A long time ago I came up with a theory. I was trying to reconcile a God who knows all things with free will. God is outside of time, has read the final chapter so to speak, knows the result. But that's a hard thing to wrap your head around.
My solution was to think of life as a map. So many different roads, different ways to get to the same place, different points of intersection for the same issue, people, events. Each choice we make is a road we go down, and we can only see to the next turn. God holds the map, directs us to our destination, no matter how many wrong turns we take.
Ben and I have started going to a great church, the pool. We've only been a few times, but we feel good there. It's a church plant, there are other young families, we feel God there. And it meets at 2pm. It's great.
One of the things we reflected on last Sunday was the idea of living a life that is appropriate to our calling, and in that understanding and accapting that we are, in fact, called.
Regardless of how many wrong turns, how many mistakes, how many bad choices, thoughts, actions we have behind (and ahead of) us, we are called.
And my paradigm shifted.
See there are things in my life I have done wrong. Things I'm not proud of. Things I'm ashamed of. Things I feel make me unworthy of my calling.
I had it backwards.
Shame has no place within the church. For years it has been used as a tool of spiritual abuse to keep people in line. For years it covered me, leaving me always questioning, always insecure, always hiding. Because I had it backwards.
We talk about God taking us where we are, but not about God knowing where we could go. It was the mistakes, the sins that became part of my life after my calling that tried to strangle my spiritual life.
I didn't realize God knew those too. And called me anyway.
So now it's not about hiding how unworthy I am, but trusting that somehow God is bigger than I am and sees my worth anyway, and every day living as tho I already am worthy.
He sees where I've been, where I am, where I am going. The choices I will face, the times I will fail and the times I will rise. And still he leads me.