I think God uses cumulative, not complete people. Or “What am I going to do with the rest of my life?”
It’s funny, this having a house full of high school and middle school people.
Because we are starting to have the “What am I going to do with the rest of my life?” conversation at our house regularly. (More often than not this comes from the girls…but frankly fairly regularly it’s The Beautiful Bride and I asking this question.)
And all this discussion about the future reminds me of one of the thoughts that has been swirling about in my mind for the last few months.
I think that God uses Cumulative People, not Complete People.
I think that He does not ever expect that we will be “complete;” that is having all the tools, resources, abilities, etc. needed to complete the task that lies ahead. Rather we will simply have the “Cumulative” experiences we need for the next step. That is, all the stuff that life has brought us has uniquely prepared us for what is next. Not for everything that lies ahead. But just what’s next. As I look back on lots of things in my life, I realize that I have often ruled myself out of situations or opportunities because I did not think I had what was needed.
And know I have come to realize that I will hardly ever have what is totally needed to do the next thing…
I was recently reading a biography of George Washington. In his planning for the decisive battle at Trenton and the Crossing of the Delaware, Washington used a lot of the experience he had acquired during the French-Indian War. And it dawned on me that one of the great leaders of our country did not just pull it out of his tri-cornered-hat when he was facing a big decision, he used experience he had had in his past. He was not “complete” when he was making decisions, he was using all his accumulated experiences, mistakes, and knowledge to make the next decisions.
The same applies to nearly everyone in the Old Testament…Moses, David, Noah, etc. etc, etc…they were not “complete” people when God used them to shape history. They were simply people, using the “cumulative” assortment of life they had lived (plus nudging from God) to take the next step.
And this is what I want the girls to know…
I want them to know that they do not have to “decide what they are going to do with the rest of their lives” right now…or maybe ever… The reality is that this decision or plan will change a dozen (or dozens…) of times over the next few years and decades. They will never be “complete.” They will never have all the information they need, or the experience required, or the resources expected to do all that lies ahead. All they will have is a “cumulative” bucket of experiences which will allow them to do the next thing.
Not the final thing.
But the next thing.
And I think that is all that God wants us to be ready to do.
Not the “final thing” or the “what am I doing the rest of my life thing” but just the next thing.
And He will give you what you need for the next thing.
All I ask is that the girl’s, (and I ) make sure they are open to whatever God wants them to do next, to put in the big bucket of experiences…