Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The business of change

Canadian flag
Oh, the joy of good mentors!

Last weekend, we received excellent counsel on prioritizing our time and energy. We're up to date with thank-yous, and working away on informational materials, scheduling services, and calling friends.

Next week we're in Eastern Washington and the week after we're in Lacey and Everett. We're looking forward to serving. We love meeting leaders whom we've served in the past. It's a funny thing, how firmly our hearts are attached to the people and churches of the Pacific Northwest. We never thought we'd be moving to another part of the world.

American flag
Though there's a long checklist of practical things-to-do, the most important preparation for us is spiritual. We're gathering strength for the challenges ahead by praying and reading scripture alone and in community. We're drinking in the preaching and books. And we're listening to the wise voices around us

The uncommon season of preparation includes letting go of the past, relishing the present, and anticipating the future. From the past - After this morning's pickup, one Hummel angel remains from 18 boxes of Christmas ornaments, trees, garlands, lights, and decorating memories. Gone. Gone. Gone ... to a gal who does church events and is planning a pastoral thank-you event this month. She married a missionary kid and supports missions [of course!]. The second grand piano leaves the living room within the month; the desks are out of the office; the dining table is gone; our bed is sold. W's current teaching contract expires in May; I'm wrapping up projects, clearing my heart as well as my home.

Indonesian flag
In the present, each day is an adventure. Every morning, our best-laid plans start to morph; by evening, we've experienced a flow of words, worship, work, and play. I'm happily surprised by empty space and the progress we make. We still have company though the house is a mess. We visit with family and old and new friends. We follow our spiritual disciplines, keep regular commitments, and glance at our to-do lists.

In the future, who knows what God will do? I've never been bored when following Christ. My challenge is obeying completely, willingly, and with a glad heart. I don't want to be halfhearted or fainting with fear. God's love compels. So into the unknown we go.

Where are you headed? Is God calling YOU somewhere you didn't expect? In which ways are you living out the Good News?

Read more:
*At that time I will change the speech of the peoples to a pure speech, that all of them may call on the name of the Lord and serve him with one accord. Zephaniah 3:9 ESV

*Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. Ephesians 5:1 NIV

*Since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us give thanks, by which we offer to God an acceptable worship with reverence and awe. Hebrews 12:28 ESV

Moravian Prayer; Our unwavering Foundation, we thank you for being our refuge and for your leadership and might! In our divided world, we pray we will serve you and change our speech to reflect your will for our unity. Amen.

CS Lewis, letter to Mrs. Ray Garrett, 12 September 1960:

"The whole lesson of my life has been that no ‘methods of stimulation’ are of any lasting use. They are indeed like drugs—a stronger dose is needed each time and soon no possible dose is effective. We must not bother about thrills at all. Do the present duty—bear the present pain—enjoy the present pleasure—and leave emotions and ‘experiences’ to look after themselves.

"That’s the programme, isn’t it?"

No comments:

Post a Comment