God’s Blessing of Abram: Journey

Posted: 12.30.2009 in journey
Tags: ,

The LORD had said to Abram,

 “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.”

 – Genesis 12:1 (NIV)

Abram, patriarch of Judaism and ultimately Christianity and Islam, started out on a journey that was light on the details.  God speaks and tells Abram to go… somewhere.  Welcome to the leading of God.  Full of adventure? Check. Full of promise? Check.  Full of specifics? … eh, not so much.  

And so the journey of Abram is one that is conceived in trust.  Remember now, this is Abram’s introduction to God.  There is no small talk.   No easing into relationship or trust, no game of cribbage and beer and conversation.  Nada.   God doesn’t even ask.  Just tells him to go.  What do you do with that?

I get frustrated.  And then give God the finger.  Which means that I choose to do things my way.  I disengage.  I don’t pray.  I find myself in a state of ambivalence.  I want adventure in my life, but it seems to be costly, and chaotic. 

When we decided to move to Seattle so I could attend MHGS, there was a sense of leading and blessing from God.  But none of it was anything other than inviting and confirming.  When we got here, it was really hard.  Kristin couldn’t find work for a long time and we burned through a lot of money and also incurred some debt that we had been working to get rid of… it was disheartening.  But at least we were lonely and struggled to find a church to be a part of.   

Whenever I believe that God is leading me or us into something, I want to know that things are going to turn out well with as little chaos as possible.  When God calls me into something, I want to know where to go, what to do, and how it will turn out now.  Fortunately, and despite my fear and demandingness, God is far more gracious than I.  Always calling me back, always inviting me to the next step.  However, I am starting to wonder if God’s commanding vagueness is not some sort of transcendent sense of drama or maybe even grand playful mischieviousness.  I also wonder if the space in the invitation (or vagueness in the command) is meant to allow us to take it and run, so to speak.  That built in is a sense that God knows us and makes room for us to engage His invitation/command with the fullness of who we are, while knowing that He has given us what we need to move in the right direction.

And Abram?  He went.  No kicking, no screaming, no dragging of feet.  Not to say that it was perfect (as lying and giving up his wife to save his hide attests to), but he did it. 

How do you respond to the invitations of God, when they seem abrupt and/or vague?

  1. Hilary says:

    Michael: I love this. Keep writing!!

  2. Thank you, Hilary. I appreciate the encouragement. Especially from an MDiv’er

  3. […] it hard to get past the ”giving up what I have for what might/will be” stage.  In my last post, I spoke about some of the  cost of uprooting to Seattle, some expected and some that […]

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