiter of Knowledge… He’s watching, examining us, and then whispering to us, helping to shape us into whatever he wants us to be… What happens when he starts whispering the same things to different people in completely different parts of the world and enveloped in completely different lives? Suddenly, there are a multitude of people all acting on the same notion that was spoken into their heart. Take away the mildly creepy fundamentalist connotations to the word, and I think that maybe that’s how revivals happen.

  2. Pingback: Wild Abandon « Hunting for God·

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