Monday, January 16, 2006

Sign Your Name

There are signs everywhere. So how come when you are blatantly looking for them, they do not appear?

I’ve been grappling with something for about a week now. During a discussion about this decision, a friend of mine suggested that I not be afraid to ask for specific signs from God.

I’ve always been afraid of asking for specifics. I feel like that sort of goes against the whole “I gave you free will” thing, because if I had a sign from God that said, “Buy whole milk”, bet your butt I’d switch to whole milk.

But my friend, in all of his wisdom said, “Don’t be afraid of asking for specific signs.”

And so I did. On top of praying for my family and friends, and for other various things, I asked God for a specific sign to help me decide what I should (or should not) do.

And, to the best of my knowledge, I have not seen it. Now, I would think that asking for a specific sign would produce a specific sign. So over the past few days, I’ve been seeing what I would normally read as signs and thinking, “That can’t possibly be it” or “Hmmm…that COULD be it.”

Basically it’s driving me nuts.

Now, I know that there are signs everywhere. And I know that being a human and all, it limits my knowledge of knowing for sure what God would say is specific. But I consider myself very open to this type of thing and so it’s frustrating to me that I am still without a sign.

(As an aside-I really hate it when people say “fustrating”. It has an “r” in it people. Use it.)

So. My dilemma continues. However, I have once again realized that no sign is indeed a sign that I have to remain patient with myself and wait.

Good things come to those who wait, right? So God, I’m ready. Bring on the signage-when you are ready.

Thanks a bunch.

13 comments:

Mags said...

Yes, I know. Someone just pointed out that switching to whole milk after the sign is also excersizing my free will. This is true. But tell me who WOULDN'T??? I mean, c'mon....

Mags said...

Oh. And also? Thanks to you for reminding me that I'm a risk taker. It helps.

Even if it's about cutting the legs off of a table when most people would think it's nuts-I like that you put that as one of my good qualities.

Thanks.

Hamel said...

I'm a firm believer, Mags, that all too often we look for connections and in so doing make connections when there shouldn't be, something Francis Bacon complained about hundreds of years ago in Novus Organum.

If God gave us signs how to act, it's not really a test to see if we deserve to go to heaven. That's why I don't look for signs without, but within. Let your conscience guide you.

Sorry to be preachy.

Mags said...

Hamel,
No worries, I value your opinions and am thankful when you share them. That being said, I can see where you are coming from, but somewhat disagree only because we do have free will, and although a blatant sign from God would be hard to pass by, it is ultimately still our CHOICE whether or not to act on it.

And therefore can still be viewed as a "test" to get into heaven.

Hamel said...

Yes, I see your point as well. Each year I choose something I know little about to read up on. I'm teaching a Holocaust class next year so have chosen that subject for 2006. What I find happening so many times in what I read are Jews in camps asking "How could God let this happen? Where is God?"

All they wanted was a sign, and none ever came. Gets me thinking, I guess.

Also, I value your intellect and opinion enough that I feel comfortable enough to voice mine. Thanks for being the best . . . (Not second or third, mind you ;) )

Mags said...

Hamel:

See-this is why I have always NOT asked for specific signs. Because in looking for a specific, you miss the not-so-specific ones-the ones that are around us all of the time.

I'm sure I've been given hundreds of signs about my decision, but it's clouded by what I want them to say instead of what they may say. Just like the people you are reading about.

Hamel said...

Great point, Mags.

Thanks for the thought-provoking post.

Do you know how happy I am you were told you were missed?

megan said...

I'm not sure what you're actually deciding so I'm not completely sure how to help you. But I can say that when I have a truly difficult decision to make I just make the one that's my gut reaction. I have found that no matter what I decide and for what reason or reasons, it almost always works out. If it ends up not being the best decision, I either do whatever I have to do to reverse it or I make the most of the decision I did make. More times than not, no matter what I decide it becomes the best decision even if it takes me a while to realize it. You can make yourself crazy over-analyzing, trust your gut, make a final decision and make it work. You'll see, it'll be what's best in the long run.

Mags said...

Hamel:

Thank you for debating. It's always nice to have someone to spar with! And also-it was my mom who missed me, so don't get too excited!

Megan:

You know me-I over analyze everything. Thank you though!!!

Hepcat said...

