Friday, May 25, 2018

Small Time Stuff

A memory comes to mind. I am eighteen years old, maybe. It’s a Geography field trip. I’m in Wales and have just walked the wall of Ffestiniog Dam. I’m now heading uphill aiming at some mountain in the far flung distance.  I might have started somewhere in the middle of a rabble of classmates but I’m definitely in the rear and they are fast disappearing way ahead of me. I sometimes catch up with them, because they have taken a break. They’re sitting on boulders, drinking water, eating sweets. I arrive. They pack up their stuff and start moving again. I don’t get to rest. My face gets redder. Every sweat gland is in in overdrive. I begin to wonder why I took Geography in the first place. I have been assured that the view from the top of the mountain is glorious – but, to be honest, at that point in time, I really couldn’t care less.

That same memory came to mind yesterday at our church meeting – the part about being hopelessly behind everyone else. It’s not the truth, or course.

It was testimony time. “What’s the Lord been saying to you?”

There were accounts of conferences people had attendied with powerful prayers and words of knowledge. Life changing and uplifting – one couldn’t help but feel “I wish it happened to me.”

Someone spoke of a personal prophetic word about embracing more of what God had for him and not allowing himself to be pushed into a box and only do the things he’s always done because that’s his gift. Again there was a feeling “I wish someone would speak prophetically over my life like that.”

Someone else spoke about a recent visit home. It had the potential to be distressing. A diagnosis of Alzheimer's and a book thrust into her hand about the disease led her to declare that this was not God’s plan or intention. I imagined myself just reading the book and making the relevant adjustments to my life.  I know too many people with too many diseases who no doubt prayed fearlessly and yet the disease marched on. My thought was “I wish I had that faith.”

Someone else talked about early morning walks and praying and witnessing and loosing inches from his waistline. My thought was “I wish I had the time.”

Don’t worry. As much as I had the idea that I was falling behind, just as the eighteen year old me did on the Geography field trip, I was encouraged. I love being part of a family of God that is experiencing God talking to them at every turn in the road.

It wasn’t as if God wasn’t speaking to me – but it all seemed small time and very personal and very understated. 

See, that prophetic word I longed for? When I first moved up to Inverness there were prophetic words ringing in my ears. Someone had likened my journey to Abraham’s. He had been called to go to a place that was not familiar, to leave his old life behind. He only knew God had called him and knew nothing of the challenges ahead, or of the resources God would supply. Inverness was my unfamiliar place. I had more of a grasp of the resources having a good grounding in scripture. Yes, like Abraham, I packed my stuff, hugged my mother goodbye (never a permanent goodbye as there were trains and busses).

 “Do you know what, Mel?” said God the other day, “They forgot to tell you the whole message.” There was also a word about meeting my future husband in Inverness so maybe I wasn’t paying strict attention to Abraham. There was also a word about bringing down spiritual strongholds which seemed impossible seeing as I was a timid wee thing in those days.

“The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others.  I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.” Genesis 12:1-3

I had done the leaving bit.

“The bit about being a blessing to others – that’s what they forgot to tell you,” said God. I admit there was a little bit of me that wanted to point out the being famous part.

A smile came to my lips. It wasn’t just about uprooting and moving, but also about being a blessing. I’m not going to ask anyone if they think I have been a blessing. I know I have.

I love it when God does the big stuff, the mighty stuff, the miracle stuff – but I like it too when He does the small stuff, which probably isn’t small at all in His view.

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