This week I had the opportunity to sit down with a few of my local pastor colleagues within our District. This was our first time sitting down together so we began in the usual place; “What is your story?”. We each shared how we came to faith, how we experienced God's call into ministry, and what our journey looked like in getting to where we are today.
As I sat there, listening to the stories of these people, something struck me. God is big! I know that sounds kind of trivial and obvious. But think about it. How often do we get wrapped up in our own stories? How can we help not getting wrapped up in our own stories? Our stories are what have shaped into the people we are today. Our stories are the journeys that we live day in and day out. We are intimately aware of our stories; each and every detail.
However, as I sat there and listened, I noticed that each of our stories had very little in common. Each of us had taken a unique path to arrive at where we are in our faith journey. I sat there amazed at how many ways God had worked. The pain he navigated people through. The uncertainty he made clear for others. The obstacles he helped each of us overcome. One of the pastors in our circle used the word focus and I thought that was incredibly appropriate.
Where is our focus? Is it mostly internal, devoid of any influence from the outside world? Is it balanced, keeping our personal journey in tension with the outside happenings? Is it solely aligned with the the events of our community making our personal journey a very surface type experience? I think we all can find ourselves in each of those areas, depending on the season of our life.
The challenge lies in our awareness. An awareness that can be heightened through prayer, time in community, and listening to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Therefore my friends, find that time to be with God. Align yourself with his grace, practice extending his mercy, live with others in his forgiveness. The more time we spend with God, the clearer our focus will become. God is so big! God can and does work in so many ways. Ways we have never experienced, seen, or thought about. Be open my friends. As you spend time with God, look for him in unexpected places, in off beat spaces. God is big!
Have a great weekend and I will see you Sunday!