Similarly I’m often paralysed by the size of the task before us as Christians. I look around at the world, in fact even just Scarborough, and I struggle to see how these people are ever going to accept God, I just don’t see how they will ever change.
“Then, after doing all those things, I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will …
Our society sees refinement as an end or a product or something to be consumed. But refinement is not just an end. It is not just a product. Refinement is also a process. And hardly ever a fun one.
Having recognised this I have a choice. Do I wallow in self pity, wishing I could change that which is already set in stone? Or do I use it to motivate myself to not waste anything else and to make the most of every opportunity I get to advance God’s Kingdom. The trouble is that I will invariably waste as I attempt not too.
I never imagined when I named this blog that we would experience in 5 days the ebbs and flows of …
Distracted by cheap food and rich conversation with my beautiful wife, I took my eyes off the trolley park for a bit, and when I looked back it was chaos. More trolleys had been left any which way, a lady approached and tried to slot her trolley into the back of another in the correct fashion, but this made more of a mess because of the angle it was now sticking out at.
This is not just about God knowing what was going on and having a plan – though this is incredible in itself. The psalmist proclaims that YOU knit me together. God, THE LORD, I AM, Alpha and Omega, King of Kings… knitting me?
We all know the cliches about how we are more connected to each other than ever but somehow more lonely and I’m not going to re-cover that ground. Instead I have been thinking about how this state of affairs has affected our relationship with God. I think I have a ‘text’ relationship with God. But only the bad side of texting.
Are we so different? We may not be match fixers but we all have our short cuts. Pornography can be a short cut for sex – it’s not as satisfying, or so I’m told! The lottery is a short cut to riches – if you’re lucky! Beer is a short cut to happiness and a good time. Facebook a short cut for friendship?! But do short cuts satisfy, or ultimately, do we just get lost?
God loves me. I know it. I know it in my bones, but more than that I see it. Demonstrated in a plethora of ways each and every day. Hang on. I just lied to you. I said I see it every day.
I said I know it.
At the same stage in my life I was more focused on my career and saving the money I needed to get married and purchase a home.
I was broken, and I was furious. How could this happen? How could he do that? How could society allow that? How could God allow that?
I make no claim to literary genius, I am just beginning to peel back the oppression of ‘adulthood’ to let my creativity loose!
Waves of Grace
As I swim my life matches the rise and fall of the waves…
We spend (/waste) so much of our lives thinking and working or being anxious or proud based on the past or the future – both of which are often irrelevant to life, and cripple our ability to live in this moment. ‘God speed’ is not necessarily progress at a spectacular rate – it is acceptance of existence in the moment. Living…right now.
Now we have a foundation for our latching. Now we can examine everything they say and do to make sure that they are a better Christian than us. Now we can hold them up as an example to everyone who thinks Christians aren’t cool! Take that heathens! Now we can judge them more harshly than we judge ourselves, and expect them to live a life second only to Jesus in terms of purity.
We all like to think we embrace change. It is cool to think we are open minded enough to accept and welcome change, it is easy to judge people who are in the middle of change and laugh at their fearfully small steps towards it and rather large ones away from it. And then we face change.
You want to see me angry? Come and watch me play 5aside. It might not happen every week but come …
Can you imagine a church like that? I think I read about one once in a little book called Acts, but I don’t know that I have ever seen one. I do know I’d be knocking the door down if I did. A church where new ministries were set up because there were too many volunteers for the existing ones, where a bring and share lunch resulted in the left overs being used to benefit those who were hungry, where the treasurer came out of their counting room declaring that too much money had been put in the offering and we have to quickly decide who to bless with the excess. A church where prayers are answered by God, simply so he can get some peace from the sheer volume and noise of the requests!
Go back the way you came. Back into the world of distraction, of noise, of fear and depression. Back into the busy world that doesn’t listen, that laughs at the miraculous, the world that ignores you, that wears you down and threatens to break you, that demands from you, that steals your time and your joy, the world that will attempt to kill God, that will spit on His followers, that will write you off as crazy. Go into that world revitalised through silent time with your creator, go into that world and rebuild my garden.