“A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away.”
Ecclesiastes 3:6 NLT
Once a Christian, my life collided with the Christian expectations I encountered and my own preferred, and habitual, lifestyle choices. Take alcohol, for instance. I enjoyed a few drinks with my friends, and being told drinking to excess was “unchristian” made no impression upon my behaviour. Yet, when my search after God confronted me with my drinking, I wrestled to discover what God wanted for me, and reduced my drinking.
Of course, after a while I’d discovered a lot about God and in reality knew the basics of what God required of me. This was a time when searching was often an excuse to avoid all that God was saying to me. I knew what was required, yet instead of working through how to be obedient, I distracted myself with another search. Knowing what to do and not doing it is, in fact, sin (James 4:17). For years I knew God wanted me to trust more overtly, yet I resisted.
Most recently, I have finally given away the last tranche of books I retained, God having told me countless times to move them on. I have in phases, yet some I retained for a possible return to academia that God has told me is not for me, and partly in the hope they were valuable volumes. All I retain now are those books that speak to the contemplative life, writings, reflections and something of the history. These I use regularly. I am also very reluctant to purchase books, since I am sure I’ve enough for the rest of my life. I’m still uncertain about shifting some more, as books for so long formed part of my security blanket. God says trust God.
Are you searching for God, or God’s direction for the next phase of your spiritual life?
Lord, help me be obedient to what you are telling me to do.
Photo – County Fermanagh