Saturday, June 27, 2009

How Big is Your Territory? Too Small? Too Big?

Recall the scene from Bruce Almighty (2003) where God and Bruce are doing a little measuring of progress. It runs like this:

GOD (Morgan Freeman) – You aren’t listening, son. Let’s see, you’ve had my powers for over a week now and how many people have you helped?

BRUCE (Jim Carrey) – Okay, so maybe I've righted a couple of the wrongs in my own life. I was going to get around to others. I can do both. I can help the world.

GOD The world? That wasn’t the world, Bruce. That was just Buffalo, between 57th Street and Commonwealth. I didn’t want to start you out with more than you can handle.[1]
The truth is we all have a certain territory or bounds within the scope of our ‘field of play.’

We have all been given certain responsibilities and it’s strangely bizarre that some of us resent these. We’d seemingly want more or less responsibility if we had the freedom to design it so.

The truth is God will not give us more than we can safely (very safely) handle.[2] That promotion we seek at work… it won’t come until we’re genuinely ready, so there’s no point getting impatient about it. We’ll only dash our slim chances if we get frustrated.

And again, there are some of us who’re not at all happy because life is just too plain hard--there’s too much responsibility. Life’s not going to get any easier for us in our whinging and complaining. And our miracle-working God is not going to be fazed in the slightest with our tantrums of discontent.

God will broaden our territories when we’re ready and he has a purpose for it. God will lessen our responsibilities, bringing us comparative freedom, in his good time.

We’re in this place, the place we find ourselves in, for a reason. There is a purpose to it. Our purpose is to find meaning in our ‘place’ right now, and make it our utopia (good place).

Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved.
[1] Source:
[2] See 1 Corinthians 10:13, especially the New Living Translation which has, “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” This was meant in a different context to that of the present discussion, but I believe the same principle holds.
POST SCRIPT: We should pray that God doesn’t eventually relent to our immature requests. That happened to me once; he eventually let me have my own way after I insisted on it so much. It proved to be a downfall for me; one that I regret even today.

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