Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.Proverbs 3:6 (NLT)
There are tens of thousands of children’s stories shared at Seventh-day Adventist churches around the world each Sabbath morning. I’ve attended SDA churches all of my life, so I’ve heard a lot of them (at least when I was paying attention). Perhaps you have heard a lot of them too. If so, maybe you can answer this question: What is a recurring theme that pops up in most children’s stories? I’ll give you a hint: If you’re a parent, you’ll get this question quickly. (If not, shame on you!) One of the major themes I’ve certainly heard over and over is “children, obey your parents.” Yes, the stories are creative, silly, and sometimes a little too long. But, this theme, in my experience, has dominated children’s stories for decades.
Now, I’m not saying it’s a bad thing that we are constantly reminding our children to listen to us (often times while they’re making faces at people in the congregation, wandering around the stage, or crawling under the piano). What I’m saying is that most of us have heard that we need to listen and obey our parents. So, let me pose this question: Why?
Over the course of multiple decades of life, parents have picked up a bit of wisdom – they’ve done, or seen, people do dumb things and have learned from them. They don’t want you to suffer the same consequences from doing things that make life more difficult.
So it is with our Heavenly parent. No, God hasn’t done dumb things and learned from them. (He’s perfect, after all) But, He has wisdom that is far, far, far superior to any human being’s. He can see past, present, and future. He can see every square millimeter of the universe at once. He sees and knows everything. And, He is trying to guide each of us in our lives to give us the best existence possible, eventually leading us to our eternal home.
So, how do we find our individual path, our way in this life? By dumping our own wants and desires and aligning them with God’s. We’ve got to stop trying to make our own way and follow His. When we surrender our lives, the directions they take, the decisions we make, and seek God in all aspects of our existence, then we can see where He is leading. And, there is peace in this, because we trust that where He is leading is perfect for us.
So, today, and every day, listen to your Heavenly parent.