Lord Business

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“My Father is still working, and I am working also.” John 5:17

February 8, 2014. That’s the night I saw the Lego movie. I know for certain because that’s the evening I received Annabelle’s middle name. Wynn. Oh, I can recall the details of February 8 very well… the delicious feeling of my secret while at dinner with friends. See, I was pregnant and they didn’t know. And the best part was my girlfriend was expecting her first grandchild at the time. As she sat there delighting over her daughter’s news, I quietly sat delighting in my own. That tidbit made the secret all the more juicy.

And so, after dinner, we watched the Lego movie. Honestly, I was not happy at first. I remember thinking, “I have to sit here for two hours for this?” It just didn’t seem to be my kind of movie. However, God used it to teach me something anyway. I don’t know if I got the lesson then, but I got it a week back when Levi watched the movie here at home. It has to do with Lord Business.

Spoiler alert… if you haven’t seen the movie and plan to, stop reading now. I’m going to divulge some details about a character named President Business a/k/a Lord Business. See, he controlled everything. He was the man in charge. However, the people in Lego land were deceived. They saw him as a business man in a suit but behind closed doors, he showed his true appearance. His pride and controlling nature on full display when he changed into his Lord Business costume. The ensemble came complete with elevated legs/shoes.

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Every single day was alike for the citizens off Lego land. They woke up and went through the motions of the day religiously. Nothing ever changed. And they liked it that way. They sang, “Everything is awesome…” Monotonous. Tedious. Boring. One day after another… exactly how President Business wanted it. What the people didn’t know is that he was actually Lord Business and he had an evil plan. He had something called the Kragle (Krazy Glue with some of the letters missing) and he was going to glue everything in sight. He was going to cement all the pieces in a perfect way. According to his pattern. He was delighted for it would be beautiful to behold. And nothing would ever change. Everything would stay the same forever… no movement.

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I have glorified You on the earth by completing the work You gave Me to do. John 17:4

So what does this Lego movie have to do with the spiritual life I try to write about? To sum up… everything. Simply, everything. It’s what this blog has been leading me to this whole time. Freedom. But to tell, I have to go to the beginning… to the garden where God created man in His own image. Male and female. He formed man out of the dust of the ground and breathed the breath of life in his nostrils. Man became a living soul. And on the seventh day, God completed HIs work. He rested on the seventh day from all His work that He had done. He blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, for on it He rested from His work of creation (Genesis 2:2-3).

And there’s my lesson right there. For I count the word work three times in that passage. And us, the work of His creation, do the same. We create. We work. And He wants us to work. However, today I question some of the work we do. What is it we actually accomplish in all our busyness? Is the work of our hands inspired by Him, or have we gotten caught in a rut? Do we move and perform by the Spirit’s inspiration? Or is our service perfunctory? Do we find ourselves in the same circumstances the citizens of Lego land found themselves? In danger of being stuck? Cemented to something God doesn’t even want us to be affixed to? Or do our actions bring Him glory as all our works should? And if they don’t, could it be our actions cause us to bow down to Lord Business instead… all our work glorifying the business of church rather than God Himself? Do we marvel at the work of our hands rather than the God of all creation? Delighting in our earthly sacrifices and not in Him? And if that’s where we find ourselves, how can we unstick ourselves?

And God said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth…” Genesis 1:28

God said to fill the earth. He didn’t tell His creation to stay in one locale, for He wanted His people to spread out. But in the eleventh chapter of Genesis, something else occurred. For His creation said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the sky.” And their motivation is clear… “Let us make a name for ourselves; otherwise, we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.” The people didn’t want to move. Or to change. In fact, they wanted to stay right where they were. Kragled to a specific locale. So they decided to build. And not only that, it had to be tall. Up to the sky. Everyone would know who they were. Pride elevated their goals… their intentions as lofty as the legs President Business put himself into when he became Lord Business.

