Many times in my life, I’ve been at a crossroads, a meeting of ways, and had no idea which direction to take. How do I know what the right choice is? If I’m a Christian, how do I know what God wants me to choose?
What if God doesn’t want to give me a big sign? What if faith isn’t always asking God for a miraculous answer? What if we’re getting it all wrong?
Guest Author: Ashley Stromenberg
If you haven’t already heard, earlier this week I announced that I will be leaving my comfortable and enjoyable office job to become (it’s not a dirty word) a missionary. Yes, I have officially lost my mind.
Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, who recently celebrated 70 years of marriage, once said, “If a man opens the car door for his wife, it’s either a new car or a new wife.” There’s a nugget of truth in this joke: novelty fades in marriage as much as anything else.
On Saturday, May 14, 2016, a cloudy, blustery, and unseasonably cold day, I married the woman of my dreams. As my wife and I prepare to celebrate our first anniversary, I have found myself reflecting on how we’ve grown and what has changed in our relationship.
I don’t think Jesus was humble. I really don’t. If I met him today, humble is probably not something I would take away as a first impression. Now, before you start quoting Philippians 2:6-8 or Romans 15:3 to me, let me explain. I believe that our understanding of humility is so skewed that, were we to meet Jesus, many of us would come away saying that he was arrogant and presumptuous. Why do I think that? I’m glad you asked!
How do I know if the person I’m with is the one I’m supposed to marry? Or, to Christianize it, how do I know if this person is God’s pick for me? What if I make a mistake? What happens if I miss the person that God is preparing for me? How do I know?
In a recent episode of The Big Bang Theory, Raj struggles with this same question. He has been dating Emily for a while, but another girl walks into his life that he is drawn and attracted to. Should he break up with his girlfriend and pursue a new relationship?
“Anytime the world sees you as just one thing, it’s exhausting, because you aren’t just one thing, and it’s very difficult to have to constantly meet someone’s expectations. Someone’s simplistic, less than complexly-human definition of personhood, is exhausting to have to live inside.”
– John Green
There’s an unavoidable, honest, deep-felt sigh that follows when someone finally says, “You look tired.” It’s as if your soul, delighting in being finally uncovered, joyously betrays the ‘I’m good’ lie you just spoke in obligatory reply to the ‘Hello’ with which you were greeted. Our personal rat-races are built on such deceptions – meant to convey sincerity and care, but mostly just regulated to the realm of polite, social etiquette.
Productivity, my Stockholm lover;
Verily, your name is weariness.
This past week, I spent four days on a Spiritual Retreat. That might sound super lofty, but it was really just four days alone at a Christian retreat centre. I’m blessed to have a job that gives me spiritual retreat days every year, but this is the first time I’ve used them.
I had one main goal when in going: to reconnect with Jesus. God spoke to me back in March, informing me that I neither loved Him nor understood His love for me. Wow. That was a shocker. Like, hit-you-between-the-eyes shocker. Jesus can be a no-holds-barred kinda guy at times. So my hope was to rekindle that divine romance (and avoid a few more punches).