I really enjoy doing manual tasks around the house. Dishes, laundry, vacuuming, cutting the grass, basically anything that shows progress and completion. I want the satisfaction of putting a checkmark next to the item on my To-Do List. Day-to-day life isn’t like that though, we do the same thing over and over again and there is very little that remains done. The dishes I wash today are the same ones I washed yesterday. The vacuuming I did last week has to be done again tomorrow. But for a period, it is finished, even if it’s for 24 hours.
I think of my faith journey the same way. I would love to be able to look at my faith journey and where I have been in the same way I look at the lawn when I mow it. Each pass with the mower shows neatly clipped grass, all the same height, all the dandelion heads are cut off, everything looks perfect. For a time at least. Our walk with Christ would be great if we could see the path we’ve walked and be able to predict the next pass, the next route and pattern we will follow. Wouldn’t that be great? We would know what to expect, we’d be able to prepare for the next thing coming, we’d be able to plan for our response. It would be awesome to have a faith journey like that, right?
But where’s the Faith in a journey like that?
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for (Hebrews 11:1, 2).
There is no reason to call out to God and trust Him for the outcome. There is no reason to grow our faith muscles as we walk with God- we would already be able to see where we were going, what would happen next, and when to stop, continue, or to wait. While we think that being able to know it all might sound good, remember that was part of the lie the enemy told to Eve in Genesis 3. She was told that God was holding out on her and that there was more to know and experience. We’ve been on the outside the intimate relationship she and Adam had with God ever since.
When I think I know the plans someone has, I tend to go off and try to accomplish them all on my own. I get so focused on what I am trying to do that I lose sight of how it connects to the rest of the story, the rest of the plan. I forget to listen to others, I become so self-focused that my purposes and ideas are the only thing I want to do. I lose sight of the plans God has for me (Jeremiah 29:11) the ones that intertwine with my brothers and sisters in Christ. I become disconnected from the vine (John 15:5).
So as much as cutting the grass and seeing what I have accomplished, that’s where that needs to stay, on my To-Do List. The true faith journey with God is full of twists, turns, switchbacks, peaks, valleys, wide open paths, and tight spaces. It is one that requires me to grow my faith muscles so I can build my stamina for the route ahead. Not to focus on the path I have completed.
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him (Hebrews 11:6).