bible:365 Genesis 11-15 [2013]

Terah died in Haran.

Terah left the land of Ur, heading for Canaan, but he never made it.

He settled in Haran, and died there. (Genesis 11:31-32)

How many times do we settle for Haran? How many times do we start out, only to settle partway there?  Be it a job, a hobby, a relationship, a project, or whatever, we often settle for less than we intended.

Why is that?

Why, when we start out with a goal in mind, do we often end up saying “good enough,” leaving it there, unfinished, unperfected. I know often for me it’s because I don’t think I can make it any further/better, and so live with what I have. Or, it doesn’t seem that important to put the effort in to making it better: it’s good enough the way it is.

I suppose I am continuing with the topics from my last two posts, wondering how I can remain steadfast in the goals I have set, to not settle for anything less than God’s best for my life. I don’t want to settle in Haran, but I feel like I’ve been camping there for the last few years. I’ve gotten sidetracked on the journey to Canaan, and have stayed longer than I wanted.  But how do I continue on?

Better yet, does anyone have directions to Canaan? Perhaps a Rand McNally with the route highlighted in yellow?

Ok, enough with the metaphor.

I feel like I’ve gotten complacent and comfortable where I am.

But not truly comfortable. I always have this persistent sense of unease, that I am not where I’m meant to be, not doing what I’m meant to. So, if I’m not actually content here, why stay? Why not set out to rectify the unease, and continue the journey towards where I’m meant to be?

Because it is safe here.

It’s true, I may feel a sense of disquietude, but I know this life.  I know the work, I know the routines, what’s expected of me, and how to get by.  And I am getting by.  Living’s not a struggle. There are even some great times. To move on however, that requires a step into the unknown.  The unknown is not safe.  The unknown is where failures happen.  The unknown is where the danger lies.

But, if the story of Abram is any indication, the unknown is most often the place to which God calls us.  In the reading God calls Abram to continue his father’s journey to Canaan, leaving all he knows for the unknown ahead.  It’s not the first time God calls someone to the unknown, and it certainly isn’t the last.  But it’s hard to see in the darkness of the unknown, and if there’s one thing we don’t like, it’s the darkness.

At my church’s Christmas Eve services this last year, during the candle lighting portion of the service, our pastor spoke on the meaning of Jesus as the light of the world.  As the Bible says:

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)

But in this modern world, when we think about a “light to my path,” we tend to think along the lines of halogen high beams. However for Jesus, light in the darkness came from a candle.  Candles don’t show much more than what’s right in front of you.

We humans don’t like not knowing, we like to see far ahead and have a 5 year plan.  But maybe when God says he will be a light for us, he only means to illuminate our next step, and no further. So, do we take that next step, trusting God to have the rest of the journey set out for us?

I know this sense of unease is the Spirit speaking to me, nudging me to take that next step in the journey.  So, I’m going to start figuring out what that next step is, and when I do, I’m going to take it.

Jesus said he came to bring us abundant life (John 10:10), and I don’t want to settle for anything less.

Pray for me please, as I figure out where to go from here.

Where do you feel like you have grown complacent in your journey?  What unknown is God calling you to?  What stood out to you in this reading?

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2 thoughts on “bible:365 Genesis 11-15 [2013]

  1. Pingback: a much needed break | A Radical Journey

  2. I’m in Haran and I’m scared to move to Canaan. Don’t ask me why. I think it sounds like an awesome place that’s right up my alley. Maybe I’m afraid I’ll get lost or that once I get there I won’t be welcome. Worst is what if I’m just afraid of the hard work it’s going to take once I am there? I like the candle for the steps idea. Maybe God only wants us to look at the steps right in front of us because if we saw any more than that, we’d be so overwhelmed that we’d freeze. I just finished ch 16-20 and the conflict I get is the balance between faith and taking matters into my own hand. On the one hand Sarah and Abraham laughed at God for saying they’d have children but on the other hand they believed enough to try to make it happen themselves. So in my own life, where is the line between living in God’s will taking each step one at a time vs trying to make things happen on my own and messing it all up? I want to go to a conference from public speakers that will cost $3000 total for travel, lodging, food, etc. But then I feel great pressure that I’m going to have to actually get my public speaking beyond just moms groups that pay in Starbucks gift cards to actual real money gigs. As much as I get great feedback that what I’m doing is making a difference for God, my fear of failure is keeping me in Haran. Add a $3000 investment to the equation and I’m frozen in my tracks.
    So there. Those are my thoughts on being Terah.
    If you do find that highlighted Rand McNally map, please let me know!

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