Abandoning Abandonment

hand reaching for the clouds courtesy of fully-caffeinated blogspotA human’s best chance of finding God is to look in the very place where they abandoned God”~ Meister Eckhart

Think back to the last time you screwed up in a relationship.  If you really think about what happened, you’ll probably find (as I do) that in that moment, you decided it was all up to you, and that you had to do something, to fix something, to make something happen.  The instant you decided to take control, you “abandoned” God.

Abandoned in this case doesn’t mean that you don’t believe in God, but rather, it means that you decided God wasn’t acting fast enough or that maybe you thought God expected you to handle this one on your own. And it flopped: you felt terrible and you made someone else feel terrible.

This idea of “abandoning abandonment” doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t take any action or make use of opportunities that are presented. We often must push on a door to see if it will open. The abandonment I’m talking about often involves other people, and it frequently includes judging and strong opinions. It is in these moments when we believe our words will fix someone that we have abandoned God.

In that moment when you realize that you screwed up, there’s where you must look for God.  In the moment right before you took control, during the seconds immediately prior to you saying whatever helpful (unasked for) advice you decided was necessary, God was there, offering a different way. When you chose to handle it yourself, you abandoned the guidance that was there to help you choose differently.

Rather than being discouraged, by recognizing that in an instant you can choose differently by participating with the Holy Spirit in that situation, you are empowered: “And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives” (Romans 6:4 NLT). Christ’s resurrection (which includes us) brings us into intimate fellowship with the Father, Son, and Spirit.  Relationship has its privileges, and instead of looking at our participation with the Father, Son, and Spirit as being relegated to theological beliefs, we can view our participation as moment-by-moment guidance that only requires us to attune ourselves to the gentle whispers of the Holy Spirit.

This receptivity becomes cultivated through times of quiet contemplation and silence, so that when the heat of the moment arises and you and I are tempted to “take care of it” or tell someone how to live/believe the “right way,” we have the discipline to step back a moment. Instead of abandoning the wisdom and patience of God, we embrace our faith in a God who transforms other people (and us) through loving patience. Cultivating attention to our ever-present God helps us abandon abandonment and instead participate through loving restraint in God’s transformation of those we love. Who knows – we may even be transformed ourselves!

~by Nan Kuhlman

photo courtesy of fully-caffeinated.blogspot.com

4 comments so far

  1. Jerome Ellard on

    Good stuff. I liked this: “This receptivity becomes cultivated through times of quiet contemplation and silence.” A good reminder that if our attitudes and actions towards others are going to be transformed, we must intentionally carve out time with the Transformer of our souls.

    • Nan Kuhlman on

      Well put, Jerome! Thanks for taking time to comment.

      Nan

  2. John on

    Hi Nan
    Thanks for the write! As I mentioned sometime back I send these to my daughter. Here is her reaction! You have touched the centre of Fathers heart with this one!

    Hey dad !

    I finally had time to read the article ! I really liked it 🙂
    Thanks for sending it !

    Love you !

    • Nan Kuhlman on

      John,
      How thoughtful of you to let me know you sent this post to your daughter and her reaction! Most of the time I think that the topics I write about only pertain to me (which they do!) but I feel less alone when I’m reminded that there are others who struggle like me. You made my day!

      Nan


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