A question that bugged me

Andrew Nixon

A question: What activities are you involved in at the moment that really involve faith? A colleague shared with me that he had recently been challenged by this question. So was I when I heard it.

At an intellectual level, I could answer, "I just crossed the street". Our doctrine of God's sovereign control over all things teaches us that we rely on him for our next heartbeat.

But this question is not about things you know theologically. It is a very practical question: where in your life are you most acutely aware that God is in control and you are not? What activities are you currently involved in that require a complete, utter and (to the world looking on) ridiculous trust in God? What things are you doing that do not rely on your own strength, stamina, expertise or experience, but prayer alone? Where in your life are you stepping out in confidence that your Father in heaven will provide a firm place for your foot to rest " even though you cannot see how he will do it?

It is a good question isn't it? It certainly got me thinking hard. One thing I realised was that any genuine answer " either past or present " could be very quickly identified by my prayers on the subject. Fact is, in spite of all the theological correctness in the world, I don't beseech God for my next breath or my next meal or the next time I will see my family" which says a great deal about my current state of health, affluence and security. For many people, such things would be very real answers to the question posed. But for me " thank God " they are not. So what is? What am I involved in " what have I committed myself to " that is so far out of my comfort zone that it drives my urgent prayers?

As I have reflected on the question, and realised the inevitable coincidence of faith-based activity and heartfelt prayer, I have worked out one thing: surely my answer reveals the area in which God is at work in me and through me. Yes, he is at work everywhere else too. But for me (and perhaps for you too) nowhere quite like this"

So, what activities are you involved in at the moment that really involve faith?

Andrew Nixon is the Executive Director of Connect 09 and a minister with many years of parish-based ministry.