In my readings over the past few days I have come across this word a number of times, ‘don’t’. You see, we live in a society that is all about doing. The mantra is, ‘if you want something go out and get it’.
Me, I have been feeling worn out, discouraged and headachy for the past three days. The wisdom of our culture says to me, ‘push through’, ‘soldier on’. When actually God’s word to me at the moment is saying something quite different:
Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
he’s the one who will keep you on track.
Don’t assume that you know it all.
The focus here is on what I am called not to do. Don’t try to figure things out on your own, don’t assume.
In fact the two things I am asked to do in this passage seem remarkably passive to me. Trust and listen.
Really that’s it?! How about something a bit more, I don’t know, active?
Or what about this from my reading from yesterday:
“Forget about what’s happened;
don’t keep going over old history.
Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new.
It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?
There it is! I’m making a road through the desert,
rivers in the badlands.
Don’t keep going over old history. There it is again. Commands not to do something.
And what am I asked to do? Be alert, be present. Goodness that’s a bit more mundane than I expected. No real bullet points I can tick off my to-do list there.
You see what is being asked of me is ever so hard.
Because I want to be active, doing something, constructively getting myself out of the state I am in.
Yet what I am asked to do is listen, see, rest, stop trying to do, and let God.
I’m guessing I’m not the only one who struggles with this,
PS – Passages from MSG version, Proverbs 3:5-6 and Isaiah 43:19