Sunday, June 8, 2014

Thought for The Day - Shaped by the Wind

It is said that rock formations, land masses, as we know and especially decade old trees are shaped by the elements. The wind, rain and other factors we would not normally consider, shape what we view as "nature's handiwork" over long periods of time. But we ignore the form that occurs much closer to home: you and I.

When I was small, my family and I attended a small church on the west side of Chicago. My father talked about the congregation being large at one point, having about 30 members at a single time; makes me wonder how large is the average congregation! As long as I could remember, we had Sunday school for maybe a period of 6 months or less, and at approximately the age of 9 or 10, I was the teacher of one of the children classes - at least for a couple lessons.

All of my life, I have had a love and interest in matters of the spiritual nature. I have wondered at the marvels of history, especially as it connects to matters larger than 'us.' I "know" the significance of dreams even if I am often confused and overwhelmed at the specifics and how they play out in life. So is it any wonder, at the age of 12, I had a couple dreams that influenced me later on in life. In two separate dreams, I saw myself in the pulpit of that small westside church and understood what it meant. As I got older, I thought the likelihood of my standing in that specific pulpit would more than likely 'not' occur, especially after I joined another congregation in my young adult years. And my being in a pulpit, seemed further away as I neared that age of transition into adulthood. But God has a way of bringing you back around to what he - and you - want for you.

One evening, nearly a year after graduation from college, as I entered my parents house, I said a simple prayer, that went something like this: "Lord, you've blessed me. I have a car, good income, a wonderful girlfriend I would like to marry. What can I do to return my thanks to you?" His reply was simple: "answer my call." I knew exactly what he meant when it was said, however I wanted to be sure so I said "what?" And he said again, answer my call. I won't go into the specifics of what was exchanged afterwards, I will, however tell you this: it was extremely clear that the direction of my life was under his guiding hand.

There have been many turns and strange detours in my life. The "straight line" one would expect when that type of direction is given, has not occurred in my life. I can say, most assuredly, that I have come to trust God more and more since that time. And even when some of the difficulties challenge my sense of who He is, in one way or another, he reassures me that I am on the path he desires for me. This one thing I suggest for anyone who would follow God: trust that the "shape" you take may seem permanent; you may have a firm pattern of life. But trust, when good as well as difficult times come, you will find Him working in ways you can't begin to understand. But also trust He is indeed working to shape you as he sees fit.