I find that my life is a pasticcio of one ‘coincidence’ after another.
What do I mean by this? For some, it seems as if they have everything planned out and have the ability to follow through with those plans. For others, it seems as if they are free-spirits, floating on the wind of what ever may come their way. For me, I so want to be the first, yet experience some strange confluence of the two. For all my best efforts to the contrary I am dragged along, sometimes kicking and screaming, by the inexorable draw of providence. It is a feeling hard to describe, but one that I am sure everyone with eyes to see inherently knows.
Like I wrote in the previous post, there is a lie I believe which is ‘I can control my life’. I’m not entirely sure as to why I continually return to this idea. It’s never proved itself right. Even in those times when things go exactly as I planned there is always some wrinkle whispering the truth of the matter. Sometimes I can hear this whisper. Sometimes I’m sitting and listening like Elijah. Most times I’m running like Peter, all good intentions poorly placed. “Peter said to Jesus… He did not know what to say…”
Thank God I’m not in control.
The music playing, mixed from here and there, weaves a story of one who’s path is laid down already. Some might call this fate, I call it providence. Is there a difference? You better believe there is. The one is an impersonal, immovable set of events into which one falls without fail. The other is a dynamic, vibrant relational interaction between persons. Even at the etymological level providence implies personality, which is to say, having foresight or precaution requires the ability to interact with varied and varying situations. Though providence does not prove the Christian god, it does provide a context within which to discuss his interaction with ourselves, others, and the world. Providence could be considered the score with which our God is directing the symphony of creation.
I sometimes wish I could know what instrument I play…
I’d like to think of myself as a timpani or first-chair violin, either laying the tempo or leading the melody. But I get the feeling like my part to play is the fourth bassoon, a vital part but never noticed. I should be ok with that. During the interview process for a job I might possibly have in New Hampshire I was asked “Do you think you could be content in a small town place like…?” It was a question which I had thought about, but when asked point-blank by a member of the search committee it took me aback. I answered yes, which was true enough then as is now, but it made me stand up and stare providence square in the eyes. Who’s design for life will I accept? Will some self-wrote, 3 chord lullaby win out over the possible magnum opus? Will the amateur have contempt for the virtuoso? Is there really an option? The theological concept of ‘irresistible grace’ speaks just as well to every choice one makes as it does to the doctrine of salvation with which it’s usually associated. When given a choice between providential grace and our own mud-slung construction we are, thankfully, often gently prodded along by the Spirit. And by gently prodded I mean, grabbed by the collar and lovingly dragged in the right way.
I wonder what the next movement might sound like… something with a bassoon solo perhaps?