“Ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?”
“It’s something I say to all my prey…I just like the sound of it!”
~Batman, 1989, The Joker and Bruce Wayne in Vicki Vale’s apartment.
(55 seconds in for the quote)
To loosely quote C.S. Lewis, if you find something helpful and useful here, great! If not, disregard and keep moving on.
For the past few months I have had that quote by Jack Nicholson in my head. Without going into too much detail, I have been interacting with people from my career’s past and it has been interesting to say the least. Along side these unexpected encounters, I’ve had unexpected feelings well up, even symptoms of an ailment I struggle with but have had under control for almost two years(which I will get into in another article) have flared up and physically manifested. Due to the nature, of these encounters, it felt like I had been dancing with the devil, so to speak. No, I’m not a part of a witness protection program, nor were these encounters “haunting”, they were just…weird.
Things like this cause me to stop, pause and then ask God, usually internally: What are you up to in this, Jesus? Is this something you’ve orchestrated? What is your purpose in this? Seriously, what is going on here?
The “pause” is one of those things that I am grateful to have learned from John Eldredge (no, not directly, as I’ve stated before, it is more like a mentoring process through his writings). The point is to turn to Him. To look for the redemptive value, to look for God to mentor, teach and father you in the things that happen in your life. Conflicts, surprises, chance encounters, what-have-you. I’m not perfect at this practice, but it’s a good one.
X,Y,Z seemingly random events happen in your life. Pause. Are they random? Maybe they are. What is going on here, Jesus?
I think I’ve talked about this next bit before…it’s a question I struggle with: I’m not one to subscribe to the camp that everything that happens is God’s will, or that He made it happen, etc. I have a really hard time seeing him as an all-knowing game-player controlling the entire board of a cosmic version of the game RISK. I don’t think things are a “surprise” either, but anyways. However, I do believe that He can and does orchestrate things in our lives for good and redemptive purposes, for fatherly purposes, etc. No, I don’t have a formula or theory, or a written code on all the things he can or does orchestrate. God is God, He can orchestrate whatever He wants without my approval, obviously. How does the “pause” tie in here to this? Well, I’ve learned that it’s good to look for Him anyways. He might not have caused something to happen, or wanted it to happen, but He is still there, simply because He resides in you. This is one of the things that this “pause” does for me. To look for him in the very middle of life’s blessings and the messes.
Now, I would assume that most people who believe in God do turn to Him in one way or another when a number of given situations occur. When they are good, I would hope we give thanks. When they aren’t so good, I would hope that we try to give thanks for whatever we still have and then ask for His help.
However…how many of us during these times just simply pause and ask our Father: What’s going on here?
God, I believe, isn’t a trickster. So it isn’t a pause to see if you are being “punked” on a cosmic scale. So, again, the “What’s going on here?” question, or however one phrases it, is simply that pause to “look” for Him in everything. Maybe more accurately, to turn our attention towards him and, for lack of a better word, allow him to come in as father and guide and instruct us.
This practice of the “pause” reminds me that He is my teacher and Father and keeps me open to see that there are many things He wants to show me, and that He is good enough to want to take any opportunity He can as a Father to teach me and train me. It reminds me to ask him and to be open to guidance.
What about you?
Have you ever had a “dance with the devil” experience and asked God what He is up to in all of it?
Is this “pause” something you have put into practice yourself?
As always, I would love to hear your thoughts!