Flash forward to a new scene. Jesus and the disciples. And Peter had just had the mother of all revelations. He knew the truth… “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” And this is when Jesus said, “I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church…” The next thing you know is Jesus took the inner three along with Him up a mountain. Peter, James and John were alone with Jesus when something amazing happened. He was transformed before them as His face shone like the sun. Even His clothes became as white as the light. Then suddenly, Moses and Elijah were with Him talking.

Always outspoken, Peter was inspired to voice his lofty aspirations. “Lord, it’s good for us to be here! If You want, I will make three tabernacles here.” Peter beheld Jesus in all His glory and so he wanted to do something. He wanted to create. To build. “Let us make…” But before he could even formulate his thoughts and plans and put them into action, a bright cloud covered them. There was a voice: “This is My beloved Son. I take delight in Him. Listen to Him!” And so the work Peter wanted to do was halted in its tracks. It’s not what God wanted.

The Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

What Peter wanted to do wasn’t bad. And if I had been in shoes, I’d probably have wanted to do the same. I’d want to build and create something tangible to give credence to the event. I’d have wanted to run down that mountain and tell everyone… “Guess what happened!” But Peter couldn’t do that. Because Jesus told his disciples to keep quiet. About the revelation of all revelations… Jesus Christ, Son of God. And also about the glory witnessed by the inner three. What a secret to keep.

Today, I wonder about Peter’s motivation. And me being me, I think I have an idea of what he may have been feeling. Because I know how I would have felt. Perhaps a bit lofty? Special, even? Maybe even as high as Lord Business when he placed himself in those elevated legs. Maybe that’s what prompted Peter to begin with. He wanted to erect a building. He wanted to get busy working. Because God had just revealed something huge. What a revelation. Not only that, Jesus gave him a new name… Peter, which means rock. He was told the church would be built on “this rock.” Built on a revelation. On a person… the person of Jesus Christ. And Peter’s natural inclination was to get busy. To work. To create. And why wouldn’t he? He, like us, is made in God’s image. A creator. A builder. A worker.

She had a sister named Mary, who also sat at the Lord’s feet and was listening to what He said. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks, and she came up and asked, “Lord, don’t You care that my sister has left me to serve alone? So tell her to give me a hand.” The Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has made the right choice, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 11:39-41

Here’s what I’m thinking. Yes it’s true there’s work to be done while we walk God’s earth. Because the fields are white, we must pray the Lord to send laborers. Those who will work and serve God. However, before we can do the work of God, a work must take place in us first. It has to. If the inner doesn’t happen, the outer means nothing. If the inner doesn’t occur, then we may end up like Martha. Bitter and resentful. Serving out of compulsion. Working because we feel like we have to. Bowing down to Lord Business instead of glorifying God above. Laboring as a slave, and not serving out of love. I know because this is what happened to me.

For you are called to freedom, brothers; only don’t use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but serve one another through love. Galatians 5:13

The inner must happen. And that happens only when we sit still at the feet of Jesus. It’s what God told Peter. It’s what He tells me. “This is My Son. I delight in Him. Listen to Him!” But this takes time. It’s secret and quiet… as secret as a baby knit together in her mother’s womb. Naked to the eyes of those around you, a story of you and Jesus unfolds within your own heart. A miracle takes place inside. And it’s delicious. You hear His voice. And as you listen intently, you begin to transform. Over time, your face becomes as bright as the sun. And as your heart melds with God’s, you stop trying to find satisfaction and delight by the work of your hands. Instead, you delight yourself in Him. Only Him. And without even trying, His work becomes your work. Naturally. Without lifting a finger, you begin His work. And it has nothing to do with business, or busyness, at all.

