Sitting in a pew, I often have to listen to my own sermon. I had a moment of defining this last week. A moment that shattered my typical reality and brought into focus a life out of my control. I was discussing the future with one of my dearest of friends. She is at a crossroads full of choices and surrounded by decisions pleading to be chosen. Her gifts and passions and dreams and abilities and greatest of educations have transformed peace, and silence, and clarity into strangers, friends of a distant past. She mentioned the question of another, asking her if she knew where she wanted to be in 20 years. The burden that accompanies the expectation to choose the façade that will not be reached, was buckling her knees. It can be so heavy that one’s own spirit can be crushed and render one useless as they spin around trying to comprehend all the paths to dreams fulfilled and the ramifications of a “bad choice” made. And that is when the organ stopped playing the pulpit became the focus. I said, “For whatever my two cents is worth, based on my experience, you will not be where you envision to be in 20 years. If you ask me where I long to be, it is not a place, but a condition of my heart. I long to be obedient, and humble, and willing to let go of my self in order to follow the adventure of the One who holds my life and my heart in His hands. If I am able to walk daily with that paradigm, I believe that my days will be more wild, and more fulfilled, and more alive than I could ever plan or dream with my simplest of minds.”
With that being said with my tongue but not my breath, I have remained in a state of reflection stimulated by utterings of The Speaker. The pipe’s song has played through now too many times to count. I am learning to pray for the things in the deepest part of my heart, laying them in my outstretched palms willing to accept the plans He has for me. I am getting a kick out of that exhilaration that comes with my only control being the opening of my tired hands. This “20 year” daily vision has not only impacted my prayers, but has allowed my heart to dance. It has broken down my own existence into something that I can manage. I am working on giving up the mindset of being driven by the distant, but by the moment. How can I love best today? Whose feet need washed? Whose heart can I listen to when all it needs is an ear? Who is waiting for an embrace? What opportunities has the Omniscient One led me to, that are asking for me to jump in with uncalculated reckless abandonment? I am learning that as I prioritize the pursuits of my heart and deliberately offer them up, I am being used in ways I did not expect. I am seeing pieces falling in place that I had never foreseen, and that is making my heart race with an intensity I have never experienced. This drug of selfless abandonment requires action and searching, but I have faith that it will never lead me wrong and grace itself will cover my own humanity.
My Lord taught me to pray, “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.” And now as I exit this building and step into the church that lies outside, I will fight my self to daily choose letting Him bring forth His kingdom through me in whatever big or small way He plans. If allowed, He will use the gifts, the dreams, the abilities, the passions, and the visions He has woven inside my deepest parts for that which He desires. In 20 years I trust that I will look back and gander in awe of His faithfulness and grace, and be just as excited for the 20 that await.