So, I watched Dan in real life last night. And besides being a touching and valuable comment on family and relationships, I thought the last line of the film really touched something about the way we should see life as God-followers as opposed to the traditional world-driven religious 'Christian' view.. (haha wow that's a laden sentence)..
I don't want to give too much of the film or its ending away, but this fits within the premise of the story - Dan is a column writer for a column called "Dan in real life" and the film ends off with him dictating his latest entry, and saying how he wants to talk about plans - and more specifically what he calls life plans.. and he says a few things, but then says something more or less like this.. ..yay - i looked and actually found the quote! (here). The quote is: "Instead of telling our young people to plan ahead, we should tell them to plan to be surprised."
Isn't that such a flip on the head of our usual drive!? Because for so many of us, it's all about the plan! About your 5-year plan, about what you're going to do with your life, even about what God's plan for your life is (how that question has plagued me!!). We badger matriculants about their plans. About what they're doing with their lives and about what we think they should be doing - yet how many of our lives have ever 'gone to plan'!? What is it about this western world that makes us so pre-occupied with eradicating all risk - and as a result - so much of the joy and excitement of life!? The best advice my religious leaders could give me was completing the 'blue print' - which was really just a slightly more descriptive 5 year plan. I never actually got round to doing it - and boy did I feel that I just wasn't where I should or could be - because I never did the stuff. And this isn't just about the younger people.
I suppose, I should preface this by saying - I don't think it's wrong to decide what to study, or what job to take. I'm not advocating sitting on our proverbial behinds and doing nothing.
BUT. How about planning to be surprised!? How about it? How about planning to live in the unforced rhythms of God's grace. How about planning to do THAT!? Why would my leaders point me to some blank piece of paper for me to decide, when there is a living God waiting to light my path?
I think so many of us just have a bad attitude. We despise surprises. it's uncomfortable. But what if we changed our attitude. What if we embraced surprise. What if.. we rather planned to be surprised?
If we were honest with ourselves - how many of the plans we had for us that have been brought to fruition have really left us feeling happy and fulfilled? And how many of the plans we've had have really ever been brought to fruition?
Life isn't something we can plan. It's not something that we can map out and predetermine. The shame is that when we do approach it like that we more often than not get bogged down in our confined religious views, dogma and mindsets, and miss out on the life of surprise and fullness that Dad has for us (for I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord..).
I'm so much more amped on a real life relationship with my Abba-Dad, learning to live in His plans, to hear His heartbeat, and to rest in what He has laid out for me.
He has this wonderful gift for all of us. Why do we so often sell ourselves short of this? We take the "salvation" - but to what end? To return to living life on our terms!? We are like the Israelites on being saved from Egypt who continuously wanted to return. And then when they had the chance to enter the 'land of milk and honey' chose the desert because it felt 'safer'.
Are we really THAT blind? God didn't save us for the desert people. He saved us for the 'milk and honey' of real close relationship with HIM! Yet we pass it off for the dry, bland desert-life of religion where food or drink that nourishes is always hard to find. Is God with us in the desert? YES - but that isn't where He longs for us to be!! And I am so scared that if we aren't careful - many of us will die (and have died) in that place.
We need to be that people that embraces what God has for us. What He has saved us for - a life FULL of relationship with Papa, Jesus and Sarayu (you will need to read The Shack to get that reference...).
What a full and joyous life this is going to be! This journey that beckons us all!