So, the way I figure it, that title’s either going to get some people to inhale sharply because they’re shocked or offended I would pair those words together, it’s going to generate some emails to me, or it will just sit out here in Internetland, unread and twiddling its symbolic thumbs.
Either way, this post is going to be about me holding up a mirror to myself while trying not to blink or turn my head away in shame. If you can relate, pull up a chair. I’ll put a pot of coffee on, there’s some beer in the fridge, and a bottle of wine in the cupboard. We can stay and chat for a while.
Let’s get one thing out of the way first and foremost: I am NOT using the term “aborting” with the, sadly, all-too-commonplace connotation that it has today. The use of the phrase “aborting” here comes from the more (for lack of a better term) classical description: Noun: the act of terminating a project or procedure before it is completed; or Verb: terminate before completion; cease development; die.
You could just as easily call this “leaving God,” but let’s be honest: we leave God all the time. We leave Him when we choose to undertake an activity that we know we shouldn’t be involved in. We leave Him when we decide to get all prodigally in our attitude and actions. Leaving God is something that many of us are all-too familiar with doing, sometimes on a regular basis, and with little remorse.
Aborting God? That’s a different action altogether.
Think about the military movies that you may have seen where, after days, weeks, or months of training and preparation, something goes unexpectedly wrong in the mission, and the call is made to abort. Nine times out of ten, there’s some tense dialogue about how this is the one and only chance to do whatever it is that they’ve set out to do, just before the hero makes the tough choice to either pull out (complete with dramatic music playing in the background) or s/he decides to just blaze on ahead, regardless of the orders or advice they’ve been given to let it go.
I was thinking about this in my own life after I made a comment to a friend about how the church he is working for was looking for a way to pull out of a long-term commitment they have made, thereby aborting God (based on the description under “noun” listed above) and what He might have in store long-term.
How many times have spent days, weeks, or even months of preparation (usually, but not always, this involves prayer of some sort) for an event or decision, and then…boom. Something happens. Something I didn’t prepare for occurs. Something doesn’t go according to plan. In my marriage. In my job. In praying that I be healed of something. In praying that my dad doesn’t die. In praying that some cup set before me can just be taken from me. The tension rises, the dramatic music cues up in the back of my mind, and I utter a full-strength Jack Bauer “DAMMIT!” before…I abort the mission. I abort the long run.
I abort God, and what He might want to show me about the mission, the life, I am to walk through. I terminate my heart before completion. I cease development.
I die. And not to myself, which – spoiler alert – is what we are called to do. I die in my arrogance, I die in my willingness to be flexible.
I die in my ability to be the brave hero, wiling to keep on keeping on, when all the world around me says to abort the mission. I die in my ability to see and have faith in the unseen, and to trust.
I need to be stronger, no matter the cost, no matter the “inconvenience” to me, to have the faith see whatever I am called to do to full term.
The situation itself may be beyond my control, but mow much I am willing to allow my faith in God to dictate my actions is God is well within my ability to control.
In the interest of at least trying to see IF anyone reads this stinking blog of mine (and I know you do, you silent little stalkers you), feel free to (a) leave a comment below, or (b) send me an email. Maybe what you have to say is similar to a struggle that some other anonymous reader might be going through.
And you can learn that you are not alone.