At least that’s the way it happened with this working girl. A slave become a daughter. And perhaps the best way to describe how that feels is the Lego movie theme song. Because it’s true…

“Everything is awesome
Everything is cool when you’re part of a team
Everything is awesome when we’re living our dream…”

Created by MDKGraphicsEngine - Licensed to LEGO System A/S

The significance of a bracelet…

“Set up signposts,
Make landmarks;
Set your heart toward the highway,
The way in which you went.
Turn back, O virgin of Israel,
Turn back to these your cities.
How long will you gad about,
O you backsliding daughter?
For the Lord has created a new thing in the earth—
A woman shall encompass a man.” Jeremiah 31:21-22

I lost a bracelet Friday. It wasn’t valuable monetarily and it was really quite simple. Nonetheless, it was priceless to me. For this wasn’t just any bracelet. It was the one I had worn for nearly twenty years. I was twenty-one when my friend, Carmen, gave it to me. And sadly, I lost touch with her long ago. But then, we were inseparable. She gave me the thin, silver band as a parting gift before she moved to Germany. And I was delighted with the piece of jewelry. For many reasons, I guess.

Me and Carmen… Oklahoma… 1994

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In think one reason I adored that bracelet stemmed from my high school days. I just didn’t have a lot of jewelry. Unlike my best friend, who had amazing jewelry. A lot of it. I confess, I was nearly green with envy. Oh, how I coveted her silver collection. Not to mention her make-up, stuffed closet and CD collection. Yep. I did a lot of coveting my junior and senior years. I wanted what she had. And so, when my friend gave me a lovely piece of jewelry, I don’t think she knew how much it would mean to me.  I added it to the few pieces I already owned… some inexpensive earrings, a few bracelets, two silver rings and a class ring. Oh, there was one diamond ring. However, one of the diamonds was missing. That’s a story for another day.

And so, there was a bracelet. A thin, silver band. At first, although I wore it often, I didn’t wear it every day. But over time, I began to wear it more and more. Eventually, I began to sleep in it, bathe in it, swim in it. I lived with that bracelet attached to me. It became a part of me. Oh, I may have added another bracelet to my wrist alongside the first. But Carmen’s bracelet stayed put. It was rare that I didn’t have it on. In fact, it was a few months back when I thought I should remove it. I took it off for a while, but it felt unnatural. I felt naked, and so the piece of silver quickly made its way back to its rightful home. And there it stayed. A piece of me. Until Friday when I lost it.

In thinking back on my journeys, I realize that bracelet did some traveling, too. It was such a part of me, in fact, that it’s attached to many significant moments in my life. It was there when I went to Korea…

Korea… 1994-1995

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The bracelet adorned my wrist when I moved to Savannah and fell in love.

Savannah, GA… 1996

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It was there when we dated, when he proposed to me, and during our engagement.

Fall 1996                                                                   October 1997

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Winter 1998

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Then there were the days before the wedding. Look closely and you’ll see the bracelet remained. Through the shower and the day before I said, “I do.” The bracelet was a part of me. A part of my life.

Spring 1998

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Me & mom, June 1998            My mother-in-law made my dress

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The bracelet held fast to my arm through the honeymoon… and even when the honeymoon was over, for we had our first marital tiff.

                      June 1998                                                  Scowl on face, July 1998

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The bracelet endured… through our first two moves.

                Pennsylvania, 1999-2000                                     New York, 2000-2001

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There were special occasions… like my high school reunion. By the way, this is me and my dear friend. She had all the cool jewelry when we were seniors. And I know for fact that she still does as we just had lunch recently.

Virginia, 2001

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There were more moves, more occasions, more events, more life. Me and my bracelet…

                             North Carolina, 2001                     Another part of NC, Karaoke party for one, 2003-2004

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First (only) cruise, Spring 2005                         Labor Day weekend with Daddy, 2005

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The bracelet was always there. Even for the miracle of new life.

2006… expectancy

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2006… sheer exhaustionDSCF0625DSCN16832006…. baby dedication. More exhaustion as evidenced by bags under eye.

And then, the tiredness waned. The fun began. The bracelet stayed put.

2006, laughs DSCN2003HPIM0195_00822007, sips

2007, walks DSCN2897

I wore that bracelet on vacations…

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And I wore it when my deepest desire became reality. God sent me back home. After six months, we settled in a house in my home town. And within a year, we put down roots.

