Not long ago I had a conversation with a lady who tends to give herself completely when she commits to a person or a thing (e.g., event, organization, etc.). Sound familiar? Well, she was part of an event planning team and called me to vent about some things with the event that were not going according to plan. I let her vent; we all get a turn to do it. The longer I listened, the more potential suggestions and solutions I had to offer. When she was done and took a breath, I asked if I could speak…and I made my first suggestion, and today’s principle: YOU CHOOSE how long you’re going to be frustrated.
The definition of fatalism: a belief that events are fixed in advance and human beings are powerless to change them.
Are you fatalistic about your purpose, or about what frustrates your purpose? YOU CHOOSE. We are all too well acquainted with the things that frustrate purpose: distractions, the past (and the emotions tied to it), the present (and the emotions tied to it), logic, wrong people around, and more. If your approach to frustrated purpose is fatalism, then you will remain in this place of angst, motion but little movement, and without hope. Why? Because you think you are powerless to change things (see the definition above). But you do have the power to change how you respond.
What I want to suggest is that we become a fatalist about our purpose. That is, to BELIEVE that IN ADVANCE God fixed our purpose, and the events associated with our purpose…and, that we are unable to change what He’s called us to do. Is this where you are? This is where I’m headed…to absolute agreement with God’s providence for my life.
I think we can get so fixed on the evil we survive that we wear a sort of badge that those bad things “made us who we are.” It is like a way for us to take the sting out of the bad things, or regain some level of personal dignity. Some of us are quick to testify that “what the devil meant for evil, God worked for our good” (even though that’s a bit of a stretch from the context in Genesis 50:15-26). The truth is that while God gave us beauty for the ashes and the oil of joy for mourning, some of those things “should not” have happened. The memories, emotions, and physical scars can frustrate our purpose if we allow it.
Instead of accepting that we are powerless to change what frustrates us, I propose a…(here comes a word that’s appropriate but over used) SHIFT. I propose a shift, a renewing of the mind to a place where we fully accept that before we were born, God knew us and set us apart for a purpose. I propose a mixing of faith with the Word to bear the fruit that is automatic when we connect to the Vine. I propose a trip, finally, out of the valley of decision–where we choose to believe God set us up to come to Him through Christ, and gave us a word and a way to reconcile others to Christ. God did it in advance. He set a course in place for our lives and our purpose.
Speaking for me, I would rather be in Christ with the power to complete purpose than stuck in the belief that I am powerless to change what frustrates me. Daily it is my choice. And now, it is your choice.
Selah, and love to all.