Who’s in charge? The answer to that question is a sobering one. I am. God will not take charge of my life, and He will not make me love Him, listen to Him, or obey Him. It’s my choice. God presented the opportunity for me to teach that lesson yesterday. I teach high school Sunday School, and that’s a difficult time and a turning point in the life of a believer. The faith of my father and/or mother must become my own if I am to form a relationship with God. So many young people don’t make the transition well and end up wandering from the church body and the faith without ever experiencing a deep, personal connection to God. I hope to help young people find their faith and form that relationship.
I taught middle school for thirty-three years, but that did little to prepare me for the teaching I’ve done during the past three. However, I do recognize a teachable moment when I see one, and I saw one yesterday as I grew frustrated while trying to get students to focus upon the scriptures at hand. The scriptures were very important, but God had another lesson in mind.
God will let me be in charge. He won’t force me to listen, learn, or obey, and I made it clear to the class that I wasn’t going to force them to either. The most frightening aspect of God’s love is that He doesn’t force me to love Him and lets me say no. It hurts Him deeply, and it hurts me deeply, and that’s true anytime love is not returned. Trust and truth are essential when it comes to love. I wish I could help my students avoid the pain in life, but I know it’s part of their journey. Some things must be experienced, so I decided to give them the control they wanted. I left the room and closed the door behind me. I wanted them to understand that God will let them do the same thing to Him.
You don’t have to ponder for very long when wondering why God doesn’t force us to do what He wants. That isn’t love, and love is His perfect plan. Loving because I have to is worse than not being loved at all. Sitting in a classroom doesn’t make me learn a thing. Obeying out of fear causes me to hate. Those with lots of money and power pay or force people to agree with them and do what they want, but that never works outs in the long run. I hope the students learn the sobering truth at the heart of being in charge.
The beauty of obedience is that it takes a big load off my mind. I’m learning it’s okay if folks aren’t as excited as I am about God, and I no longer feel responsible for getting others to love Him or His Word. Loving God and letting Him make a difference in my life is all I can do. Hopefully, that will make a difference in the lives of others. If it doesn’t, then that’s between them and God. Knowing I don’t want to be in charge is acknowledging that He is God and I am not. God will let me be the god of my own little world, but it’s never as much fun as I think it will be:)