Sunday, November 02, 2008

Relentlessly Broken

Recently a friend of mine said something to me that really stuck. He has been going through some difficult times and having to trust God in some large ways. As God is working in his life, he realized that maybe this brokenness and trust isn't just for a season. Maybe it is for always.

You see, he shared with me that as life got harder and he trusted God with more, he secretly thought that some day God would back off and let him run things again. God was trying to teach him a lesson but didn't want to run things this way all the time.

But then my friend came to a realization that has hit me very hard. "Maybe God wants us to be broken and dependent all the time!" Wow, that is hard to even contemplate, let alone live up to. Where would I even start?

We have this strange game going on with God where we let Him run certain areas of our life for a while and then demand them back. As if we were doing God a favor by allowing Him to take part.

So what does this have to do with innovation? Plenty. What I find myself doing as I strive to come up with new ideas and concepts is best described in a simple list:
1. I have a problem/opportunity that I am trying to figure out.
2. I struggle with a solution and then remember to ask God.
3. God leads and I follow . . .
4. Then I thank God for the idea and say, "I'll run with it from here."

In Christian circles we can get caught in a trap of treating God as the solutions fairy. When we need a new idea, a solution, a fresh perspective, we go to God in prayer. However, as soon as we feel that we have an answer we remove it from the feet of Jesus and we place it at our own.

I can think of countless times that I have done this in my own life. I want God's help but not His leadership. I want His vision but not His direction.

We have to be willing to relentlessly submit to God . . . at every step of every idea/action/task. We have to be willing to live - like my friend shared - broken lives all the time and not just when we are learning something or going through a hard time.

God wants all of our ideas, our efforts our leadership to be bent to His vision, mission and will. Are we willing to live lives like that as we innovate?


Brian said...

This is right on, Jon.

I have struggled recently with not feeling broken when I should. I seem to have the "Steven Segal Complex", showing virtually no emotion, regardless of whether I'm happy, sad or indifferent.

But I have learned that brokenness really is a state of mind, understanding that God works most powerfully through our brokenness, our weakness. For me. brokenness, while sometimes expressed in tears, is better shown in resolve and conviction to live differently.

Jeff said...

The trick for me seems to be, "How do I stay broken when times are good?" When the struggles are constant and I have to trust God because, well, I don't have a choice, that's one thing. But how do I walk in brokenness and complete, radical trust when I'm so used to trusting in myself at the most base level? How to find the new "normal".

Jon and Mindy Hirst said...

Brian and Jeff,

Great comments. I have been thinking of your "resolve" comment Brian. You are right. Brokenness is not weak. Brokenness is realizing that the strength is not ours. If we ask God for the strength we can perservere in our brokenness.

Jeff, I think your idea of the "new normal" is very powerful. We have to essentially break the old patterns and realities and create new ones. What a challenge. Trusting in God is the ultimate sign of brokeness.