Tonight we talked about being on a continuous journey, kind of like how Abram and his family stopped in Haran even though they were suppose to move on to Canaan. Their ultimate goal, the place God wanted to bless them in, was Canaan, but they stopped. We stop a lot, thinking “this is good enough” because we cannot fathom anything better… we settle when the goal and the blessings are so much greater if we only take the risk of losing “good enough” to gain something so amazing we can’t even understand it.
This whole ministry this summer…I thought that what God wanted was for me to do it, but it seems that there are a lot of things that I am needed here for this summer… to work, first of all, working for your dad in a 2 man operations doesn’t leave much room for someone to take my place for a whole month whilst I am elsewhere. Also, school… if I am to graduate even a semester late, I need to take summer school, if I don’t take it, that’s more money my dad will have to pay because I won’t have the units to graduate. If I go and do houseboats, I can’t do summer school. But tonight Chantel brought up a point I hadn’t thought of. I was talking about how amazing I think Abraham is in his obedience to God and how sure he was that he needed to follow him absolutely when God asked him to sacrifice Isaac. So often, when God calls us to do something, we question whether or not it’s what he really wants. We ask the advice of others, who unknowingly and unintentionally give us advice that God may or may not want us to take. If Abraham had gone to Sarah and said “what do you think?” that she might have said “screw that, sacrifice Ishmael, that’s good enough!” Not because she’s evil, but because she’s giving the advice that she thinks is best. And so Abraham did exactly as God wanted, and before he completed the task he thought he was supposed to complete… the test was over, he’d passed. So Chantel said, “maybe God just wanted to see if you’d do it.” I hadn’t thought of that… that maybe the task was filling out the paperwork and going through with the interview process, maybe he just wanted to know that I was willing to commit the time, and take 4 weeks out of my summer to serve him, but maybe now’s not the time…
maybe I passed the test before I even knew I was taking it.
One dervish to another, What was your vision of God’s presence?
I haven’t seen anything.
But for the sake of conversation, I’ll tell you a story.
God’s presence is there in front of me, a fire on the left,
a lovely stream on the right.
One group walks toward the fire, into the fire, another toward the sweet flowing water.
No one knows which are blessed and wich not.
Whoever walks into the fire appears suddenly in the stream.
A head goes under on the water surface, that head pokes out of the fire.
Most people guard against going into the fire,
and so end up in it. (that was my favorite line)
Those who love the water of pleasure and make it their devotion are cheated with this reversal.
The trickery goes further.
The voice of the fire tells the truth, saying I am not fire.
I am fountainhead. Come into me and don’t mind the sparks.
If you are a friend of God, fire is your water.
You should wish to have a hundred thousand sets of mothwings,
so you could burn them away, one set a night.
The moth sees light and goes into fire. You should see fire and go toward light. Fire is what of God is world-consuming.
Somehow each gives the appearance of the other. To these eyes you have now
what looks like water burns. What looks like
fire is a great relief to be inside.
You’ve seen a magician make a bowl of rice
seem a dish full of tiny, live worms.
Before an assembly with one breath he made the floor swarm with scorpions that weren’t there.
How much more amazing God’s tricks.
Generation after generation lies down, defeated, they think,
but they’re like a woman underneath a man, circling him.
One molecule-mote-second thinking of God’s reversal of comfort and pain
is better than any attending ritual. That splinter
of intelligence is substance.
The fire and water themselves:
Accidental, done with mirrors.
I got the phone call I’ve been waiting for today… I applied to be a camp counselor at Lake Shasta for 4 weeks this summer and today I found out I got the position. It’s a volunteer position and I’m so excited about it. The sad thing is, there are some if’s as to whether or not I’ll be going. The big IF is if summer school will conflict with my serving… this is important because I go to a private school and have changed my majors enough times that I’ll probably be graduating later than expected, meaning… lots and lots of money. If summer school is the only way I’ll graduate on time, I have to take it, it wouldn’t be fair to my father, who’s paying for it, to not go. The sad and shameful IF is if the camp is going to conflict with my friends big trip to Vegas this summer… how sad is that? One weekend they’re all going to Vegas, a big lot of them, and instead of saying, screw Vegas, I’ve got more important things to do… like serve God who loves me way more than you guys ever will combined, I’m saying “dang, I might not get to go to Vegas.” Sometimes I really hate my own humanity.