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Coauthoring with the Divine

Madeleine L’Engle said this, “We are coauthors with God in the writing of our own story.” And this just floored me the other night when I read it. Because, at some level, I don’t like acknowledging how much I can affect my life.

For years, I have taken this verse: “many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails” and twisted it into permission for automaton living. God, you pull the strings and show this scared puppet where to dance. Let me only react, and let me always react perfectly.

See, I’m terrified of making mistakes. And I thought if I followed God thoroughly enough, I wouldn’t mess things up. I’d escape the pain of wrongness.

But that doesn’t work. At all. Because even on my very best days, I’m a far cry from Jesus–the only one who modeled complete dependency on His Father. Clearly, I will never swing this. So that leaves me… where?

I believe the scripture about God’s purpose prevailing. He is that good and that big. And I believe this one too:  “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30 MSG.

So much of this last verse implies active participation. Coming, recovering, walking, working, learning. Living freely and lightly.

I have not wanted to walk with God in the past. I didn’t want to walk at all. I wanted to curl up in a ball and let Him do all the adventuring for me. It was too risky–and potentially too painful to leave the ball. But oddly it’s the walking that heals. The very thing we fear is what banishes that fear from making home within us.

Being an artist is scary. Because you will make mistakes. You will be wrong sometimes. But God’s grace is big enough for that. I think He prefers our wobbling, fumbling steps alongside Him to our cowering in the corner, too scared to join in the authoring of our lives. And we must join in if we wish to create anything of worth, anything that brushes against Glory.

So what do you think, dear readers? Have you struggled with passive living? How did this affect your art? How did you move past the fear?

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9 thoughts on “Coauthoring with the Divine

  1. Holy moly, Sammie! This really hit me. Gosh, I think the church does not talk about this enough (or at all), seriously! Thanks so much for the honesty and wow: “God, you pull the strings and show this scared puppet where to dance. Let me only react, and let me always react perfectly.” That hit me. And again:”I wanted to curl up in a ball and let Him do all the adventuring for me. It was too risky–and potentially too painful to leave the ball. But oddly it’s the walking that heals. The very thing we fear is what banishes that fear from making home within us.”–Yeah, pretty much awesomeness for real! Thanks so much dear!

    • sammiebennett on said:

      Ah, thank you, chica! Yeah, I’m realizing how much God is encouraging me to make decisions. I can be super indecisive (which is totally linked to my self-esteem), and He’s teaching me it’s safe to make decisions with Him. He’s got me. Love you!

  2. Kathy Wright on said:

    So powerful and it allows one to reflect on so many important aspects of life! His grace really is big enough and I love that and feel so blessed every day. Feel free to wobble with me any time my friend. Hugs to you all and a big Thank You for this!

    • sammiebennett on said:

      Ah, Kathy Lou! Thank you so much for commenting, sweet friend! Yes, when I think on His grace my days are so, so different. Love you, chica!

  3. Thank you Crystal for using the phrase ‘holy moly’… takes me back to childhood memories of my mom sharing midwest terms with us:) On a regular basis I feel like passive is my middle name. But this last week I felt like God was telling me to stand up to my fear. He wasn’t expecting me to handle it well. He wasn’t expecting me to magically get rid of it. He simply wanted to face it and keep walking one terribly slow step forward at a time instead of shutting down. God was incredibly kind enough to reward my very messy progress. And then I wake up today and it’s like I have to face the fear all over again and it looks impossible. Here’s to movement!

    • sammiebennett on said:

      Here’s to movement indeed! Thanks so much for sharing this, chica, and how God didn’t have these grand expectations for you. He just wanted to be with you. Love. You. Lots.

  4. Thank you for sharing ! This is so true! Usually I run my own comfortable cozy way until I crash and burn and realize as risky as Gods way might be, it’s much better than my own path to certain death. Fear keeps me from really tackling projects I know God has called me too. It’s so hard to put your heart into something when you’re afraid of failing. But God works with us and the risk is so worth it !

    • sammiebennett on said:

      I so feel you, Ms. Brandi! It is most definitely hard to put your heart into something when there’s that fear of failing. Oh man, oh man, do I feel you! So glad you since God working in you. It’s a beautiful thing.

  5. Pingback: Dragon Slaying, Dream Chasing « threaded

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