Times like this, when instead of giving us a "put tab a into slot b, now stand back and watch it happen" sort of direction, God gives us stillness - don't really sit well with me. Yet I have learned over the years that some of the best things God has ever done came at the end of one of these "sessions."
As I've been working on a series on "Big Questions" to begin next week, I've tripped several times over a question that Jesus asked in the Scriptures. "What do you want Me to do for you?"
I chose "tripped" there to indicate that I'm a little uneasy about what I would answer. There's a tendency to want to wrap your own ambition up with a God honoring request. Here's a quote that might help you understand what I mean.
Something has happened in the past thirty or so years that has shifted our pastoral ethic from one of faithfulness to one of productivity and success. I believe this has stirred the fires of ambition. Given the nature of our American culture, this doesn't surprise me. It also doesn't surprise me that the battle with ambition will be a ferocious one, for the tendency toward self-absorption plagues every one of us.For more than twenty years I have attended church conferences. I have observed as we sized each other up to see how quickly we could find out who had the highest attendance, the largest staff, the biggest budget, the most property. The secret that hardly anyone talks about is that most of us want to win the "largest church game." Or at least make a good showing. I am convinced from first hand experience, as well as from paying close attention to the darkness of my own heart, that if all-of-the-sudden thought bubbles appeared over all our heads, we would all fall to the ground in repentance.