Giving up on God 3 seconds too soon

>>one of the illustrations that I use as a coach/consultant with leadership teams is called “The Tunnel of Chaos”. It is represented as a spiral. We start on the outside limit, with our work together curving inward toward clear vision. When we’re traveling along the outward boundary slowly curving inward, there is a lot of distance covered, a lot of activity, and a LOT of hard work. Even though we expend all this energy to move forward, we don’t feel like we’re getting much closer to the center. Our desire is to travel a straight line right toward a clear answer.

tunnel of chaosThis is a critical time, when we are most tempted to doubt our investment and abandon our journey toward a clear picture of God’s unique vision for us. The farther we go though, the tighter the spiral becomes, and the more rapidly we move toward that center-point of confident clarity.

When I am in the middle of the Tunnel of Chaos, just like when I sat watching this video clip, I find myself judging the artist’s activity in ways that arrogantly assume that I know more than He does. When I doubt His activity and what He’s revealing, what I’m really doing is presuming that my perspective is the most important one – that I know more than God.

>>in the words of the judge “We sat here giving you such a hard time saying, “This is rubbish!”; “What’s it gonna be?”; “He’s never going to do it in time.” Wow! How many times have similar thoughts run through my heart? How many times have I heard leaders express those thoughts about God’s activity (but in our falsely humble, Sunday School words).

When the team invites God to take center-stage in our Vision Pathway process and we feel like things are moving forward because we are committed and doing the hard work, sometimes the picture that begins to emerge seems to be less clear than ever! We see the result of our collaborative God-ward activity, but it appears like random strokes of the brush. We see God moving things forward and uncovering truth, but somehow it just doesn’t connect as a larger picture.

>>my secret heart begins to whisper, just connect the dots yourself. You’re smart enough to find the meaning in this, and God’s not saying anything else. Rely on your own ingenuity. What comes out will be good enough. It seems that right before God turns our perspective upside down is when so many of us give up on God’s leading. We take over and make our meaning in what has been revealed. We are expecting God to add more to the picture until it becomes clear and when He doesn’t we feel compelled to take over. Instead, He’s waiting to shift us so that our perspective snaps into sync with the artist and we see what He sees. All along, it wasn’t a problem with the picture, it was a problem with my perspective.

>>in my secret life when I’m pursuing God, I can get doubtful that what I’m seeing is from Him, and not just my random brain-noise mixed with my desire to find meaning and direction, and like Anderson, “I gotta say, I thought it was like a weird potato.”

We all travel along the Tunnel of Chaos. Somewhere in our daily search for clarity God is actively revealing something – and what God used this 3 minute video to remind me of is vital. Don’t give up on God too quickly. 3 seconds can make all the difference. One thing that I know with confidence: the picture that He’s painting is clear – it’s my vision that needs adjustment.

>>what do you need God to make clear to you right now?