Too bad life doesn’t give us rewinds, at least not in the sense that we can actually go back and change history. That’s the stuff of fantasy sci-fi like my husband writes about. Which is probably a good thing, actually. If I could go back in an attempt to correct my mistakes (of which there are many) I would probably just muck things up even worse. So, in that sense, being stuck in the present must be part of God’s good grace.
Having said that, if you’re old enough to be reading this, then it’s safe to say you’re in the burgeoning company of folks that, at sometime in our lives, have breathed out the words,
“Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time….”
Like buying that used car. (Oh, don’t get me started.)
Like bringing home that “free” dog for the family. (Ibid.)
Like volunteering to be the youth group leader at church. Again.
We make decisions based on input of all kinds—past experience, others’ input, resource availability. (And then, of course, there’s sleep deprivation and low estrogen, either of which are gainsaid to your peril.)
So I wonder if I sense just a hint of regret when Moses begins recounting the long history of the Exodus to this new generation of Hebrews about to enter into the long awaited Promised Land. Of course, we already know by now that Moses, although only a “type” of deliverer like the true Messiah to come, was still the one who heard directly from God on all important decisions. All he had to do was ask, and God told His servant what to do next. Here are a few examples from his verbal history lesson:
“Moses carefully explained the LORD’s instructions as follows.”
“ When we were at Mount Sinai, the LORD our God said to us,…
“…for the decision you make is God’s decision.”
Then Moses comes to the part where God tells them (again, through Moses) to go into the land and take it over. But wait! The leaders under him think it would smart to spy it out first, map out some battle plans, come up with a few strategies, all that. To which the Friend of God replied:
“ This seemed like a good idea to me,…
It seemed like a good idea, but it wasn’t, because it wasn’t part of God’s idea. And anything added to God’s idea makes the whole package a bad idea. In fact, a really, really bad idea.
That doesn’t mean we throw our reasoning, rational strategizing powers to wind—those are gifts from God for which we are responsible as well. It does mean, however, that all counsel should be brought to God before putting it into practice.
This makes me remember another scenario: the time when Jesus invited Peter onto the water. Peter didn’t have time to calculate the odds, depth of water, or strategize where the nearest life preserver was. When Jesus said come, he just went over the side of the boat. Okay, so it didn’t last, but let’s be kind, because HE WALKED ON THE WATER, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!! Which is more than I’ve done recently.
The point is, all counsel, all strategies, all decisions (with the possible exception of which toothpaste to buy, I suppose) is to come before our King first.
Because when we over-think, we sink.
Deuteronomy 1: 5,6,17 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.