Spirituality for Today – April 2011 – Volume 15, Issue 9

God Is God; I Am Not

By Janice Alonso

Forgive me Father for not following your plan, not honoring your divine creation in me, and not having faith in your provisions.

A photo of a multi-color tulips

"Yet Lord, you are our Father.
We are the clay, your are the potter;
We are all the work of your hand."
Isaiah 64:8 (NIV)

I start my morning with scripture, prayer, and quiet time with God. I earnestly ask not only for His guidance, but also I ask that I abide by His plan. Then I exercise and shower, only to settle in at my desk and consult my calendar as to how I've planned my day. Most of the time the plan goes well, and I think what a good organizer I am, forgetting who's really in charge. Too often I get puffed up with "my accomplishments." However, there are those days when the tide turns and I find myself swimming against the current. I become frustrated and angry, beseeching God to make things right. If I pause and take a deep breath, I understand I am gently being reminded that God is the one who is always in control.

I find that on these days, things work best if I take one of two courses. First, I sometimes "shelve" a project (such as a writing piece) and channel my energies into another direction. Perhaps I need to use this time to listen to God's words through the Bible or others' devotions rather than be the one who writes. Other times I can't abandon what I am doing (like being stuck in traffic on my way to an appointment). I take these occasions as a nudge from God to slow down, relax, and receive the blessing of His companionship in a special way. I discover that communing with Him, even in never-ending lines, gridlock traffic, and excessive waits in a doctor's office, brings calm and revitalizes me for the remainder of my day. I don't have to be in my quiet place to be with God. Whatever the circumstance, I am reminded: God is the Master Planner; I am not.

"So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them."
Genesis 1:27 (NIV)

God created me in His imageā€¦ what a wonderful person I must be. The problem comes in that after He created me, I strayed away from that blueprint. I've neglected His perfect creation and let it go slack. The result is I often become dissatisfied. My dissatisfaction may be triggered from something as petty as my weight ticking upward and my energy sifting downward. But that is what happens when I make poor choices in eating and exercise. My dissatisfaction grows when I feel overwhelmed as the laundry piles up, there's only one roll of toilet paper left, or I have an afternoon crammed full of errands that simply can't wait one more day. But that's what happens when I procrastinate or over schedule myself, thinking I can do it all. Then there are those times my dissatisfaction comes from my heart because I've criticized others, judged another's behavior because it is not what I would do, or insisted things go my way. I feel guilty for my inconsiderate actions. Even when my intervention is meant to be helpful, there are many times I need to respect others and their choices.

God created each of us in His image. He wants us to value our bodies and minds, nourishing them with healthy food and regular, physical maintenance. Our earthly form will not hold up for us to reach our potentials without this care. He wants to be giving and forgiving, loving and patient, and generous with our time, talents, and material gifts. His purpose will not prevail without this daily discipline of service to others. God wants us to enrich our mind with His words and ideals. Reading the Bible and being in constant prayer fills our mind with His missions. Memorizing verses strengthens our resolve when temptations arise and prepares us for times to defend His name. Jesus Christ was born to remind me: God is the Perfect Creator; I am not.

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life,
what you will eat or drink;
or about your body, what you will wear.
Is not life more important than clothes?"
Matthew 6:25 (NIV)

Not to worry... this perhaps is the most difficult challenge for me. Not a day goes by that my mind doesn't fret about situations beyond my control. When I listen to the message the media sends out, it's no mystery why angst fills my thoughts. I understand God wants me to be a good steward of our natural resources and to use good judgment when it comes to acquiring the "necessities of life." But the world's values tell me more is better. I get caught up in fruitless endeavors that claim I am entitled to a lion's share of what is out there.

More and more I worry about the situation of the world around me. Events have escalated and appear to be getting worse at warp-speed. My worries will not help any of these global problems, but my prayers will. My worries will not bring calm to my tattered soul, but my prayers will. God alone will provide for me. It is His desire that I trust and know He will always have my best interests at heart. It is His desire that I let go of worry. I must not only give lip service to "faith in God," I must live the message: God is the Master Provider; I am not.

Dear Father, I place my trust in You to plan my days, to help me recreate myself to its original design, and to accept the bounty of your generous provisions as you bestow them. Amen.

"I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "Who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty." Revelation 1:8 (NIV)