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Adventures in Paradox

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." ~ Jeremiah 29:11

If you focus daily for a year on the discipline and actions needed to succeed, you will live the rest of your life in a way others only dream of. ~ John Assaraf

I recently found myself looking at two of my favorite quotes - the verse from Jeremiah and the quote from John Assaraf. Deep in my soul I felt both to be true and yet they seem to convey two different ways of approaching life. I've heard there is no truth without paradox. I believe and doubt this statement simultaneously, thereby seemingly affirming its truth.

God always has my best in mind. His love for me is not diminished or increased in any way by my actions. His heart is always turned toward me in love. He has never brought me harm and has no plans to bring me harm. All his plans are for my good and His glory. In Him I have hope and a wonderful future.

Since this is true, do I have a role to play in this plan, or do I just sit back and wait for it to happen?

I recently watched the movie, The Shack, and one of the things that stood out to me was the sense of relationship between the characters representing God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The sense of community was beautiful. And yet, even though this community exists through all eternity, God wanted to extend that community to us as well. And He did not create an earth full of robots blindly following His programming, but of people with free wills. This seems to indicate that He wants me to play a role in His plan. He doesn't want me to simply sit passively and wait.

When there is a partnership between me and God, amazing things happen. I saw a Facebook thread where there was a discussion concerning the difference between surrender to God and active engagement and willful participation with God. This conversation came at a time when I was pondering the mysteries of resting in God, of working out my salvation, of faith in God to work as well as the folly of sitting still and doing nothing. So I watched and read with interest as this discussion unfolded.

So, what is the answer? Once again there seems to be a paradox here. Since God created me with a unique set of interests, skills, talents, and dreams He wants me to use them. He created me with a mind and a will and wants me to use those as well. And there is a guidebook (the Bible) for me to consult as for direction as I make decisions and choose routes to take. And He has promised that He will freely give wisdom if I ask for it. Yet there is also a time for me to simply trust Him with what I cannot see, to wait patiently for Him to open doors or change things that I have no control over. Sometimes there is the question of whether He will change me or change the situation. Sometimes what I want is clearly not working and I have to trust that He has a better plan in mind and follow His leading even though I cannot clearly see the path in front of me. In other words, it's teamwork. It's a dance. It's life lived in community with God and my fellow man. It's a Divine adventure orchestrated by God Himself, an adventure He wants you and I to go on with Him. And it is good.

Today has been an adventure of it's own with these awesome, sometimes crazy kids.

Who are these interesting looking friends?

There's nothing like relaxing with a good book

I finished one of these plarn mats today. Plarn is made from strips of plastic bags and then crocheted to make mats. It's something I enjoy doing while sitting with the kids at nap time or while watching tv.

The three "upstairs kitties" hanging out 😊

And since paradox is on my mind today I thought this was an interesting conversation.

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