God Won't Fit In Your Box!

"For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men."
1 Corinthians 1:25

The view of the mountains from our dormitory at Henderson Settlement
This past week, I had the opportunity to travel with our youth to Henderson Settlement in Frakes, Kentucky for a week of service with and for the people of Appalachia.  During the trip, our groups worked to build an addition for a family home, a new shed, and a new roof for a woman in Tennessee.  I was extremely blessed to see our youth working so hard to enhance the living conditions of others through these projects.  Though the week was very hot and humid downright sweltering, God's presence met us there and we were able to complete our projects without any major injuries or hiccups (unless you count the time that I was almost knocked out by a flying hammer, thrown by an anonymous youth group member).

Amidst the backdrop of the mountains, we had several opportunities to reflect on our day in an air-conditioned dormitory.  Often, our times of reflection would quickly turn to laughter and cutting up with one another about the day's events (and the fact that we had only sung 'Sanctuary' 15 times).  Yet, even within the scope of our laughter, God's presence continued to abide.  It was during one of these group therapy sessions that it really began to hit me, God is much bigger than I thought!  Yes, I have been on several mission trips, I have worked with many folks much different from myself, and I have even been in some precarious situations where my life was being threatened, but never have I really begun to reflect on God's vastness as much as this past week.  Like anyone else, I entered the week with preconceived ideas and notions, some good and quite honestly, some not so good.  As usual, God turned my world upside down and shook me up in a way I will not forget.  

I suppose all this rambling is to say that these young people took a week out of their summer break, a time when they could have been playing in the sun, visiting with friends, enjoying the lifestyle afforded them; and instead opted to go to a place where there was no cell phone service, spotty wi-fi, and only one convenience store, all because they feel something leading them to work for the sake of others.  What could cause them to make such a decision?  It just doesn't make sense outside the grace of God (much like the call into pastoral ministry).  Just when I thought I had it all figured out, God brought this realization to my mind, God's ways really are different from mine! (Isaiah 55:8).  As a result of all of this, I am challenged to remove my "boxes" that I have attempted to place God in, and instead allow God to be God in my life, working freely as he wills.  Maybe this is what it means to be open to the Spirit...

O God, I pray that you would reveal to me the 'boxes' I have attempted
to hold you in, and help me to recognize the true foolishness of trying to live life
within the bounds of my own thinking and experience.
I ask that you take residence in my heart and move freely as you
continue to pour out your Spirit into my life.  
In Jesus' name, Amen. 

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