Monday, May 4, 2015

And He said, I will make all my goodness pass before you.

Be glad, you righteous, and rejoice in the LORD; shout for joy, all who are true of heart. Psalm 32:12

The second question is: Who am I? Smith notes, “For many people the biggest obstacle to vocational discernment is their lack of self-knowledge.” He adds, “Self-knowledge is the essential precursor to vocational discernment, for God’s calling in your life will always be consistent with how God made you. It is a mark of humility and freedom to be able to say, ‘This is who I am and I do not wish to be anybody other than who I am before God’.”

And more than anything I want to say that I am true of heart. But maybe that doesn’t answer the question. Maybe that is the how question rather than the Who question.

What I love most is community, a sense of united purpose, vulnerability, of looking out for one another. If we are intentional about serving one another rather than just taking care of ourselves, then everyone’s needs are met.

I am someone who wants the big picture to have purpose. I certainly do not need to be on center stage, but I want to be invested in things of eternal value. People not stuff. The call to keep in mind the birds of the air and the flowers of the field resonates. Because it is not saying that beauty does not matter. Whose home is more glorious than the sparrow’s? Whose shaded raiment is more delightful than even the simplest succulent or the fragrant creosote?

And I long for presence. I do not think that until this morning have I ever appreciated Moses longing to see God’s glory. I never particularly “got” the hiding in the cleft of a rock while God passed by, even if His face could not be seen. Just before he declared, If your presence will not go with me, do not bring me up from here. But this morning, it is the yearning of my heart: If I have found favor in Your sight, please show me now Your ways. And Jehovah Jireh said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” 

And how did God make me? My creativity is much more the solving problem sort: here are the resources and needs, now what do we do? I am not so much the spinning wondrous dreams of nothing cleverness. But there is a great joy in making beauty from chaos. Or even a lovely orderly lesson plan. Where do we have to go? I love solving how to get there. Right now my big there is Lisbon, Portugal, for instance. By June 28. Exactly my kind of thing.

And I will return to the time when I grabbed God by the feet and begged this very question: Who am I? Who did You create me to be? And He showed me a do answer, in a vision on the living room wall during a worship service at our little Templo Calvario home church in Alamos. In full color, on the whitewashed wall, me, me standing at a faucet, pouring out cups of water to a long long, out the door long line of children.

But a do question doesn’t mean I have to do in order to have value. A do question answers the Chariots of Fire question, When I run, I feel His pleasure. His delight in His beloved child because I am Who He made me to be, full of delight.

And yesterday Mike Begley taught on Philippians, the book that Paul wrote from prison as he too considered his life, his so very bound up life, and asked the What is the purpose of it all? question.

 Why did God lay hold of me? For His kingdom and His glory?  
Relationship. Impact. Appointment.
The day-by-day process involves faithfulness over time, over the long haul, developing a dynamic relationship in which we learn to recognize His voice and obey. Forget what is past, and keep a forward expectation. Behold I will do something new. Now it will spring forth. I will make a roadway in the desert, with springs of life. Part of knowing the power of God is walking through His pain as well, and He is strong when I am weak.
Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord;
   His going out is sure as the dawn;
He will come to us as the showers,
    as the spring rains that water the earth. Hosea 6:3

He will come to me as the showers, as even now a few droplets of water are splashing the dirt outside our front door as I get ready to take another spin on the bicycle, just as dawn is arriving. Even now.

Please show me now Your ways.