Friday, December 9, 2011

December 9th

So, last night I finished reading The Road Less Traveled, by M. Scott Peck, and as I got to the end, I kept coming across bits of it that seemed cool to share on facebook.

Then I didn't think any more about it, because it was time to get ready for bed. Keith is experiencing a lot of back pain and didn't sleep well and his training mission officially begins today, so neither he nor I got much sleep last night. Poor guy- he really needed his sleep, too.

I got up, made coffee, lit the Christmas lights and sat down at the computer. I checked up on hotmail, facebook, all that.

Then I had this niggling sensation that there was something I was supposed to do. After I paused and was still for a moment, I remembered -that book!- so I went and got it from the bedroom, where I'd left it the night before.

Back I sat at the computer, book in hand, with no idea what exactly I was supposed to share from it. I began perusing it, remembering all the cool things I'd been learning.

Something for Dad, I thought, with pleasure. This is his kind of thing, too. I found the end of the book, and the paragraph that had particularly caught my attention.

But what to post? And where? And how much? I got caught up in these details and agonized over them.

This confusion I pushed through, going with my instincts, with trust. I posted what I felt was the heart of it in a message to Dad.

And voila, it spoke to Dad! And he passed it on to one of his friends, and it spoke perfectly to him too.

I sat back and marvelled. It was a perfect example of what M. Scott Peck would call the synchronicity of grace.

After I marvelled, I got nervous. "But what if I had ignored my instinct?" I asked Christ. "Why didn't You speak to me more clearly? I could have completely ignored the whole thing. The whole experience was tenuous."

He reminded me of a lesson He has been teaching me lately- that He doesn't actually require our help.

If He was hungry, He would not tell us. His arm is not shortened in anyway, that He cannot save.

He is God; we are not. All the power and ability and plans and purpose belong to and with Him; His resources are infinite.

What He does, it seems, is that He invites us to work alongside Him. He is always inviting us to do this.

Christ is like a master gardener, at work in a huge and beautiful garden. He knows exactly what He is doing. The seasons, the weather, the growing patterns, the feeding, pruning and care of everything belong in His expert hands.

We can come alongside Him and help, right where we are in our lives, right where He planted us. Granted, we help like small children, that is to say, our help is not necessarily help, so much as it is company.

He loves to have us around, happily digging in the dirt with our small trowels, getting dirt on our hands and walking beside Him, talking and learning and watching.

Like children, we get really excited about some things and terribly disappointed about other things. Our mistakes seem crushing to us, our victories seem momentous.

Jesus, like any loving parent, shares in these griefs and joys. He kneels down beside us, puts His arm around our shoulders and empathizes. He listens and then He teaches, and on we go, together, to the next thing, our hand in His.

Our helping Him, I'm learning, is not so much good for others, or good for Him, as it is good for us. When we participate in His loving work, it helps us grow deeper in Him.

What He does with our efforts, we may never know in this lifetime. We don't get to see the big picture here.

But I'm sure it's a beautiful one.