This is a post that I have been thinking about and struggling with for some time. We will see how it comes out.
Lately I have been intrigued by the concept of independence. To at least a certain extent, we all want it. Wars are caused by the quest for it. Kids fight with their parents to get more of it. And, amazingly, God gave it to us. Although God created man in his own image (Genesis 1:27), He gave us the power to make our own decisions and to chart our own course. He could have created man with a mind only to worship Him, never to question, never to wander, never to sin.
But, He didn't. From the beginning - despite knowing what would come of it - God gave man the power to chart his own course. He told Adam not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17), but God gave him the power to do so.
Let's make it a little more personal, since that is how I have been thinking of it. God could have made me love Him with all my heart. God could have prevented me from challenging and denying. But, He didn't. Instead, God gave me the independence to make up my own mind. To accept His unconditional love or to ignore it. Or, worse yet, to deny it. It is like the old poster that said something like - "If you love something set it free. If it comes back to you, it is yours forever. If it doesn't, then it was never meant to be." God sets us free and lets us come back to Him. Although He wants us to run to His arms, He doesn't force it. An amazing gift.
But, the more I grow in my faith, the further I progress on this walk, the less I want that independence. I pray that God will lead me. I pray that God will direct me. I pray that God will use me. Rather than wanting to make my own decisions about where I am going, what I am doing, where I am heading, I want to do His will. The image of a puppet is probably too strong, but it is what has been working for me. Most of my life I wanted to cut as many strings as possible so that no one or no thing were controlling me. In fact, I was afraid of being controlled. Now, though, I have reached a place where I find myself trying to tie those strings so that I can feel that pull. So that I can be moved. So that I can be controlled by the hands of God.
It is funny that as I have come to understand the independence that was given to me, I want less of it, not more.