Sunday, May 6, 2012

Blue Like Jazz

I saw a new movie recently: Blue Like Jazz.  It came from a book by the same title, written by Donald Miller.  Miller is a fantastic writer.  I hadn't read Blue Like Jazz when I saw the movie, but I've checked it out of the library and began reading it this morning.  I already love it!

"To me, God was more of an idea.  It was something like a slot machine, a set of spinning images that dolled out rewards based on behavior and, perhaps, chance."
-from chapter 1, Beginnings, Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller

I used to feel this way.  I grew up going to church and found a way to do the 'right' things and managed to look pretty good.  But it wasn't personal.  Then, my family fell apart.  My parents divorced and I became one of those people that no one ever talks about. . . to their face, at least.

I felt like God had let me down.  I went to college and put God on the shelf.  I didn't think I needed him.  That is, until I needed to pay for my schooling.

"Oh, God.  How am I going to do this?  I need you."

Then he came through for me.  I got a scholarship, for which I had not applied.  I had received the scholarship the year before.  No one had applied this particular year, so the attorney, trustee of the fund, sent the money to me.  He happened to send this money just at the same time that I was praying asking God for money.  I received the check two days later.

Then, I put him on the shelf again.

"Problem solved.  I don't need you anymore."

That is, until I needed a co-op job.

"Oh, God.  How am I going to do this?  I need you."

Then he came through for me. . . you see where this is going?  I wasn't getting the co-op job that I thought I wanted.  So, I prayed for a co-op job and told God that I was willing to take anything--even the job that he wanted me to take.  It was the best decision I've ever made.

After that, it became personal.  I started giving up more easily.  Not giving up like laying in bed and not getting dressed all day, but giving up like saying, "Ok, God.  If you have a plan, I know it's going to be better than any plan of mine.  I'll explore all my options, you open the doors, I'll go through them."

This strategy led me to graduate school.

This strategy found me the best wife in the entire world.

This strategy found me a fantastic career.

This strategy brought us to our current hometown.

It has been a wild ride, but I wouldn't trade it, and I'm not going to change my strategy!  I've taken God off the shelf for the last time.

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