I’m a pretty intelligent person. If I had to describe myself as either being intelligent or not, I would definitely go for the former. I mean, who actualy wants to be stupid? Maybe some people do. But generally speaking, I don’t think idiocy is something most people aspire to (although, if you watch people drive in Wichita, you might think it is).
I’ve had a broad education too, ranging from city life to country life and somewhere in between. From classical music to the Beatles and traditional hymns to head-banging screamers. I read books by Jane Austen and Stephen King. I like Twilight, and I like John Grisham.
I had a writing teacher, who I really didn’t like, once tell our class that to be a good writer you have to know a little about a lot of different things. And if you don’t know something, you need to research it until you do know about it. I didn’t like the teacher, but I definitely agreed with that little tidbit. So I’ve tried to learn as much as I can about as much as I can.
So sometimes, when I lose focus, it’s super easy for me to start thinking about everything I know and everything I’ve experienced and it’s even easier to start thinking I understand how God is working. That I understand what His plan is. That I know exactly where He’s taking me and what He’s got in store for me.
And that’s often the time when He surprises me.
The verse this morning (I know it’s a Sunday, but I felt an inordinate desire to do a post today) is Ecclesiasties 11:5.
5 Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind or the mystery of a tiny baby growing in its mother’s womb,[a] so you cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things.
I know some people will say that we do understand those things now, but for every one thing we understand there are five others that we don’t. And when Solomon wrote this, the wind was a mystery and so was pregnancy. But even Solomon, the wisest and most intelligent man to ever live, realized that there were some things that only God knew.
Do we really think we can understand God? Do we really think we can get into His mind and see what He’s planning and see the big picture He’s painting? I think we actually do. I think we have this idea that we can understand exactly what God wants us to do — or if we don’t know exactly, we think we have a pretty good idea. So when our whole world turns upside down and nothing happens the way we expect it to, we get angry at God. And we demand to know how He could do something so terrible to us when He’s supposed to have good plans for us.
God is doing the best He can with the world we broke. And the plans He has are good but nothing good in this world comes without a price. When it comes to salvation, thankfully, Jesus already paid that price. But when it comes to happiness on earth? Or a comfortable life on earth? Or tons of money or world-renown fame or popularity or success or whatever it is down here that we think God owes us?
I don’t know if any price we can pay will give us any of those things. We might be able to obtain some of them temporarily but achieving something that way won’t last. And I don’t think any of those things are something that God is going to give us while we live down here. At least, not in the form we want them.
It’s very strange that when we start being content with what God has already given us, however, that all those things seem to come along. When you’re content with your life and your possessions and your family, you’ll find that you feel happy. And when you let go of the things you’re clinging too and want the things God wants you to have, you’ll be amazed at how quickly success and achievement follows.
So I try to remember that when my life goes haywire and starts heading in a direction that I wasn’t planning on going that maybe God is just revealing the next step of His plan for me. I could get upset and be angry at Him, but why? What good does that do? It just makes me an angry person and distances me from Him. And I don’t want distance between me and God. I need Him.
So the next time my life goes nuts (it hasn’t happened in a while, so I’m sure it’s coming) — and the next time your life goes nuts (because I guarantee that it will) — remember Ecclesiasties 11:5. God does all things, and we can’t understand why. We just have to trust Him.