on choosing your own adventure

'forkinroad' photo (c) 2011, Koji Minamoto - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/Remember reading Choose Your Own Adventure storybooks when you were a kid? I loved those books. But I cheated.

I'd read ahead and skim the different options to see how they all panned out. And then pick the best one. I wanted the most ideal outcome to every situation — the best story possible.

In some ways, I've tried doing the same exact thing with my life.

When faced with choices, I wish I could peek ahead and see how all the options will turn out. (I'm not talking about moral issues, but things like where I live and what job I take.) I want to make sure I pick the one that is God's perfect will for me. I want to stay in line with exactly what He wants me to do.

But that way of thinking paints a picture of God having one ultimate plan for my life, which includes specific choices in even the smallest of decisions. And while that may sound holy, it leaves me feeling a bit like a puppet. As though if I get one thing wrong in my attempts to navigate His will, the rest of my life is basically a wash.

I'm not sure that's how it works. Maybe God doesn't hold my future in the balance based on where I choose to live. Or what career I step into.

In the midst of navigating the greatest transitions of my life, there is freedom in realizing God isn't controlling me. My prayers don't need to be, "Tell me what to do, God, and I'll do it." I can operate in the gifts, abilities, and common senses He's given me. Maybe He just wants me to discover and embrace who I am and what I would enjoy.

That doesn't mean my decisions are devoid of God. Quite the contrary. It requires an enormous sense of trust in Him as my Shepherd and guide. "Christ in me, the hope of glory..."

So maybe He really is letting me "choose my own adventure", guiding me with the desires, dreams, vision, and wisdom He's placed inside me. And maybe I don't need to strive so hard to peek ahead and confirm the outcome in advance, because no matter what, I remain in His hands.

I am still trying to nail down specific thoughts on all this... I'm in no way implying that we shouldn't pray or seek God's specific guidance. I'm not saying we can do whatever we want because His grace will carry us regardless of our willful choices to sin or disobey or go our own way.

I'm just saying I think there may be more lateral freedom in "God's will for my life" than I've ever before grasped.

What's your take on all this? I'd truly love to hear your thoughts.

Originally posted at Deeper Story. Read the comments there >