Tag Archive: Godly Service


A field left fallow

For a year, I took a hiatus from writing here on this space.  It was something that I needed to do for the sake of learning about what God had been prompting me to do with my life.  It has been both the most interesting and most difficult year of my life with regards to the development of my character and direction for my life.

I have both missed terribly and at times not even noticed that I was in fact not writing.  The dichotomy of being a creative being and someone who has been working hard at being consistent at not-so creative things is a weird one.  I know that I needed extra space mentally, emotionally, and most importantly spiritually this past year.  My creative life has been used, but my writing has been like a farmer’s field lying fallow for a season.

The concept of a field being fallow is one where the ground is tilled and ploughed but not seeded.  Some equate that concept to being stagnant or wasteful, but after a little time learning how to tend our garden (and now the youth group that I work with at our church), I recognise the importance of letting the soil rest before planting again.  The ground has to be ready to receive the seed, and it must be nurtured enough to be able to support the growth that may come.  Otherwise, it’s a useless and fruitless endeavour.  I recognise now, how important that is.

After my mother’s passing four years ago, I saw with regret all of the work that she wanted to still have done.  It was daunting and overwhelming.  There’s never enough time or enough people to accomplish the work.  There are always ones who need love and care, and there is always service to God in which to be immersed.  I still wince when I think of all the things that she could have accomplished had her time here been longer.  If I am to make the most of my time and efforts, I need to take care of myself like the Apostle Paul said to do…

“More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him.” — Philippians 3:8-9

So I, in this past year, have had much that I could have written.  Some, I know that I will regret never scribbling down.  Some, I know that I am better off for not having spent the time.  However, I do know that for where I am now, there is a smouldering that is not an all-consuming fire to be creative and write.  The embers are still there, waiting to catch flame, but I need His lordship ever more to use it for His glory and purposes.  There are too many other things and people that need me as both worker and soil to be ready to grow God’s fruit and not sow my own thoughts and feelings.

So, today on what would be my mother’s 73rd birthday, I recognise that it’s time to start planting seed again.  My prayers are that if He deems me worthy, that good stuff will grow in the future.  Perhaps I will have another 30 or so years to be able to invest in fruit that doesn’t rot or spoil.

Selah

 

A friend of mine asked me a question about why I did something.  Not strange really, since I often do/say things that others find odd or different.  However, this question isn’t one for which I was prepared.  At least, not from this person.  I’ve been watching certain programs on various aspects of civil rights as it pertains to the USA.  Whenever there is an opportunity to learn more about times in our country that deal with this topic, I tend to hope to sit and absorb.  Racial issues, civil rights, equality, giving a voice to the oppressed, community reclamation and empowerment, and the like are all issues that touch a part of my soul that always feels fractured.  My friend genuinely asked me why I watch and learn about things like the Jim Crow laws, or learn about people like Medgar Evers, Emmitt Till, Paul Robeson, etc.  The question shocked me.

I’ll be honest, it shocked me because I didn’t have a well-thought response.  For years and years, I wanted to open my eyes about the issues of oppression around the world, and then be used to help open others’ eyes.  It felt like a calling to me to be challenged about the tendencies of all people to be sexist, racist, bigoted, and broken.  When one’s heart is confronted with transforming truth on an issue, it becomes a part of your life.  But, I couldn’t answer his question.  After thinking about it, I realised that the reason is that something has to give inside of me.  Learning, in and of itself, isn’t wrong but for many years I was constantly trying to find applications for what I had been learning.  The last few years, not so much.  So, I’m rededicating myself to look for concrete ways to apply God’s perspective about these issues in today’s society.  There is much to pray about.

People are saying things like being post-racial in our country.  That somehow we’ve moved past equality with regards to race or gender in this time in society.  Of everything I see, we’re not even close.  In fact, I believe that we’re just becoming better at hiding and obfuscating the roots of our bigotry.  So I ask for the grace to see what, if anything, God is challenging me with here.  I thank my friend, who truly doesn’t understand why these issues are so important to me, for asking the question.  Now I’ve got some chewing to do.  My first task is to sit and read “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” by Dr. King Jr. and see where we still as a society fall so very short with regards to civil rights and equality.  Here’s to open eyes and listening ears to the community around me…

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