Is anyone else out there a die hard “Spaceballs” fan?
I enjoy a rare day of Sabbath, Gentle Reader, when God puts the brakes on my hyperactive cat herding and rabbit chasing, and commands that I “let Him do what He does best” (manage Kingdom) and sit back to rest, play, recreate, and pray/worship without “work” involved. (Sundays, are NEVER “sabbath” in a Sunday Worship ministry life. THAT is a “work day”.)
I originally thought not to post today, but through the day I’ve felt an ever greater unction simply to share a wonderful image posted by Paulfg this morning on Just me being curious in his post, God Needs Me, along with my comment on it. Here is his imagery, as he spoke of a “Christmas in October” custom he kept with his family::
Our youngest son was mad keen on skateboarding. And as the shop-bought ramps were way (way!!) over our small budget, we decided to buy a bunch of wood – and then he and I could make his own ramp. We even wrapped some wrapping paper around some of the wood in the garage.
(if you are ahead of me right now – well done!)
Come the day, cometh the hour, cometh the fallen face – the simple disappointment: “wood?”. I felt terrible. And it has since become a family joke: “Wood? You brought me wood?”
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His jottings prompted my heart in seeing how often I respond to God’s unrecognizable gifts with my very own version of, “Wood? You brought me wood?” And my spirit took it on from there. The circumstances of this day, led me from “one ministry moment”, One “Now of Grace” with Paul… smoothly into the next “ministry moment”, the Next “Now of Grace” with the coming appointment.
I’ve come to realize how deeply true is the “Mark Lesson” about “ministry versus fellowship”. Each moment is a “Now” and an opportunity for grace. And that is wonderful, as God is the one who conducts this moment, and we just get to come along because He so enjoys our company…
I offer this… that you grasp and enjoy each “Now of grace”…
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“Wood? That’s all you brought me? Wood?” How incredible. I cannot, at this moment, take the time and prayer I need to speak the words in my heart. In a few minutes I must go out and meet with a stranger who called because they and their family are in pain, because someone who knows us both said, “you might want to call this odd Little Monk. That may help.”
When I do that, I will walk into the garage of my own life, and look upon my very own, ribbon wrapped “pile of wood”. And I will have no idea whatever, of the ramp Our Father has in His mind. I will have no clue of the vision behind His eyes of me, sailing through the air, flying, in the joy of the passion I hold for skateboards.
Once upon a time, when I was early in this daily journey of discovery, I would look upon the beginning of such days, grab my tools, and think, “I have to build something out of this that is either (a) pleasing to me, or (b) *later in my walk* pleasing to the Father. LONG ago, I looked on the woodpile as a “Test”. LESS LONG ago, I looked on it as an “Opportunity”. In both cases, I would think Our Father either came and went, at His good pleasure, to “check my work”… or that He would leave me on my own, and come when I was ready to present my finished product to “judge and evaluate it”.
Know what? I never managed to create the ramp, the vision, He originally intended. Not because I didn’t WANT to. Not because I didn’t want to PLEASE Him. I did. But simply because I couldn’t see what He had in mind in the first place, and frankly… I didn’t have His skills to do the work. So, MY creations always “limped”. Oh, they gained some utility and grace through the years, but they always fell short… vastly short… of what they could have been. Still, He always praised them for the heart of the gift that they were meant to be, but I knew they were short of what they COULD be.
And then one day, I finally realized… I looked up from my own fevered and intense efforts and intentions… and I saw that He never “came and went”. He never “left me on my own”. He was always there, always encouraging, always inspiring and hoping. One day, one very strange day, as I was so frustrated with my own shortcomings and lack of imagination, I decided to do a strange and daring thing, with this Magnificent and Dignified… all Kingly… Dour… Father.
I asked… * cough * (this is a little embarrassing) … I asked if He would like to help, and I offered Him a hammer. Now how silly is that? This Magnificent Father in those Kingly Robes and everything… and me all mucky and full of sawdust.
But to my vast amazement, suddenly there He was beside me, in coveralls and a flannel shirt, helping create something new WITH me. And later still, I had the brilliant inspiration, to OFFER HIM the woodpile, just to see what HE would build. And then it was HE who did the amazing thing…
HE asked ME to “come help”, and offered me a hammer. BUT, the really incredible thing… He just let me put my little child hands, on top of His Big Strong Skilled Hands… and together, He and I, we “Created”.
There, for the first time, was the Ramp. It was beautiful. It was strong and safe. And I discovered how to fly.
In a few minutes, I will get in my car and go out to meet today’s Woodpile. When I was younger, these moments, knowing that I am called to bring light into a dark place for sacred lives in great pain… these moments used to make me anxious or nervous. I would spend these moments… these… right now… while I am typing to you so far away… I would spend these moments on my knees in urgent prayer…
Prayer for wisdom. Prayer for discernment. Prayer for peace. Prayer for the “right words”. Prayer not to say the “wrong words” So much tension. So much fear. So much anxiety. I would want to “work so hard to build something WORTHY of Him!”
This morning, Paul. I spend these moments writing to you. I praise and encourage you. I thank you, for gifting me this day, with the “Ribbon” atop my own “Wood?” as I wait for the phone to ring, announcing the arrival of sacred, hurting, children of God. Because when we meet, when we shake hands, when we smile… these Children of God and I… *I* won’t be there to “do” a thing.
I will not lift a single tool, swing a single hammer, or pound a single nail. I will not go to this appointment alone, but Our Father is going to go to work. And He will allow me to come along, and I will get to put my small child hands on top of His Big Skilled hands as He performs open heart surgery, bringing light into dark corners of someone’s life.
Isn’t it amazing, when we get to go to work with Daddy? Thank you for the ribbon, Paul. It’s the greatest gift I know. — LM