“But recall the former days…”
Let me just say how many times people with good intentions have admonished me not “to keep recalling the former days….those former days when, in my case, it seems you and the people around you were on fire for “making community happen.” Often, their meaning is, you can’t live in the past but those of us feeling called are not trying to repeat a program or follow a person who is long gone. We are trying to remember what was the fuel for the fire; what drew us together so that we can find today’s ways to bring that back into being.
Just the intentional stirring of the ashes, kindles a new warmth in me and in some who “recall the former days.” But for a good while, there seemed one fire code after another that stomped on the embers and demanded battery operated candles. My frustration became a fire but the totally wrong kind. This could not be what God had in mind. And then these words: “Have no expectations for results. Stop trying to lead the church and just be the church.”
Right fire, wrong ground.
So some of us rubbed two sticks together somewhere else with the idea if it lights, it lights. And on the first try, it has a tiny flame. I am trying not to expect anything except to be faithful and see what happens. I have three more new stick rubbings planned. Each one with the same ideas…build community, share our faith, no expectations. Then loop back around 1, 2, 3, 4.
It’s an experiment in revival.
“…do not throw away your confidence,…For you have need of endurance…”
This is the tricky part of any endeavor. It always starts out with a ton of confidence – excitement, hope. But it doesn’t always ignite right away; sometimes it just plain dies. Did I get the message wrong? Did I make this up? There is always that possibility but a rough road doesn’t equal a wrong road.
And just now the Lord says, “Endure. Stick around and keep looping for a while. Keep looping and looking for signs of embers and stir them gently – blow on them tiny breaths. Forget the mentality that this is something you are doing for them. You are doing this for you! Because this is what YOU need and long for and I, Jesus, want it for you. And is it just okay that this is my gift to you?”
Now here’s the thing. When you start writing you never know where it will lead. I’m tempted to erase this whole entry, but what the heck. Only a couple of people read this and I think I can trust them enough to be what feels like “vulnerable”. So, I refuse to polish this up or write something that feels like a safer thing.
God loves everybody, personally and individually…even me.
Being real means being needy. That’s not a bad thing. To embrace neediness is to be open to Jesus.
About the World?
What the world needs now is love, sweet love…