Monday, May 31, 2010

Still Near the Edge

I am never sure how to approach a new addition. You might think that I am just bursting at the seams with new thoughts and it would be simple to just sit down and let it out. Over the past few months since returning form India again, my life has had a sharp turn... a great transition. I will never be able to speak openly about all that has happened, but I will say this... God has more to do with life than anyone would dare to suspect, much less know.

In the past I have always felt the nearness of my faith... that sense that no matter my lot in life, I was never alone. There always seems to be that touch of reality, the knowledge that things can and will happen to bring us back to level ground. We can climb mountains, but the valley is only one slip away, one bit of life’s twist away and I knew it all the time. Perhaps it is the presence of human fear. Maybe it is the desire to be in touch with the ultimate design that life will end, in one context or another and we should always be prepared. But my faith went deep inside my soul. I clung to more than a human message of what must be, to that which I know could be.. that there is something more beyond who we are as humans, to that which we are, as created. I have alway felt there was something more and would not just settle for less.

My trip to India this year was a life changing time. Was it just because it was different? No, I don’t think so. It perhaps was more on the side of the less obvious. There were moments that I thought that I might not actually go this year. Moments that I felt that I may not be allowed to go and that in the end my joy in service there may be challenged. But, God had other plans and I was released and supported in so many great ways, that I soon found that His call on my life was more than real... it was planned. I spent the next weeks travelling, watching, praying and teaching. I spent time with my friend in India talking about what could happen and trying to encourage him in the work he is undertaking for Christ. I saw the needs of the people in the rural settings of India and my heart still cries for their plight.

It is hard to come home and leave behind such a ministry. But, God has some greater plans that take us where we are needed, one moment at a time.. In this lifetime it may change from day to day. I wonder at the obvious most days. I consider myself to be spontaneous, but there are moments that I realize that this is all beyond me.. It is in God’s realm, it is in His control, there He reigns and we just maintain our faith and faithfulness. I am more convinced every day that I have to be ready. Readiness is not something that is an exact ideal. I think I am prepared and viola, there is a change of plan or pattern. I may feel so confident that I am ready only to find out that the rules have changed., the parameters are different and so the game will be played in another court on another day. I imagine the worst some days and God makes it the best. Can you get your head around those situations... no not always. We learn to cope, but is coping enough.

I felt so long that I will just accept. Accepting is good right? We learn to pray part of the Serenity Prayer most often quoted: God, grant me the serenity To accept the things I cannot change; the Courage to change the things I can; And the wisdom to know the difference. I have come to learn that just accepting is not enough. There is a cumulative effect in our lives that causes us to hold inside those things that are truly disastrous to our well-being. Somehow we have to learn to let go of them and empty our lives, our senses, those frets, worries and cares that bog us down and give them over to God. Yes, I know... easy to say when you spend your life as a Pastor! Well, I can tell you it is never easy. I have met many people, Pastors included, who have never done that or even thought of doing that in their lives. We tend to carry the “stuff” of this world with us for our safety and its security. It is hard to let go of some things that we tend to guard, lest it fall into the enemies hands... but who is that enemy?
In my travel through life I have been a searcher. I know that I will always be a searcher. To some extent it is for truth, to another it is to see what and where I can assist. To some it is a God-send, to others it has become a pain in the neck or worse. It leads me to places where trouble exists and answers are not easily found. I watch and learn from what I see, I pray for guidance to make the right choices and I do not always succeed. This I therefore find.. I am not the answer.. I am a searcher who waits for God to move sometimes through me, but more often in the hearts of those I serve, so that work can now begin.. I teach the willing, not the unwilling. God has a way of bringing people to their knees and I wait for what can and should be done and that is not an easy task, because not everyone is receptive to God. The waiting can be hard due to hardness of heart and the pain of loving people, who hurt, is excruciating. I am not called to run away, but to those who need God’s help. Therefore in this life, facing the pain becomes a drive which is like a drug.

That is scary. Do we cross the line and take too much? Yes, by times and the costs to health and relationships can be seen and felt. But to those serving God it is a way of life. I pray for those who read this today. Do not consider life as a mere trip, but a journey. There is a vast difference between the two. A trip may be a vacation, a journey is somewhat of an experience which may lead to change and most often does. I have not changed so drastically that I do not see reality. I have taken on a deeper faith, a new resolve and a new outlook on how things happen in life though. I do not expect that I will ever be the same and do not desire to go back. I am still living near the edge... the view from here is spectacular and I await God’s voice and movement to open the doors of His will daily. May God bless you all.. He is at work always.. You may never see it, but He is here!