There is a voice that rises up in me. It is not my voice. It is not God’s. If I had to give it a name, I’d call it the Voice of Should-Have. Vosh, for short.
Vosh speaks the words that I think I’m supposed to think. He tells me to feel the feelings I’m supposed to feel. Vosh is a voice for the way the world works. He’s a voice for the way the world thinks.
Vosh is a master mimic. He can pitch his voice very much like that still, quiet voice of the holy spirit. Other times he speaks so much like my own self that I barely know it’s not me.
When I think about the importance of being child-like, of wandering, of exploring, of being open, with out a goal or agenda, Vosh chimes in.
He speaks up. He calls me out. He can be quite intimidating, when he has to be.
Vosh says things like, “Your spirituality is too important to do those things, be an explorer.”
At first, I try to bargain and clarify with Vosh. There are vital and important things I believe. To these I hold firm: I will follow Jesus because he was uniquely the son of God and he paid the price of my sin to restore my relationship with him.
But at some point, I have to man up. I have to call Vosh out. I have to name him. And I have to say that my spirituality is too important not to be a wanderer.
As I reflect on my life, I see that my need to act as though I had the answers was some times an act of idolatry. I was worshipping my own cleverness. Other times it was an act of faithlessness. I did not trust God to work it all out and suspected that he needed me to explain things to him.
There is an act of submission here. Submission is so hard. Especially when things are challenging.
Have you ever driven on an icy road? For me, the hardest thing is that as the car begins to slide, you have to relax. If you tighten the grip, things go from bad to worse.
Or repelling. Have you ever repelled? It’s an incredibly unnatural thing. The more you lean back, the closer you coming to make a 90 degree angle with the cliff, the more control you have. Our instincts tell us, when we feel unstable, to hug the rock. But the thing to do is lean back and away from it and trust the rope and our feet.
As we sense the importance of God to us, our natural instinct is to want to be tidy, organized, goal-oriented. Rely on our little human words and thoughts. We’re told that this is the way to be. Vosh says it. It must be true, right?