So Now What?!

They're still there...and none of us have forgotten

Hemming with energy and a restless anxiety that is neither good nor bad, it’s just… there. The feeling reminds me of a similar feeling I always felt just before jumping out of an airplane while sky-diving. There was always fear to jump but the kind of fear that excites the heart and pumps the blood just a little bit faster. The exhilaration and anticipation of the feeling of freedom at drifting among  the clouds far outweighs the all – too – real possibility of just as easily plunging through those clouds to your death! (And truthfully, in a weird and macabre sort of way… this is sort of exciting, too – the uncompromising uncertainty of where we find ourselves. Death never crosses your mind but now that you think about it’s possibility, well… no point in wasting good worry, 50 bucks and a packed chute on something that will one way or another resolve itself shortly! Besides… what a way to go, man!) And in the back of mind questions loom and the uneasy truth we all feel pounds in anguish on our hearts: those children are still there… and we have not forgotten.

“So now what, God?” I ask myself, pissed these days only that I can’t afford to feed all of Uganda myself and annoyed merely that the “f” on my keyboard now sticks. Not bad iff you happen to know me. Lately, I walk with an ease and comfort, not familiar with my normal character. I wait with patience, knowing that I’ll get out on the wing eventually so there’s no need to rush out there. I understand that I really have no idea what I am doing here except… God called me jump in much the same fashion that my adventurous spirit urged me out on the wing of a plane – repeatedly. And so I keep climbing out there and wait until it’s time to let gravity do what it does best. And so it is in all things. There is so much waste in worry, no point dwelling on what you can’t do so… might as well focus on what you CAN do and enjoy the entire process. God really IS good so let Him do what HE does best!

So what now. It is the periods of quiet solitude and inactivity that God uses us most. This is where we grow, where we learn things like love and patience and forgiveness. This is where we renew and find new strength so that we may be used again, with full effectiveness. These are the times we build our tents and find our direction and guidance from God. We hear Him speak in the quiet. We see Him move in the chaos. We feel His grace in obedience. And it is this process in which we find our own redemption while discovering the very true nature of God’s abiding Love. Things like Power, Joy, Peace, Patience, Hope, Rest and so much more are found, cultivated and nurtured. And His presence, come to find out, has been with us every step of the way.

Have I prayed? Have I waited patiently for Him? Have I strayed too far from His desires? Am I trusting? Am I humble? Am I fully obedient? Am I prepared to follow His agenda and not my own? Am I able to be wrong and retrace my steps until the correct path has been found? So what now, then?

John ticked off after finding out he wasn't going with me

Cate just wants that zebra... and a little sister

What now. Lead today, prepare for tomorrow and always be ready to seek forgiveness for yesterday. Right now, I need to watch a movie and play chess with my son.  Right now, I need to read to my daughter and smother her in kisses and hugs. Right now I need to love and serve my wife. Right now, I need to take care of my body and stay healthy. Right now, I need to be a good employee and work hard for my boss. Right now, I need to be a blessing to my church and show the Love and Light of Christ for them in every way possible. Right now is here in front of me… today… and the truth is… I know exactly “what now” means. I don’t have to chase it…I just have to do it. God’s Word isn’t some code I must work to crack. It’s not some field manual that needs a degree to understand. It’s not a list of really good quotes and advice that I may want to consider following. God’s word is life, it’s love, it is a symphony of redemption written in grace aimed at liberating my soul and keeping it free. It guides, it comforts, it protects and it strengthens me as I grow. And it always answers my every “So now what?”. I just have to open it each day and decide to get out of bed and walk where it takes me.

I’ve discovered something very true: it’s always exciting to be taken around the world or be taken on some new and exhilarating  adventure. But it can be just as exciting when it takes you down the street or around the corner to quietly lend a hand to someone much closer to you in need. And it’s always best when it brings you back home again… because that’s where the sno-cones are! There are chess games to lose and books to be read and dishes to unload and people to lead in worshiping the Loving and Gracious God who gives me all these exciting purposes and adventures… and so much more. That’s what now really is. Now, i I could just get this damn “F” to stop sticking…!

Peace to you…     SAG – July something, 2010