Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Focused Goose

The Canada goose was totally focused on the task at hand. She took hold of the branch, held it tight in her beak, and tugged and tugged until the end snapped off. Turning around, she placed it carefully on top of the mound of sticks she had already collected. Then she turned back to the branch again. My son and I were captivated by her performance. Obviously preparing to build her nest, the goose refused to be distracted from this important task. Even though we were standing only a few feet away, she ignored us and continued with her purpose. Looking at that pathetic pile of twigs, It was hard for us to believe that this would one day be a beautiful nest from which new life would spring. Yet something deep inside that goose was calling her to prepare it anyway, and nothing could dissuade her from it.
God has placed a deep calling inside each one of us. When it is hard for us to believe that our efforts will ever amount to anything, let's remember that He is taking all that we do, no matter how small, and making it into something beautiful. You are chosen, called, and equipped to fulfill a unique role in ministry. Hold fast to that passion, that desire, to complete the purpose God has for you. Refuse to be distracted. Stay committed. Focus wholeheartedly on your calling and don't let anyone or anything dissuade you from it. Yours are the efforts from which new life will one day spring.
Read what The Message says about focusing on the goal...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tandem Riding...

Our friend knocked at the door and announced that he had something to lend us. A blue tandem sat on our driveway, beckoning to us. Never having ridden a tandem before, and not even very proficient on a regular bike, I was skeptical. I perched precariously on the back seat and gripped the handle bars, while my husband climbed on the front. After several major wobbles and a few scary moments, this proved to be a great partnership. As long as we stayed in constant communication, we found that our combined efforts really took us places!
You and God are in partnership together, on a great tandem ride. You cannot accomplish anything of value without Him. He cannot fulfill His purpose without you. When you combine efforts, you will really be going places. Just make sure that He's the One in front, stay in constant communication, and hold on tight! You are in for a great ride!
We take our lead from Christ, who is the source of everything we do.
Ephesians 4:15 (The Message)

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Trouble With the Cross...

My friend and I sat at the front of church, craning our necks to see the pastor as he preached. In between us and him stood a huge wooden cross, newly placed on the altar for Lent. 'I can't see the pastor,' grumbled my friend. I nodded in agreement and slid further down the pew so that my view of him would not be obstructed. After the service, an elderly lady whispered 'that cross is in a terrible place, it's right in the way. I couldn't see the choir.' I agreed with her.
This week, when my friend and I sat together at the front of church, the cross had been moved to the back of the altar. It was no longer a distraction. Now I could focus on the pastor. And that elderly lady could focus on the choir. 
But maybe we are meant to be distracted by the cross. Maybe we are meant to let it come between us, and whatever it is that we want to focus on. Isn't that, after all, the true meaning of Lent...that we let the cross become our central focus, even if it gets in the way of the things that we think are important? 
I am half way through the season of Lent. This is my prayer:
God, put that cross in my way
Let it distract me
Let it disturb me
Let it come between me
And everything that would steal my focus
So that when Easter comes,
I'll be ready.

What is your prayer for the rest of Lent?

Lead Me To The Cross

Monday, March 5, 2012

Those Wings...

Earlier this week a friend sent me this beautiful photograph,and the Bible verse that accompanied it:
He will cover you with His feathers and under His wings you will find refuge.*
It was a beautiful reminder to me of God's protection over us, with one main difference. 
One day, these little baby birds will fly away. One day, that mother's role of watching over her precious little ones will be over. One day, those little birds will spread their wings and take off by themselves into the big wide world, with all its dangers. Then they will have to fend for themselves.
We, on the other hand, will never have to leave the safety of God's wings. We will never have to fend for ourselves. Even though we travel, even though we go about our daily lives, even though one day we too will spread our wings and explore that big wide world, with all its dangers, we will always be under God's protection. Our omnipresent, omnipotent God will never, ever leave us. His role in watching over His precious little ones will not be over until the day we fly to meet Him in heaven. What a wonderful day that will be!