How often do you ask "How are you?" and expect to receive a genuine response? Think about it.
Some European friends pointed out this American cultural norm to me awhile back, and I became aware of its absurdity. I use “How are you?” or a similar variation as a greeting, but without any expectation for initiating a real conversation. In fact, I often ask the question in passing, and am long gone before the person would even have had the opportunity to respond. I realize that every country and culture has its little quirks and uses language differently. But it’s made me reflect about how this idea translates to my relationship with God and other people.
I think that often this is also the way that I approach my relationship with God. I listen to Him when it’s what I want to hear. But when it comes to conviction, when it comes to changing the *great* plans that I’ve made for my life, when it comes to sacrifice or pain, I don’t want to hear it.
The thing is, my view of God is so obscured in those moments. Because God is not just like some random person who has a different opinion than I do. He is my perfect, unconditionally loving, gracious Father, who wants only the very best for me as His daughter.
Submitting to His will for my life is not settling for a mediocre reality, but rather embracing the richer path that He has set before me with complete sovereignty and love. In the same way that a parent restrains a child from running across a busy street alone, my Heavenly Father guides me with His divine foresight of what’s to come.
I think that in our relationships both with God and with people from other places/cultures/ideologies, we could all benefit from taking time to really listen, and not only when it's what we want to hear. Perhaps the true “loss” is not giving up on our own plans and ideas, but rather missing out on the opportunity for something even greater.
I love Jesus and what He has to teach me while I wander around the planet. My other favorite things include: foreign languages, yoga, hiking,
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