The cloud

Here’s the week in review. I got a LinkedIn invite from Vandalay Industries. Learned that standing up in the presence of an older person is biblical (Isaiah 32). Discovered my podiatrist is also a rabbi / shrink / chocolate dealer. Found out that Goodwill, sadly, does not participate in Fashion Night Out.

And finally realized I need to pray a new prayer: “life with You Lord is life surrendered.”

 The last few months I’ve seen just about everyone I know at my company leave. Even the peeps I recruited via speed recruiting (how could they!). I’ve watched a few people come and go out of my life, floated between spiritual communities, and kind of been on the periphery for awhile.

 But in the wise words of the philosopher Jennifer Aniston, “life starts now.”

 When everything seems so uncertain, I’m reminded of the cloud.

Awhile ago, God sent this big cloud and everyone in Israel had to watch that cloud to know where they were going (to be clear, this cloud wasn’t an Apple service to save documents on, I’m pretty sure Steve Jobs wasn’t alive 2,000 years ago).

This cloud thing is really super annoying because how can you plan anything when the cloud could move tomorrow? And yet, Numbers 9 explains that everyone heeded that cloud and just rolled with it.

I’m guessing, since the Israelites exist today, that everyone didn’t stop their lives because of the uncertainty of what was happening with that cloud. Ostensibly, people got married and had kids and went to shul and had birthday parties and tried new recipes and took fencing classes and went to hip hop class and built friendships. 

Man, I can’t get over this cloud.

Because now that I’m a project manager I realize what the problem with my thinking is – God isn’t my project manager. There isn’t a column of “deliverables” and “action” steps for Him to accomplish because I’ve set up this big life plan and by this age and this stage this or that should be happening.

And sometimes, I’ll be honest, I hate that.

Thankfully, it’s okay to sometimes hate that.

Because Joni Eareckson Tada, who I consider somewhat higher on the wisdom scale than Jen, says we should go ahead and give it to God instead of apathetically ignoring Him or walking away when we don’t understand why the cloud starts moving again. Or stops.

God can take it. And for anyone who’s never gotten into a Jacob like wrestling match with God, you probably don’t know Him. He should make you mad, and frustrate you, and get in your business, and mess you up every once in awhile when He starts and stops that cloud.

I’m learning that instead of asking, “how long am I here in this job or in this involvement?” we can trust that He’s got a plan, He’s working that plan, and as Romans tells us, “it’s all good.”

We can ask, “what do You want me to do right now even if I’m only here 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, 1 year?” Because honestly, we can’t know beyond this very second.

And when we’re bogged down in the fog and can’t even see the cloud to follow, we can cling to the promises.

That the God whose “paths are beyond tracing out” (Romans 11:33), promises to be “a light unto our path” (Psalm 119:105). That the Lord promises us His presence will go with us (Exodus 33:14) when everyone else seems to be heading for the exit (or Yahoo or Fox…). That when our confidence is shaken He promises to “BE our confidence” (Psalm 71:5). 

Trust in the mover and Maker of that cloud. Or as my mom likes to say, “turn your eyes upon Jesus.” Because sometimes, that’s really all we can do.

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