Most of us would agree with the concept that the one sure thing that we know about life is change.
The comparison to a roller coaster seems appropriate, and a frightening one at that.
Life is full of twists and turns and inevitable ups and downs with people coming and going and emotions frayed at the proverbial last nerve because of it. Life takes your plans and destroys them in favor of its own. It’s enough to make anyone skeptical about life’s purpose. We question everything we hold dear.
Free will, fate
As Christians, we know free will is supposed to have something to do with what happens to us as we each choose or don’t choose, decide or don’t decide. Our fate is wrapped in the outcome of each.
We often find ourselves caught up in quagmires of discontent due to situations we created by simply making the wrong choices. That’s why I find the subject of change in Scripture so fascinating.
“In paths they have not known, I will guide them.” Isaiah 42:16 clearly indicates that when you attempt or are forced to changed your life, seek God, because divine help will be needed. It’s a spiritual requirement.
Oftentimes in the Bible, whenever someone begins to accept Christ, challenges await. Fear is prevalent and faith gets tested. Walking by faith and not by sight is unnatural in the natural world.
This kind of change in your spiritual life is supposed to fortify everything in your supernatural existence.
Take God everywhere
Joshua 1:9 lets us know that from the moment we begin to consciously expand our awareness of God, we must take Him everywhere we go or, risk losing ourselves to our own devices, much like the Israelites in the desert. “Be not dismayed, for the Lord thy God is with you wherever you go.”
The easiest thing to fall prey to in this life it appears is all of the stuff, the temptations, the tragedies that will surely come our way every day, particularly as Christians. We live in a materialistic world framed in 30-second sound bites, news of instant wealth, and the constant pursuit of “more.”
Fantasy and instant gratification are but a click away.
If you have no spiritual fallback position, you will get caught up in defining yourself by how much you have, what you can buy and what pleasures you can exploit. And don’t forget to buy a gun to protect it all from those who have no qualm about taking it from you.
Under these circumstances, life can make you feel inadequate and anxious as it constantly challenges you and changes your outlook about it. More is never enough.
Spiritual awareness gives perspective to all of this change and disruption. The Bible promises peace and peace of mind. “My presence shall go with you and give you rest.” Exodus 33:14. The understanding of eternal existence, of the spiritual side of man, should allow you to put into perspective the contradictions and absurdities in this life.
Don’t need much
I am constantly amazed at how little I really need in life as I grow older, compared with what I thought I needed when I was younger. Focusing on God actually brings clarity to the soul and subsequently order to life’s chaos. Peace of mind abounds in the hearts of those who know and seek the truth. Purpose is simplified and life’s changes and challenges become easier to navigate.
In this context, free will merely acts as confirmation of the obvious. “Whatever is born of God overcomes the world.” 1 John 5:4.
James Washington is a Faith columnist for the Dallas Weekly newspaper.