I was jolted by these words of Bonhoeffer while reading, “Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy,” by Eric Metaxas, and they have continued to bounce around in my mind--one layer of meaning sparing against another.
As a start, Bonhoeffer reminds me how essential and challenging it is to ask the right question. Case in point: “How can I be a good?” “How can I do something good?” are straight from the ego. I immediately respond, “Not to worry, I can figure out what a good person should do, and more specifically what I should do.” Then I notice that in my response I have grabbed the role of director from God. Next I notice that my answer includes that problematic word, ‘should’. Clearly I’m off track here.
“No, no, no,” says Bonhoeffer, “God is the director. Try this one. ‘What does God want you to do?’” Immediately the question shifts from worldly ‘shoulds’ to God “shoulds’. I’m beginning to hear that I ‘should’ listen to God’s response.
I have a log way to go on all of this, this listening to God, but I’m trying. I do it through all kinds of praying, such as talking with God, centering prayer, and reading scripture. I do it sitting, walking, and listening to music. I do it in solitude, with family and friends and at church. I’ll try anything that sounds like God’s will for me.