Sunday, October 18, 2009
Making a way in the wasteland...
Today in the college class at church we talked about one of my favorite passages in the Old Testament. In first Kings Elijah has this amazing showdown with the prophets of Baal and basically wails all over them. Unfortuanately, despite Elijah victory on Mt. Carmel, Jezebel still wanted to kill him, so he ran into the wilderness. The story after that is one of the more popular stories of the Old Testament where Elijah waits on the mountain for God to pass by. A great wind, and eathquake and consuming fires all come to the mountain, but God shows up in what is ussually reffered to as a "gentle whisper" or the sound of "sheer silence." I'm sure Elijah thought that God would do something radical just like he had done on Mt. Carmel, but instead the Lord tells Elijah to go find these three other guys, annoint them and let them take care of it. The point on of the guys teaching was making was that, like Elijah, we often expect God to act in our lives in the same ways he has in the past. He used the example of revisiting his elementary school to illustrate the point. When he was a kid the school seemed so big and amazing, then when he went back as a senior and he just didn't fit- the chairs were too little, the doorknobs lower, the water fountains just above his knees, ect. What used to be good for him, no longer fit. Thats's how it is with God too, what he's done in the past doesn't always fit. It was a great lesson, and the boys that prepared it did a great job. However, I must confess that when he asked us to remember our elementary schools- I once again was reminded of how the Hurricane has to always ruin everything. I immediately thought of driving by the school this summer- four years after the storm and seeing a campus that is still virtually untouched and in ruins.
This is my school cafeteria where I used to trade my oreos for pudding and my caprice sun for apple juice.
And that is my 2nd grade classroom where I did my first book report on the Oxcart Man and was the first to get all 100 math problems right in 2 minutes. To be honest, and I wish it wasn't this way, but I all I could think about when Brent was talking were these images. As Jason got up to close out the meeting, I found myself at a crossroads. For the past 4 years I have typically let moments like this cause me to shut down and make me feel like I don't belong. This of course in inherently untrue, however, the Devil is really good at making us feel alone. Today I had a choice, I could shut down or I could take the story from 1 kings to heart, and know that just because God isn't/hasn't shown up in the ways that I thought.think he would/should, doesn't mean that He isn't/hasnt been there. I know that was a terribly confusing sentance but what I mean is- I often find myself searching for God, but not the God that is- that GOd that I want Him to be. In case I was missing the point God had a funny way of driving the point home- Phil used Carrollton as one of his main sermon illustrations this morning. Phil explained how Carrollton had used what little they had to serve so many, and even after a devestating storm, becuase of their commitment to serve, their faith in God, and the love their Christian brothers and sisters showed them, where there was once one church there is now two. I am reminded of how far very little can go to provide so many when God is blessing it. So today I choose to remember Jean Gordon elementary school and all the fun I had there- from morning meeting song to painting Ms. Murray's windows in 3rd grade, to cheering on the Saints every Friday (and just knowing in my little 7 year old heart that they could hear us at the Superdome). But I also know that things never stay for long... "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland." Isaiah 43:18-19