Friday, June 20, 2008

Seeing the Picture

Toilet facilities in workplaces can be very functional. Someone in my workplace has added a table and a houseplant to brighten things up a bit and there are a few posters on the walls. Some of them are about aspects of women’s health, but the one that catches the eye is an optical illusion poster. It is one of those posters that has a series of wriggly lines across the page. There is a way of looking at it and you are supposed to see the proper picture.

I have never been able to see anything beyond the wriggly lines. Someone noticing my bemused look will tell me to focus on a point, cross my eyes over, and other such helpful instructions but I never see it. I put it down to astigmatism in my right eye!

Not being able to see what someone else can see is very frustrating. What seems obvious to someone else is not always obvious to me.

A few weeks ago, we had a mid-week meeting. It came about because a couple in another church had been to Lakeland, Florida and been touched by what had happened there. They wanted to see the same thing happen in our local churches. They had “seen” something and wanted to share that experience with others.

I am not sure if I could stick a label on the kind of meetings that we have been having since them. There is a lot of worship and a lot of prayer and much more than that. It’s different every week.

I always think that it is so exciting when God’s people get together and the barriers are down. Not all of us come from the same church – we are a real mix of church backgrounds. The people that meet together, many of them are involved in practical ministries like the Healing on the Streets and Street Pastors. They are enthusiastic and zealous.

I often think to myself – what power there is in the room! These people are one in heart and mind and totally involved. They are like a spiritual SAS team – dynamite. (I don’t say “we” because I guess I see myself as tagging along and I am not so involved!) A group of people like that in God’s hand is a mighty weapon. It is important that God is allowed to wield the weapon in the way He would like.

Proverbs 4:25 from the Message reads, “Keep your eyes straight ahead; ignore all sideshow distractions.” What qualifies as a “side show distraction”? Distractions take away our attention from what is important. Before I went to the meeting, I was spending time with God. I am not sure what I supposed to be seeing at the meetings. What was important, and what wasn’t? I can handle the worship, and the prayer, but not always the other stuff. I worry that we major of feelings and experiences to the detriment of something greater.

My question to God was, “What is it that I am supposed to see?”

His reply was, “Me glorified!”

And did I see it? Oh yes:)

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