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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Rain rain go away... or not!


I love the rain. I use the word love for a reason. As of late, I have been analysing my use of the word to ensure that I am using it to describe things that are actually loveable. You do not love clothing- you like the way they help you feel better about yourself. You love people and places for the way they love you and the memories they create. I do, infact, love rain. It's sounds are like the minds way of "drawing blank" for a few moments of the day. I listen to the patter on the tin troffes on my house and it sounds like drums off in the distance. It is beautiful.
Rain is cleansing and healing to the environment. It washes away dust and dirt and leave things clean and refreshed. It acts as a deliverer of nutrients to plants and animals and replenishes life-giving water supplies. However, it also has its harsh side. It can be bitterly cold and unwelcome when one is not prepared. It can wreck that perfect 'do' or spoil a delicately planned wedding day. It is hard to be prepared though when you are not God and do not get to decide the whether patterns. Well, what if the rain is like God? Ok, bare with me here for a moment. Rain is a positive thing for all the good it brings after the storm, but the storm is what is often the focus of the argument. We look at the difficulty rather than the outcome to decide whether or not it was a success. Maybe that is a good frame of reference when looking at God. I don't think he looks so much at the outcome but rather the process; what it is that his daughter has actually learned.
Short and sweet and to the point. I love the rain for the process of cleansing it gives!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Well, it' official. I have confirmation that I will be placed in Nyeri, Kenya for my contract. To say the least I am very excited and nervous all at once.
I was remembering on the weekend an interesting prayer I had with someone. I was at an Athletes In Action retreat in 2008 and the guest speaker was Herbie Kuhn. Herbie is the announcer for the Toronto Raptors. He spoke of following the path that God has in-store for each person. After his last talk he talked around the room offering prayer to each individual. He prayed for me and after he was finished he looked at me and said "I feel I have to tell you that I see you working with children."
At the time I kind of blew it off as something that he had just said to me in passing. I have worked at a local YMCA for more than 5 years and my idea of working with children was limited to what I could see there. I was NOT interested in working with children in a swimming lesson context; not that I hate teaching swimming lessons but that I'd had enough for the time being. Also around that same time I had big aspirations to someday become involved in the UN in some capacity.
As time went on I realized that Herbie's comment was not something that was said in passing but was a meaningful, even prophetic statement.
Last week I was driving back from Montreal with a friend and I was beyond exhausted. I don't remember being able to think straight but I remember all of a sudden remembering this comment from Herbie. The second I realized it I also received an overwhelming sense of assurance that Kenya was were I was going- this was 2 days prior to getting the confirmation that Kenya was a go...
Ha, I am continually blown away by my own lack of faith. God promised me everything and he's done just that.
"To worship you Jesus, is my sole desire... purpose to lift your name high!"- Hillsong.
Here is the website if you are interested in finding out more information about where I'll be. http://www.shauriyakoysc.org/

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Railroad Tracks of Life

I went into work with my dad the other day for a job interview. As soon as I walked out of the interview I knew that I hadn't got it. Not for anything I did wrong (I hope) but I just kind of felt it. I suppose that interviewing is always good practice and I think I would have been pretty miserable there seeing as it was a clothing store and I have next to no sense of style. I would have probably got myself into quite a bit of trouble because I would have sold something to someone that looks aweful.
I've always despised the saying that one "wakes up on the wrong side of the bed" yet that
generally summed up how I was feeling that day. As time goes on I am recognizing the importance of journaling because I deeply wish I could remember the details of how I felt before my past trips.
Some days I feel as if a shadow has descended upon my soul and dampen the possibility of light which can squelch the feelings of hope.
But then creates the question of what exactly it is that I hope for? Do I hope for clarity, or stability; doesn't everyone? Or is it something more? I am recalling a vague memory of a prayer said awhile back having to do with hunger. This hunger has nothing to do with food or physical satisfaction yet it does have to do with peace.
I recall listening to some people talk about God and their deepest desires to understand the intricacies of his holiness. I think I was jealous of their intensity of faith. I yearned to understand what they understood and I longed to feel what they expressed.
Past prayers of request from God of this magnitude have resulted in strenuous times of heart break and trial and in full awareness to this I asked another. "God, I want to desire you like 'they' do!"
True to God's nature, he answered those prayers, yet not in the way I'D expected. Since around that time I've felt unfulfilled, lost and searching for something I could never put into words. It is only not that I realize that this is what true yearning feels like, It is about never been satisfied with the status-quo, and never allowing the heart to settle. Part of me cringes when I re-read the words I've written yet I know that I could not be who I am if I were to be 'normal' or what the status-quo says I am to be.
Hungering after God means (at least for me) never feeling satisfied, but in a good way. I never feel like I've quite got God figured out. Some days it makes me frustrated with my own ignorance as a human, and everyday it leaves me feeling humbled by what I do not know. There is a saying that I like. God love you just as you are but he loves you too much to keep you they way you are. He is constantly placing within me desires for something that is to come; something that keeps me hungry.
I've also realized that the days which a cloud settles on my heart are the days which I do nothing to pursue God.
I received an email yesterday from a close family friend about the trials of Rick Warren as his wife, Kay, battles cancer. He says “I
used to think that life was hills and valleys - you go through a dark time, then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth. I don't believe that anymore.

Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it's kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life. No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on.”

This life is preparation. In preparation it is a constant battle to perfection. I can’t expect my walk with God to be happy all the time. If it were, then I wouldn’t be in preparation for eternity.

God was faithful to me that day when I requested the understanding of hunger. He showed me that, like earthly hunger, it is not without pain and yearning. You have to be aware that something is wrong in order to fix it!