Friday, July 15, 2016
Faith - Staying on the Potter's Wheel
I’m grateful for the constant crucible/classroom that my children provide for me. Sometimes I get to listen while God teaches me, using my own words of wisdom. Sometimes I get to see myself in the children, in sadness, a tantrum or elation. This crucible is like peeling back the layers of an onion, revealing what’s inside. I often feel that ‘renewing my mind’ must start with the ‘changing of my mind’ from one state, to another. My lack of awareness about the current state makes yielding to the movement of God’s Spirit to change me, very hard. But, God is very persistent in his actions to bring awareness and continued transformation.
Autism is a great teacher! J has been learning to communicate using an augmentive communication device. The journey here has not been simple and 12 months ago, I honestly did not believe this was in his future. The externals that I used to determine his readiness for a strategy like this (interest in letters, pre-reading or reading skills, computer or keyboard interests) didn’t seem to be there. I didn’t know the truth, and didn’t know I didn’t know. I had some outcomes that I was measuring to determine progress and the readings were low! And I would repeatedly check these same readings in the same way, re-affirming my own perseverative conclusions.
That’s not so different from my son, who has thought and behavior patterns that he gets stuck on. Touch the door, spin around, drink water, run across the room… wait! Did I spin around?? Let’s repeat… I saw this in a new interesting way, as he got stuck in a sentence he was typing: I think I think I think… And just in case I think this is just an autism thing, the Lord reminds me of the conversation I just had with my younger son, reminding him again of some truth he knows, encouraging courage, not frustration with the processes in life. I wonder if this is how I’m looking to God? Routines that major on the small things? Outcomes I’ve decided to measure constantly? Faith that’s based on some specific harvest that I’ve determined?
Human behavior scientists argue about which psychological characteristics are difficult to change and so could be seen as ‘traits’, persistent throughout life, and which ones are more responsive to environmental changes and are more like ‘states’ representing a moment or period of time. I confess that my outcome based faith is more like a state, sometimes a very short term state. Faith is the substance… but those who come to him must believe that he is and is the rewarder of those who diligently seek him (Hebrews 11:6, my paraphrase). Sounds steady. Long term. Like a trait. Thankfully, it’s also a gift from God. And a capacity that He helps me develop. If I believe.
So today, I’m participating with God to change my mind. I'm deliberately letting go of the measurements I’ve used to check on God’s work in my life. I’m relinquishing the illusion of control. We never know what God is doing. Faith is believing that He is! And that He is the rewarder of those who seek Him. Faith is patience with mystery.
Dear Father, You are the epitome of faithfulness and have persistently cared for us and redirected us as we perseverate around the narrow measures our minds understand and our hearts hold on to. Thank you that you constantly chase us, engage us, show us truth and move us towards further transformation. Today, I let go of all vestiges of control, and I remember, you are the potter, I am the clay. Amen.