Someone may have told you that God has a plan for your life. The idealist in us desires to believe that we can thrive through this world over surviving in God’s plan. The cynic in us questions whether God’s intentions supersedes our own vision for our lives.
For many of us, we live somewhere between the idealism and cynicism of God’s plan. Greatly hoping for God’s best while subtly doubting whether we know better.
Living between those two realities in our lives causes us to meddle. We attempt to negotiate God’s role and our own. By meddling, we begin to create backup plans and acts of insurance to best minimize risk. Not completing surrendering to God’s work in our lives and not completing trying to captain our boat.
I recently read to my daughter the Jesus Storybook Bible on the Israelites in the wilderness receiving the Ten Commandments. Sally Lloyd-Jones says this:
And still, God’s children didn’t trust him or do what he said. They thought they could do a better job of looking after themselves and making themselves happy. But God knew there was no such thing as happiness without him.Sally LLoyd-Jones
The Israelites all throughout the Old Testament, meddled through God’s plan. Paying lip service to God’s obedience, but then going their own way. I find myself having greater grace for the people of the Old Testament, because that’s me also.
You might wonder, how do we meddle in God’s plan for us?
We know that God provides for us, but we still hold back our time, money, and resources calling it good stewardship.
We quietly campaign to others about our rightness in a conflict, rather than pursuing reconciliation with the person we have conflict.
We procrastinate about something God and others have confirmed for us to do by welcoming every distraction.
We worry about the things we cannot control, rather than taking care of the responsibilities that God has put in front of us.
We believe that becoming more like Jesus means “knowing” more as opposed to getting in the gritty work of discipling other people.
I wonder if we will look back at our lives and see how often our minor meddles kept us back from God’s best. I wonder how much sideways energy we create by not remaining faithful to the obvious tasks God has put in front of us. I wonder how much rest we miss because we worked ourselves up on things that really don’t matter.
To all the meddlers like myself out there, I believe God has something better for us. The Gospel reminds us of the Good News of Jesus – we no longer have to meddle to gain God’s approval or make His plan happen. Meddling is the simple reminder of our smallness and God’s sovereignty over all of our lives.
How have you meddled in God’s plan? How have you lived in the tension of idealism and cynicism? What has God placed in front of you today to accomplish rather than meddling?