Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Aborting God

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.  


Makeda said...

Sonny this was really good and really timely for me. I've been tempted to give up on a dream that God has been asking me to hold onto for a long time. I felt like my grip on the dream was giving way as I looked at the imaginary time table I had laid out for the dream, slip away day after day, month after month, year after year. I'm tired of holding on and was feeling like letting go, aborting the dream, was really the only logical response. Thank you for your obedience to write and share these words today. They were honey to my soul and what my heart needed today. Thank you

A Fathful Realist said...

Man I really miss our conversations. This has been something that has been weighing on my heart for the past few weeks. You know what my job consists of and I find that at times the advice that I give my students can be very different from what I apply in my own life. I have been experiencing moments where I need to push through something and must do so at the cost of dying to myself. The cost of putting down some baggage or bad habit. I have noticed that instead of doing so I have continued to carry it instead of giving it to a God that has done more for me than I could ever repay. I am not sure if it because I am comfortable or lazy but my direction needs a reality check and my vision needs a firm focus. Quoting the great Philosopher Will Smith who says the secret to life is "Running and Reading" it is important to study the things that are important and not be afraid to know what you know. It is also important to understand that when your body is about to quit that your heart gain more focus. At the end of the day I think we "abort" God just for the simple fact that we need to remember how much we need Him. Eventually we stop our rebellious teenager behavior and understand that a life separate from God is no life at all. Faith is a journey and can only be called faith if it is tested. Keep your heart focused and understand that perseverence must always finish its work. Thanks Brotha.

brittany said...

so many times aborting God is the easier safer path, and one that I take all too often, but is it the best? No. If it aborting God was the best thing, then it wouldn't be easy. This is something that God's really teaching me about right now. Following God's plan sucks. It hurts. It's hard. I don't want to do it. It can bring tears, sleepless nights, pain, bad memories, fear, and insecurities. But it can also bring healing. and peace. It brings comfort and wisdom. It brings growth. Yes, in the moment it hurts and is hard, but isn't the joy and peace worth it in the end. Isn't the happiness and healing worth it. While it's hard to even see the joy right now, I look forward to the day when I can look at someone else who is where I am right now and I can say, "I know. I was there. Let me tell you how I survived." And then, it will all be worth it. After all, how can I "abort" God when in all my sin and brokenness, he has never left me?