Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Cam, in real life

So, I watched Dan in real life last night. And besides being a touching and valuable comment on family and relationships, I thought the last line of the film really touched something about the way we should see life as God-followers as opposed to the traditional world-driven religious 'Christian' view.. (haha wow that's a laden sentence)..

I don't want to give too much of the film or its ending away, but this fits within the premise of the story - Dan is a column writer for a column called "Dan in real life" and the film ends off with him dictating his latest entry, and saying how he wants to talk about plans - and more specifically what he calls life plans.. and he says a few things, but then says something more or less like this.. ..yay - i looked and actually found the quote! (here). The quote is: "Instead of telling our young people to plan ahead, we should tell them to plan to be surprised."

Isn't that such a flip on the head of our usual drive!? Because for so many of us, it's all about the plan! About your 5-year plan, about what you're going to do with your life, even about what God's plan for your life is (how that question has plagued me!!). We badger matriculants about their plans. About what they're doing with their lives and about what we think they should be doing - yet how many of our lives have ever 'gone to plan'!? What is it about this western world that makes us so pre-occupied with eradicating all risk - and as a result - so much of the joy and excitement of life!? The best advice my religious leaders could give me was completing the 'blue print' - which was really just a slightly more descriptive 5 year plan. I never actually got round to doing it - and boy did I feel that I just wasn't where I should or could be - because I never did the stuff. And this isn't just about the younger people.

I suppose, I should preface this by saying - I don't think it's wrong to decide what to study, or what job to take. I'm not advocating sitting on our proverbial behinds and doing nothing.

BUT. How about planning to be surprised!? How about it? How about planning to live in the unforced rhythms of God's grace. How about planning to do THAT!? Why would my leaders point me to some blank piece of paper for me to decide, when there is a living God waiting to light my path?

I think so many of us just have a bad attitude. We despise surprises. it's uncomfortable. But what if we changed our attitude. What if we embraced surprise. What if.. we rather planned to be surprised?

If we were honest with ourselves - how many of the plans we had for us that have been brought to fruition have really left us feeling happy and fulfilled? And how many of the plans we've had have really ever been brought to fruition?

Life isn't something we can plan. It's not something that we can map out and predetermine. The shame is that when we do approach it like that we more often than not get bogged down in our confined religious views, dogma and mindsets, and miss out on the life of surprise and fullness that Dad has for us (for I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord..).

I'm so much more amped on a real life relationship with my Abba-Dad, learning to live in His plans, to hear His heartbeat, and to rest in what He has laid out for me.

He has this wonderful gift for all of us. Why do we so often sell ourselves short of this? We take the "salvation" - but to what end? To return to living life on our terms!? We are like the Israelites on being saved from Egypt who continuously wanted to return. And then when they had the chance to enter the 'land of milk and honey' chose the desert because it felt 'safer'.

Are we really THAT blind? God didn't save us for the desert people. He saved us for the 'milk and honey' of real close relationship with HIM! Yet we pass it off for the dry, bland desert-life of religion where food or drink that nourishes is always hard to find. Is God with us in the desert? YES - but that isn't where He longs for us to be!! And I am so scared that if we aren't careful - many of us will die (and have died) in that place.

We need to be that people that embraces what God has for us. What He has saved us for - a life FULL of relationship with Papa, Jesus and Sarayu (you will need to read The Shack to get that reference...).

What a full and joyous life this is going to be! This journey that beckons us all!


stories from exile said...

yay cam, i like this revelation. its what susanna and i are embracing - the no real set plan thing... making ourselves available to our Lord and not to our own agenda. there is SO much freedom in this! and any fear that comes with it can be dispelled with the solid as rock knowledge the there is nobody who can safeguard our destiny better that YHWH!

oh, and i totally agree with you, God doesnt demand payback for giving us life. like a mother doesnt expect a child to pay her back for the medical expense of childbirth. haha.

Lindsay said...

Good post. I really like that line of planning to be surprised! Thanks for sharing it. Sounds like Dan In Real Life is worth a watch.

Cam said...

Hi Lyndsay - yes - I really enjoyed it - it's a beautiful story that's more 'real' than the normal polished Hollywood stuff. I quite enjoyed it :D

It's funny - as much as I'm against planning too much, I am still struggling to trust Dad in everything.. which is most probably natural.. and I'm getting there - it's all about the journey after all!

Glad you've swung round and said hi!

Laurel Kriegler said...

I like that bit about the way that we work (and plan!) to eradicate risk. Sure, some of us are risk-takers, and others of us are less so - that's how we are made - but to eradicate risk? To eradicate risk is to live in a dreamworld (or a hypothetically perfect world) where there is no one (and no THING) else to change the status quo. Sorry guys, but this just isn't reality. Those of us who have houses and cars - these could be wiped out in a second. The same goes for medical aid, pension funds (storing up for the future rather than spending now), and all the other niceties that we try to make ourselves comfortable with. I once learned that when we get comfortable, God goes out of His way to make us UNcomfortable, so that we rely on Him, rather than on ourselves or the cushions that we have created to prevent a fall. So yep - let's plan to be surprised ... by God.