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2010 – 2013

All these pictures evidence the journey of my life. And the significance of a bracelet? It was a part of me. Always. It was there for everything. From Oklahoma to Korea to Georgia to North Carolina to Pennsylvania to New York. Back to multiple locations in North Carolina and ultimately… Virginia. My home. And so on Friday, when I looked down and found the bracelet wasn’t where it should be, I was surprised. It was as if part of me was gone. But rather than sadness that something valuable to me was lost… I felt expectant. Rather than grieve over a thin piece of silver that held so many good memories… I look forward instead. Because I believe I’m supposed to.

You know… I haven’t written since January 17. It was just before my birthday and I wrote about the significance of the date… January 22, 1973. Roe v. Wade. And then, eleven years later came sanctity of human life Sunday. The day of my birth is fraught with significance. And so, I shared about my past. I told of things I had done that I wish I hadn’t. And I realized it’s those things I’ve been carrying with me all this time. Along with the good, it’s regret that’s been attached to the bracelet… attached to me. I just didn’t know it. Because for so many years, I thought I was fine. And in looking at these pictures, I look fine. I look happy. But smiles are only skin deep and brokenness can be hidden. And all of this has come to the forefront of my heart and mind these past few weeks. And I find that through the insignificant act of losing a bracelet, I find a promise. I find significance.

So much has taken place in a matter of days… so much deep within that words fail me. And so, all I can do is tell about a bracelet. A bracelet… fraught with significance. Priceless in that it held so many memories. All those good ones displayed above. And yet, the rest of my past was attached to the thin, silver band as well. From a covetous heart to a couple of years I wish I could undo. See, the bracelet was a part of me. It held fast to my arm before I returned home, before I had my baby and before I met my husband. The bracelet was there for those things I don’t want to remember. All that regret. And yet, I wore it always. It was part of me. Until Friday. And so, January 31, 2014 becomes significant. As significant as the bracelet I lost. Because in the removal of a silver band that held me to my past, I find that I am now free to move forward. Expectant once again.

Look, I am about to do something new;
even now it is coming. Do you not see it?
Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness,
rivers in the desert
. Isaiah 43:19

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=bless+the+broken+road&qpvt=bless+the+broken+road&FORM=VDRE#view=detail&mid=C3F576A4366029220DE5C3F576A4366029220DE5

Fly your Flag

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Twenty two years ago, I set out in hope of making it on my own. I ventured out on wobbly legs, believing with all my heart that I would be able to stand. In my naiveté, I thought I could move one thousand miles away and fully tackle life. I thought I would be fine away from my mom, away from my dad, and away from everything I knew. Because I had my friend. And we were seeking what every teenager yearns for… freedom. I thought that I’d find freedom in a place called Fort Lauderdale, Florida. But since I didn’t have much of a plan, my stay lasted just short of two months. Before I knew it, I realized that Florida was not the land of the free. At least for me.

It’s one evening in particular that comes to mind. A night that was telling in every way. See, I came home to my apartment late, only to find it filled with at least sixty people. Each room was filled, and there was quite a party in full swing. And so, I did what most eighteen year old girls would do… I joined in. However, things became a little loud. People started to filter through the whole complex, congregating in the stairwells and using the pool. There were arguments and fire alarms were pulled. And it’s not surprising that the police made an appearance. But I didn’t want to talk to them. I wasn’t equipped to. I was underage and I had been drinking. I was scared. However, when the police demanded to speak to someone whose name was on the lease, that task fell to me… a frightened, ignorant eighteen year old who had gotten herself into a predicament. Frankly, I didn’t know what to do about it. And you know, I really don’t recall much of the conversation between me and the police officers. Only one statement is clear. I cried out, “I’m from Virginia! I don’t know anything!” And now, I just have to laugh at that. What was I thinking? What kind of answer is that? I don’t know anything… Miraculously, I wasn’t taken to jail that night. And truth be told, I probably should have been.

