In those fatiguing hours, you’d better know who you are.
Abraham’s story reads like a character who sometimes lost his sense of self.
Don’t we all?
When Abraham feared he could not ensure the outcome with these kings, he drew on what he thought would do just that, counterfeit an answer though it was.
That strategy did not work for Brian Williams. It didn’t work for Abraham either, and in fact it messed up a lot of things for the people around him.
Too much of ourselves makes unreachable the parts God wishes to occupy. Too little of ourselves makes unreachable the people and tasks God wishes to use our hands and feet to accomplish.
Who are we? We are people who are incapable of ensuring an outcome. We can do a lot, but the proverbial chips will fall where they may, largely directed by influences outside of our control.
Our job? Fight like a dog with a bone anyway.
This goes against our human condition, which is colored by a pendulum-swing effect between an “I can and must do at all costs” self-drive and an “I can’t and must acquiesce to that fact” apathy.
This either-or is a most subtle lie. Most of life is more accurately spent walking a tightrope of a radical other thing altogether, otherwise known as walking boldly forward, with a loyalty to what guides rather than what results.
We are all guided by something. As believers, we have the distinct privilege of being guided by an enormously involved parent.
Who is that parent? A lot of things, but in the face of personal identity crisis, Abraham found this parent is especially personal.
He works through the least likely characters, who drive a point home in so personal a manner that we cannot mistake the persistent voice of our father, who will love us, rescue us, rework us, but will not placate a lesser version of us.
This is why the good shepherd in the “lost sheep” parable went off to look for the one lost sheep out of the herd—because try as we might, none of us is the 99.
God knows this and is ready to be God in light of it. Are you ready to be you?
To be a friend. To be a leader. To believe. To follow God’s calling. You are going to have to step out in the flawed but usable package known as you. Anything less will surreptitiously avoid spiritual pruning, which then undermines spiritual growth, which further debilitates our skills to apply biblical understanding.