Isa 35:3-4 (The Message) Energize the limp hands, strengthen the rubbery knees. Tell fearful souls, “Courage! Take heart! God is here, right here, on his way to put things right and redress all wrongs. He’s on his way! He’ll save you!”
What more can be said?
Do you know where you’re going to?
Do you like the things that life is showing you?
Where are you going to? do you know?
Do you get what you’re hoping for?
When you look behind you there’s no open door
What are you hoping for?
Do you know?
Diana Ross lyrics “Do You Know Where You’re Going To”
The previous thought is a luxury. What I mean by that is so many in this world have no freedom to contemplate the question of what to do with their lives. Isn’t it time those of us who have freedom of choice give serious consideration to what our hopes should be? Not only for ourselves, but to make a serious impact on the hopes others may have.
Wasted time? Well time was all he had on his hands these days so wasted was all he wanted to be. Why should he give his mind over to his surroundings? These fools weren’t even worth speaking to. Losers, every one of them! Wasn’t he different? Wasn’t he better? His eyes started to water so he shoved the back of his palms tight against them, rubbing until his sockets stung. He was not like these losers! Rolling over he tried to sleep once more. His dreams were his own; here the guards could not dictate where he went. In dreams his time was never wasted.
….He stood next to a pool of water more beautiful than anything he had ever imagined. A man was next to him he had never seen before but it just felt okay, they had known each other forever. There were fishing poles propped up on the bank and he could see the lines were being pulled taut. Big fish were to be had and he felt elation. He and the man walked to the poles together and began to reel in their catch. He wanted this joy always and looking to the man he started to tell him this, but the words caught in his throat. Instead he said, “It’s time to send me back Lord, I know what I am meant to do”….
A whooping siren brought him to consciousness. He heard the locks release and guards began to holler, “Step out!”
When you stand along the rim of Crater Lake looking down at the azure water, there are intense blue waters so brilliant it’s as though the lake has been dyed. I didn’t actually want to go to this place. I couldn’t imagine what would be fascinating about looking at a hole in the ground filled with water. My husband was gentle to persuade me it would be worth the drive. My perception of a hole in the ground changed that day. I think I had expected a dog bowl scene with only muddy water from some leftover volcanic ash.
Expectation is a funny thing. In my preconceived mind’s eye picture of what this place was going to be and look like, I almost dismissed a possibility to the point I wasn’t going to go out to explore it. I almost held onto my false opinion of what it was and in my selfishness I might have talked my husband into not going.
He instead was able to influence me to come see the new thing I hadn’t yet seen. I was able to enjoy this adventure because he was gentle in his persuasion. He came to me with an idea I’d never had on my own and he made his dream one I could be welcomed in too.
My shirt still had the evidence of a rather bad day glued to my chest area. Somehow I had missed my Kleenex while addressing the tail end of my cold symptoms. I looked at it in the mirror and started laughing. Once I started to chuckle there was no holding it back and I could feel the tension draining away.
Thinking back to my morning I probably should have been forewarned of a possible rough ride. I had rolled down my window to do the dainty thing women do when they don’t have any tissues handy in the car; I tried to spit. It was still dark out and I did not notice I hadn’t rolled my window down far enough so I got to clean up my car door when I got to work. Things just seemed to pile on from there.
Laughing at myself I went back to look at my journal. I had written a desperate prayer earlier in the day, a cry for help when I didn’t think the stress level could get any higher. Time to add a note to the prayer….”answered in full with a laughter chaser!”
I looked at my shoes not wanting to lift my eyes; an irreverent moment to behold a meaning and purpose for why I stood there at all. I couldn’t breathe. I listened quietly not even wanting the pounding of my heart interrupting what I was hearing. It wasn’t the words; it was the awe for the moment we were living.
Why me? How had I come to this place? Never had I been more aware of a divine plan for me. Only a few persons were with me. No hoopla, no fanfare, no loud songs or voices lifted. No acknowledgement of me whatsoever. It wasn’t about me. That’s what made it perfect, it wasn’t about me.
I have been on many bridges at night, all of them with unique character and interest to me. The greatest bridges I’ve visited of late however are friends who have helped me over rough waters I can’t always see in the darkness.
I took a drive to another city with my husband to meet a new friend. Just a guy who needed some help; in return we were encouraged by his outlook. He didn’t live in denial of his hard circumstances but rather he didn’t pain himself or us with a pity party. We enjoyed his humor and listening to his laughter; a good guy who needed to start over, he needed a break.
Driving out of the city it was obvious these invisible people needed to be seen. We can’t look to our government to help them. It must start with us. At times this can seem so overwhelming but it all starts with the one. One person lending a hand to another.
Matthew 25:35-36, 40 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’….
….”The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’
Most of us have an inherent need to be sure we are moving in the right direction. We can find ourselves asking the question, “is this really what I am supposed to be doing?”. I am learning to take the practical approach to this question. I must not become overwhelmed by the very nature of its depth. Destiny is a big word and we all want to walk in our final destinies but there must be a practical approach for how to get there.
We have seen many push forward to try and make things happen in their own strength. They want the dream today but don’t fully understand there is a need to gather the pieces meant to hold the dream together. A sense of timing must be honed. This is not to say it’s about, “hurry up and wait” but more about concentrating on your steps for today. Today is very important in your journey for how you will attain your destiny purpose.
I have big dreams too but I can waste away my days dreaming, or I can enjoy the day put before me; to live it in full while still moving forward, drawing closer to my purpose. Each day is an opportunity for me to stay on my journey’s path, one step at a time, one day at a time. These are precious experiences which will help me realize what my dreams really are and reveal to me my true destiny.
I have written about influence but I love the idea of invasion! Bill Johnson who pastors Bethel Church in Redding, CA has this same thought. but more conceptually accurate. It’s not a passive stance we are to be in but rather an aggressive position to be taken in pure love! Personally I have fought often with the idea I want to be more with my peeps than standing waist deep in the problems of those who need the hope that dwells within me.
Our battle is over! If we really are for our faith which is in Christ, than no more are we to scrimmage for our own comfort and walls that might protect us from dirt and grime. It’s time to remember we are “children” and as such it’s okay to get muddy while we are under the watchful eyes of “Daddy”. It’s time we invade the trenches of battle our friends and families are fighting from and give them a major weapon of warfare…hope!