Tuesday, January 01, 2008

To Sum Up

So how do you approach the new year?

Dreams and hopes and happenstance, lotto cards and odds.
Bets and stakes and just plain luck won't let me down. I know it!

The confetti clogs the vacuum, the champagne stains the rug.
If one more person gives me cheer, I think I'll throw a slug!

Flailing through the past, I fear looking to the future.
Flinging all my flocking fears, here's my fingers in Your grasp.

I don't know about you, but I've got great hopes for this New Year. Why? Well, I made so many mistakes last year that I've found whole heaps of wrong answers and stupid approaches. Now that I've got those out of the way, I can really start to learn!

I guess that section (C) up there is how I'm viewing this new year. Instead of clinging to past failures, saying, "See, I told you I was an idiot," I keep reminding myself to look to Christ. He's the only one I can turn to when I fail -- again.

I see myself oscillating toward and away from my parents and God. One minute I'm crying out, 'Tell me what to do!" Then the answer comes, and it isn't what I expected, or wanted. I'm balling up, and thinking, "Why does everyone keep on telling me what to do?"

When bitter thoughts go creeping through my mind, I see other people's advice as evidence that my life is confusing only to me. In clearer times, I see that God does not mean for me live in isolation, and Godly counsel is a gift from Him.

So I'm learning that "counsel" is a weighted average of all the advice that I receive. The advice from my parents is the most heavily weighted (though lighter than God's command), the advice from friends is weighted, the advice from enemies is weighted, and the advice from Oprah is multiplied by negative one, then weighted. Some of the advice is weighed so lightly that, though it is received politely, it doesn't end up affecting the final decision in any way. For example, a bit of advice such as "Why don't you just settle down and marry a nice boy" should be treated in this way.

The values I obtain during this process will then be used with God's commands. His commands provide the general form of the function for my decisions, and the values obtained through Godly counsel (the weighting process) are the coefficients for this function. The coefficients allow God's commands to be applied to specific situations.

To sum up, God's command are the chief function of my life, and the counsel of others helps me understand how God's Word fits the specific situation I'm confused about.

I'm not trying to be glib here, because I'm only beginning the learn the process. But the fact that God cares enough to help me through the moments of despondency, and most of all the fact that He has already finished the entire problem -- these facts and His gentle urging enable me to continue scratching with my pencil amid a flock of eraser bits.

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