Friday, August 12, 2011

Having a Reaction, Part 2

So a few days ago I wrote a post about Having a Reaction. A friend who gets my blog posts by email replied directly to me and started a further conversation on the subject. The gist of the discussion was that maybe everything is a reaction. Are we reacting to God or to people? My dear friend was trying to put it all together. The conversation went basically like this:

I can relate, Carolyn. I certainly "get it" -- intellectually at least, but too much of my time is spent "being reactive instead of proactive." ... I let God send me things (blog entries for instance) that I need to react to, and then I try to "show up and pay attention." ... Okay, now I'll have to think about where I need to be more proactive - intentional was your word. (But isn't that a reaction to what you wrote? Arrgh.)

It is hard to parse it out, isn't it? God definitely asks us for a faith response. He gives some pretty interesting cues sometimes. But what if all of our life really was supposed to be a reaction? But it was reaction to Him rather than to others? So in every situation, whether the other person is being nice or horrid, we would ask Him how He would have us react? That would kinda be acting with intention, wouldn't it? His intention? And the times we are supposed to be proactive instead of waiting for other people, our actions would be faith reactions to Him? We could chase our tales in circles on the semantics of this, but what it comes down to is acting for Him, in His time, with His purpose. NOT my own selfish purposes. NOT waiting for Him to make circumstances perfect before I will act. NOT responding to people out of my own willfulness, but with His heart. Can you imagine what this world would look like if we always responded with His heart instead of our own? I suspect that is a little bit of what the new Heaven and new earth will look like.

Nicely done, Carolyn!  Thank you!  Even Biblical, I think -- we love because He first loved us!  (1 John 4:19)

I was glad for the validation, of course, because sometimes blogland is so silent that I don't know if you all think I'm off my rocker or if you are even paying attention.

I was glad for the discussion, because it made me think it through a little more. I knew the first post was somewhat disjointed just because I could feel His presence so keenly that my thinking was all muddled - I was just feeling Him.

I was glad that my friend added the Bible verse. I want to make sure that I'm making scriptural suggestions.

And can you just imagine? What if we were all acting intentionally on His love? What if our faith/love response to God was so strong that it overrode any other reactions we might have? That would be Heaven for me...

I am still muddled right now because there is a four-year-old granddaughter sitting next to me asking more questions than I knew existed. But this raw stuff - just back and forth off the cuff - is what God wanted me to share... the things I'm really learning, as I'm learning it. Hope y'all weren't looking for something all polished up. Polished isn't much my strength. Real is... or is becoming...


  1. Carolyn,

    Hi. I like what you've written here...I asked Brennan Manning once about the way he approaches each day and he said 'I just try and do the next thing in love.' That's sorta, kinda what I hear you saying.

    Be well...and keep wrestling toward the real.

  2. I've lived my life in one big reaction or another. Always reacting, fighting, rebelling, etc. I don't want to anymore. At this stage of the game it's a protective layer I wear proudly, or......not so proudly.

    I'm in a "recalculating route" mood and I don't know what to do with......almost everything. I think I took a wrong turn somewhere and the silence is deafening.

    I love unpolished, the other is so plastic and fake. Raw and real gets my vote everytime!

    Enjoy those grandkids Carolyn!

  3. I missed part one, so had to go and read it first. Wow, had me laughing and convicted all at once! While knowing that everything I do should be done in, through and for Him only, my own self gets in the way to often. I thank God for using you to remind us all to be intentional rather than reactionary in all areas of our life. I know my kids (and mom) will appreciate it. ;o)


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