Friday, July 23, 2010

Struggling to Let Go

by Scott Dalen

Discernment can be a tough thing when the answer is staring you in the face, but you're too scared to admit it.

My wife and I have been praying very hard lately, listening very carefully to try and determine what is the best way to proceed regarding my work during the upcoming fall semester. If you've been reading my postings, you know that I have CPE pending and that I'm approved to do my clinical work at the church...half time.

As I mentioned in my last posting, I'm really struggling with trying to figure out whether to continue working in my full time job and also do the work at the church (plus classwork and an attempt at a family life), or if I let the full time job go. I'm having a very hard time letting go and trusting that God can provide for us (my family and I).

Yet, as I look back, I'm amazed at how God has provided opportunities for me to move forward. In high school, I was "anti-church." I wanted nothing to do with it. Then the site director of a local Bible Camp made a passing comment to my dad (who worked at a lumberyard that supplied the camp) that he needed someone to work part time through the summer. I got the job and that was when God turned my life around. Then when I was discerning going to seminary, my wife and I attended a yearly conference at Luther Seminary where, for the first time, they had a table discussion about the DL program. That is what opened the door for me to pursue seminary for the last two years in the format that I have followed. Now, CPE is staring me in the face at a time when the church needs help and is in a position to offer me compensation for the work that I will do.

Additionally, it seems that everything that my wife and I see/read/hear in our devotions or in sermons or in conversations tells us to trust God. I read a Bible called Seasons of Reflection. It has the Bible broken down into daily readings involving Old Testament, New Testament, and Psalms or Proverbs. It seems like every reading from Psalms is telling me to trust and let go. Yesterday, my wife's devotion was Matthew 6:28-34. This section of the Bible is entitled "Do Not Worry." Jesus tells us to look at the birds and the flowers. They do not work yet God feeds and clothes them. Then today, my morning devotional reading talked about the rich young man that Jesus told "sell everything and follow me."

I don't want to say it, but I think I know the answer to this question. I just need to let it go. I need to remember the saying that several of my classmates keep reminding me of. "Let go and let God." I don't need to have it figured out. God's got it figured out. Trusting is not about figuring out all the answers, its about believing that God's already handled it.

God told Abraham "Go, I'll tell you when you get there." Abraham said okay.

Maybe its time that I do the same.


Blogger Josh said...

I'm new to the Luther campus this fall, so I don't personally know you, but I do read the blog (which is a great service btw!). I also work and attend classes.

Here's my advice to you: use you God-given powers of rational, deliberative judgment to determine what is going to work for you and your family here. Do not appeal to nebulous mystical/religious experience that isn't even in the slightest noetic.

Also, avoid the gibberish your classmates have been saying ("Let go and let God."). You're making a decision here, not resisting a directly communicate divine imperative.

Giving up your job isn't a test of your faith, it's a test of your prudence and wisdom. It may be the case that you have enough financial support to stop working and devote more time to the seminary program, thus becoming better prepared to be a pastor. In that case it'd be wise to quit your current job, but only because it makes sense in terms of your goal.

Whatever you end up doing, God bless. See you on campus this fall.

7/23/2010 11:19:00 AM  

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