Receptivity + activity = life

By Dave Henning / June 30, 2022

“It is deceptively easy to think life is simply about knowing and going the right way.  That isn’t the whole of reality, nor is it particularly wise.  Life is not only about activity, but also about receptivity.  Simply let God lead you on, let God love you now, let God make the way.”- Ann Voskamp

“When we no longer know which way to go we have begun our journey. . . .  The impeded stream is the one that sings.”- Wendell Berry

In Chapter 6 (“Your Kingdom Come”) of WayMaker, Ann Voskamp accents our need to be attentive and receptive to God as we wait.  And let God figure things out.

But what if, in reality, you’re pretending, especially to yourself, that you’re open handed and receptive to whatever comes your way? What if you’re a snapped-shut book or closefisted hand trying to subtly manipulate all things in your way?

Therefore, Ann observes, prayer isn’t about moving heaven to do things our way.  Rather, prayer must move us to do things God’s way on earth.  As a result, Ann underscores:

“It’s revolutionary to pray ‘Thy kingdom come’ because it’s turning the soul from the clutches of our kingdom to the totality of God’s kingdom. . . .  The truly wise want more than their dreams to come true; they want God’s kingdom to truly come.  There’s no praying ‘Thy kingdom come’ until you’re living out ‘my kingdom done.’ ”

Thus, genuine prayer involves genuine conversation with our Father.  In addition, Ann stresses, prayer isn’t giving God information so He can act on our behalf.  Instead, in prayer God gives us intimacy to rest in.

In conclusion, Ann talks about the blessing of waiting:

“Waiting for the right time can feel like something is going wrong.  The lookouts and the lovers will both testify: The sacrament of waiting can feel the hardest of all. . . .  Waiting is a letting go to let something grow.  The waiting need not destroy the soul but grow the soul. . . .  The longer the heart waits, the larger the heart expands to hold the largeness of a different way of life.”

Today’s question: Do you agree that life involves activity as well as receptivity?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “An uninvolved twiddling of thumbs?”

About the author

Dave Henning

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