Mags,

Since you are on over analyzer, I thought you might enjoy the musings of someone else who does the same. I over analyze absolutely everything. I have asked for signs in the past, sometimes the come, sometimes they do not. At the same time, sometimes they come when they are not asked for. In my past, I have found that eventually when you mull the options over enough, one of two things happens. The first thing that might happen is that you just start to feel more peace about one option than the other. Whether it is the one your head thinks it wants or not, there is just a sort of peace that you cannot explain about the decision. The other thing that might happen is a sort of giddy excitement of what will happen if (when) you convince yourself it is the right choice. At that point, you have already made your decision because you know you are not going to calm down enough to really be ok about the other option. Often times, even this second scenario seems to be followed by a certain peace in the midst of the giddyness.

On a slightly different topic, I would like to interject my opinion on another topic that has emerged in the comments and that is the idea that what we go through on earth is a "test" to determine our worthiness to go to heaven. As best I can understand it, our time here is not a series of tests to decide if we enter heaven. It is not like a cummulative average that states you must recieve and average of 78.6% passing to enter heaven. If it is the case, then truth be told I screw up far to often, my average is likely in the single digits. The point is that, heaven's gates have been opened to us but the love of God and Jesus' willingness to pay the immense price for our sins. "8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast." --Ephesians 2:8-9, New International Version.

That is just my opinion, and I would love to discuss it further if anyone disagrees!

Mags said...

John,
As always, it warms my heart to see you here, especially when you are speaking of something you truly know and love. Thank you.

Thank you also for the advice, coming from an over analyzer. I sometimes feel as though I've got a problem with how much I weigh the options in my head and it is good to know that there are MANY other people who do it as well.

On that note, your point is taken regarding the "test". Forgive me, but I do not know the bible well in terms of quotes etc...but isn't there something that speaks about Faith Without Works? It surely makes sence-grace and faith.

Please, feel free to continue this here. I'd be delighted to hear what others have to say. Many of the people who come by here everyday are Christians of some sort and all are WICKED smart.
8-) I'd love to hear opinions vs. "bible facts" from everyone.

JUST BE RESPECTFUL OF EVERYONE ELSE'S OPINIONS PLEASE.

Please-continue!

One who listens said...

I'm touched that you think my advice is good, Mags. I have been reminded now that once I asked for a specific sign, and didn't get it, and the upshot in my mind was: "It's up to you. You decide."

-

On hepcat's comment about our life here not being a test, I would have to disagree. Every single creature that God creates, from the greatest of the angels to the lowliest human, has a test to undergo. It is a personal test as well as a family test, and there are degrees of passing as well as degrees of failure.

You must have heard of "the highest heavens" or the "deepests pits of hell", and a study of Judaism's take on the angels reveals that they considered there to be "ranks" of angels with the greatest being closest to God.

If you live a Godly life, with Jesus shining through you in every aspect of your life, and strive with every fibre of your being to emulate Christ in every way, right down to the smallest thing, then this will please God the most. It is only through Jesus that we can get to God.

I would totally agree with hepcat that works on their own, however, are totally useless for "buying your way" into heaven. (Eph 2:8-9)

God's grace is given to us as a free gift, and it is only through that medium that our works become good in God's eyes.

However, once we have God's grace, our works become good in God's eyes, and we can merit His praise for doing His will. God will be pleased with us if we are tempted and overcome it.

If we do not have any good works to show at the end of our lives, God will say to us "I gave you so much, and you did nothing with it. What is wrong with you?" (or words to that effect: Mat 34-46) Matthew has quite a lot to say on the subject of doing things once you have accepted the faith, and I won't go into it here, except to say there's loads there. :)

But it wasn't just Matthew. James was quite vehement about it too, when he said that people who didn't have any works to show for their faith were empty. (James 2:17)

I think that was the verse you were talking about Mags. :)

Gosh, I've rambled on for ages! I think I should leave off and let better and wiser people have their say. :)

Owl.

Mags said...

Owl, Hep, thank you for sharing your knowledge and your beliefs and thank you for feeling comfortable enough to do it here. 8-)

Owl, I would love to read something you write about religion. I think that a lot of people are turned off by the wording that everything is written in and having you simplify (as you did with Matthew here) would be wonderful.

Thanks again, guys.