My favorite time of the year…

Posted: October 26, 2012 in Uncategorized, Friday Forum
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October, specifically the last 10 days or so, has always been my favorite season of the year. I’m  Houston native, so the realities of growing up in a home with no air conditioning made the cooling off of Fall into the stuff of daydreams and visions in the heat shimmer coming off the concrete. Also, there was the eager expectation of the sanctioned gluttony and wantonness of Halloween …we weren’t church people, or even Christians really, so all was fair as long as Dad didn’t have to pay for anything and nobody went to the hospital…pretty good system from a kid’s-eye view.

Later in life, I became enthralled with the spectacle of the natural cycle…spring inspires many, but for me fall is much more mysterious; watching vibrant life transition into restful slumber,  fills me with a breathtaking faith in, and expectation of, a promised rebirth – I cannot explain it any better than that, I have tried but it escapes definition. I actually flirted with paganism briefly in college, looking for some deeper meaning in the forest, rather than the One who made the trees in the first place. (Wow, if you ever want proof that God has a sense of humor, consider that twenty five years later, that same confused, crisp-air-and-candy-addled young man would be writing a blog post instead of finishing the most important sermon he has ever been asked to present…I couldn’t pitch that on public access, let alone network TV.)

There’s a cold front moving in this evening; the wind is dragging the tree branches against the house, and it makes the dogs anxious. Karen is tired, and her irregular sleep schedule makes her anxious and irritable as well, but God bless her, she is working so hard to not take it out on anyone, and she is succeeding enough to earn the “A”, so all is well there. I have a full slate of projects to get focused on, and while I fervently prayed not to find myself in the position I’m in with some areas, we are past that point, and it is what it is. I am faced with a decision, and I do not have all the information I need to make it, nor a definable deadline. That does not absolve me of the responsibility to answer my calling to the best of my ability, where He put me, until such time as He sees fit to move me elsewhere. The prison ministry I serve makes a point of explaining to our participants the difference between the two Greek words used in the New Testament to describe time: chronos – linear time, as measured by humans,  with the expectation of schedules and timetables that we can manipulate and control; and kairos, “God’s time”, the “fullness of time”, the time that God has ordained for this thing to come to be. We have no control over this kind of time; we can neither hurry things along, nor hold them back. Living in this kind of time requires a rock-solid faith, a willingness to go to a country we have not seen yet, but will be shown the way as we go. Jesus reboots that, and shows us how to get to that country – from Mark 8:

34 When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 35 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.”

Denying myself does not mean that I don’t use the gifts I have been given…it means that this whole last year has been intensive training in how to use them properly, so that I serve God and not my own ego or interests. I have failed in this area before, but I have learned much since then…and I have had success, too. It came when I began to do the work for God and not for me –  this verse is pinned to the wall beside my monitor:

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

My heart is wringing out, I see confused, hurting people all around me, and I must minister to them…this is what I am here to do. If there is more to come later, so be it…I’m not all that interested in “later”. If I’m supposed to be following Jesus, how about I believe and do what He said?

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

OK, I’m gonna go outside, look at the blowing leaves, then finish my sermon and go to bed. Today is nearly over, I’m done with its trouble, and tomorrow isn’t here yet. Good night, good weekend, God bless you all.

Following hard after Him,

Nicky

PS: The Friday Forum may become an alternating feature; I would love some comments on which types of posts you most enjoy, as I re-examine the focus of the blog, and decide what to keep, dump, or add.

Comments
  1. “I’m not all that interested in “later””

    Brilliant, Nicky. If only more believers would focus on the now.

    I firmly believe that our Father says to us that each moment with Him, (and I mean really being with Him, giving Him our full attention), is the most important thing going on in The World at that time. This way, each moment is special, powerful, purposed, and wonderful.

    Let us endeavor to gain each moment not in vain.