The 9 Steps to Nowhere

by DanWolgemuth on February 7, 2014

A recent trip through a bookstore pulled the curtain back on the public appetite for books that create an orderly, predictable, and nicely controlled life. 

Three steps to this.
Ten practices that will rock that.
Fourteen lessons to achieve this.

Our desire to take control of our lives has oozed black ink onto thousands of pages.  Quite simply, I want to be the author of the script of my life.  With that complete, I now want to select the actors, the destination, the weather, and most importantly, I want to orchestrate the ending of the story.

Eight years of employment with General Electric was enough to convince me that high quality repeatable processes yield results that customers and shareholders expect.  Variation is the enemy of quality.  It was called Six Sigma and for years Wall Street applauded.

All this sounds wonderful and appropriate and worthy of pursuit.  I read and follow the rules and life becomes manageable. 

Faith becomes a transaction.  My part obligates God to do His part.  I do, and He follows suit.

Order is critical.  It screams of the existence of a Creator God.  But order is the system I am privileged to live inside, not the outcome I get to control. 

God is not waiting for us to get all fifteen checkboxes checked.

Distilling the success and manageability of my life into four clean steps may vault an author to a display by the cash register; and coming up with ten changes that will alter the trajectory of your life may have Costco calling, but the more I learn and live as a follower of Jesus, the less certain I am that I have figured Him out.

As Jesus was making final preparations for His return trip to Glory the disciples did what any one of us would do… they asked for order, for predictability, for plans.  “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom of Israel?”  He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.”  Acts 1:6,7

Not for us to know. 



This is why faithfulness and not control are esteemed by our Father.  This is why daily bread is a gift from the hand of God.  This is why Jesus invites us to invest in eternity, not manage the markets.

When I loosen my grip my white knuckles are replaced by open hands.  I can embrace what used to terrify me.  Jesus is God, not my personal assistant. 

Doors don’t open when I get the combination to the lock, they open when He opens them.  It’s my privilege to walk through what He has made available to me and it’s liberating not to have to waste my time trying to jimmy the lock.

It was just last week that God rocked my world anew.  Unpredictably but clearly.  He was not obligated to follow my script…

He is good and He is God.  But He is not tame or manageable or confined. 

The steps He embraces are:

Love God.
Love others. 

From that point on… amazement and awe.  From that point on Acts 1:8…

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you…”

Not power to control, but power to live abundantly and obediently and sacrificially and confidently…

On this I can safely build my life.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jane Knowles February 9, 2014 at 4:34 PM

Thanks Dan.
A timely reminder. It’s all about Him.


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