Can You Avoid Assumptions?

It often feels to me like there really are no safe or reasonable assumptions in life. I think my feeling is based on the experience that hurt happens and people die and flowers grow and the supreme court makes people angry.

I don’t want to change my assumptions based upon my experiences. I want to choose my assumptions based upon the values they cause me to embody.

I assume (based upon the suggestion of scripture) that God is a comforter. This causes me to become a comforting influence to others that I’m in relationship with.

According to life experience alone, some people may say that an all-powerful and loving God is nothing more than an assumption. Whether or not this is true, God really isn’t all that bad of an assumption in my opinion.

Pride is the uncritical (and often emotional) choice to indulge in our pet assumptions under the guise of “common sense.” The blind spots in your critical thinking are the areas where pride is most likely to reside.

Pride is the true enemy of community. Beware of the seed of pride.

It’s important to remember also that when it comes to relationships, the non-verbal questions you pose to one person may be answered by another. Sometimes the person that you receive back from is God Himself.

Perhaps the real problem with gratification is not that we’re unable to delay it for good things, but that we’re unbalanced in the things we gratify. The only way to truly gain mastery over an emotion is to delay indulging in it.

To delay indulging in an emotion, you must speak kindly to yourself. You then become able to “try on” a different emotion or attitude that might help you better than the one you’re tempted by.

One of the biggest things that comes to mind in closing is that God often shows up in the places we least expect. I find that fear and sadness don’t really seem like great options after all.IMG_0087


Ok, as I begin this post, I frankly have no idea where it’s going to end up. Sooooo, here goes.

Today began with the word “change” for me. I noticed that in the word “change” is the word “hang” and I realized that so often change feels like your life is hanging in the balance. Right now, my life feels like it’s hanging in the balance. I’m on choir tour with my school, and things started off pretty well, but something today went out of whack. I’m not sure when or how it happened either. I do know this: God kind of warned me that He was going to wreck me. I also know that from the outset of this trip, I was looking forward to talking to all kinds of different people in order to see how God was going to move in different ways. Maybe I’m just short-sighted. It’s day two of four but I feel like I already want it to be over because I am being forced to interact with certain people much sooner than I was anticipating.

In a sense, I guess I’m really complaining about control. I am definitely NOT in control of the situation here. The question is now, “Can I control myself?” If I am going to be completely honest with myself, I knew there was this possibility before tour even started, but I’m not sure I could have done anything to prevent it. Ok, enough complaining. I’m sorry. I do have something more meaningful to share.

I’ve been keeping record of my thoughts lately. Over the last six days, every time I have a thought that is particularly profound in a personal sense (I am blessed to have quite a few), I write it down. I have filled an entire page in six days, and the results are interesting. I am able to read through it and be reminded of lessons that I have learned and perspectives that I desire to maintain. I am also becoming more aware of questions and longings in my heart. Something I have particularly enjoyed though is the ability to stop thinking about ideas that I want to remember. Writing everything down has allowed me to clear my head for my thoughts to continue to flow and lead me to some logical conclusions and some questions that dig even deeper into my original processes.

One of the conclusions I have come to that I believe God lead me to was that if I am in the center of God’s will, I have not missed a single thing that He has planned for my life. If I continually set my face to seek Him, then He will bring me into the best He has for me. Here’s the hard part though: His best is not always what I think should be His best. In the words of a deeply meaningful song: “I want Your best, but what if Your best is brokenness, would I be broken? I want Your best, but what if it’s less than what I ask, and what I’m hoping. What if Your best is here in the waiting—here in the going through the motions?” (What If Your Best by FFH) Ouch God. I just want to cry because I know He is so good, but He is asking me to let go of control—to let go of my death grip on what I want for my life so that He can lead me into something truly needful and enjoyable. I think I forget so easily that if I haven’t developed my relationship with God in this life, then I haven’t done anything eternal. It’s a challenge almost. What if I could aspire to be the most normal, average, unnoticed person? What if I managed to avoid all fame and notoriety in this life completely? What if I pursue the purpose that I believe God has called me to and no one ever cares except God and myself? Can I be okay with that now? Will I reap the benefits of that in eternity? I am in so much emotional turmoil over this right now it’s not even funny. I’m scared and bitter and despairing. I don’t know what to do with this. Here God, I offer this pitiful, pathetic, fearful wreck to You. I fear abandonment. I fear loss. I fear the empty spaces. Yet it is the wide open spaces of the unknown that continually call my name. It is in the unknown that I find freedom to define myself and explore the depths of relationship with God.

Here I am, caught between the best and worst that life has to offer; and the only thing that I can think to do is fall on the floor and weep.

My thoughts over the last six days.