Yes, my time in Florida is what I thought of this morning. And in the remembering… I see a picture of a naïve, young girl. Although she was ignorant in many ways, she set out courageously. However, she found out rather quickly that she was not equipped to be on her own. Not then. She wasn’t ready for the freedom she sought, and her own words proclaimed the truth… “I don’t know anything!” And so this is the statement that plagues me this morning. I am struck with the realization that in truth, not much has changed. I may be twenty-two years older than that young girl who set off on an adventure, but this morning I see… I don’t know anything!

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Over the past week, I’ve explored pleading the fifth (keeping silent) and pleading Jesus (confessing with your mouth). But now, I realize there’s something else I’ve been pleading over time. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been pleading ignorance. At least in one particular arena. At all costs, I avoid politics, and current affairs, and the other hot issues of our day. Because I prefer to play it safe. If I see something controversial posted on Facebook, I dare not share it. Because what would people think of me? Or, because I’m so ignorant with regard to a certain topic, I stick my head in the sand rather than face it head on. Pretty cowardly when I think about it. But I’ve always had an excuse. I use ignorance. I justify not saying anything because I don’t know enough about a subject to address it. In essence, I plead, “I don’t know anything!” Just as that eighteen year old girl did long ago. But that’s not good enough for a forty year old woman. The reality is, it’s time to grow up. The reality is, it’s time to take responsibility. The reality is everything that we’ve heard since growing up is true… change begins with you! Take a stand! Do something!

My thoughts? God’s word says, “To him who has, more will be given; but to him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.” Mark 4:25. And so this morning, I wonder… what about freedom? Does this verse apply to freedom, too? We’re told we live in the land of the free, but at times, it feels that we’re helpless to do anything. It’s supposed to be we the people for the people, but it seems as if it’s a few people for certain people. Today, I feel threatened. As an American citizen, I feel a bit fearful of what the future holds. Because God’s word says a house divided cannot stand. What about our country? See, it was founded as one Nation under God, but now, America is many nations under many gods. Can our country stand? Will it?

Here’s the truth about me. I have taken my freedom for granted. I take my rights for granted. I take the United States of America for granted. Because I’ve been too comfortable. I leave all the political stuff to other people, because my life hasn’t been messed with much. I feel stable and somewhat secure, and by other countries’ standards, I’m rich. I’m doing just fine. But what about other people?

I have freedom… for today. Today, I can say what I want and I can worship God without the fear of being persecuted. But what about tomorrow? Because I see these freedoms being taken away bit by bit. And that alarms me. See, I wonder if what takes place in other countries can really take place here. Because the truth is, on other continents, Christians are murdered. Did you know this?  There are those who believe in Jesus Christ, and if they choose to stand for Him (to fly their flag, so to speak), they can be maimed, burned and slaughtered. Because of what they believe! Have you ever heard that? Why isn’t this front-page news? What’s taking place in Syria is horrible. It’s tragic and scary! But the reality is these things happen every single day. Every day people are killed for different causes, but the media chooses to report only what they deem important. It appears that Christians being murdered is not high on the list.

This week, something has come alive inside me. And I believe it’s called patriotism. After all this time. I am forty years old. Why the delay? Have I been too selfish? Too inward focused? Am I just now arising from a deep slumber? Or is it the threat to our country, and realizing that I’m at the mercy of what our leaders decide to do. It seems as if it’s their decision, not mine. And that scares me. Is it still “we the people, for the people.” Is it still my country tis of thee, sweet land of liberty….

Our fathers’ God to Thee,
Author of liberty,
To Thee we sing.
Long may our land be bright,
With freedom’s holy light,
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God our King.

Freedom. It’s ours today. But we cannot sit by idly. We must fly our flags. And not just on flag poles. We the people must stand for what we believe in. Do you know what you believe in? I mean really know for certain? Are you impassioned for a cause? And if so, are you flying your flag? As for me, I no longer wish to plead ignorance. I don’t know anything is a poor excuse when freedom is at risk. My saying, “I don’t know anything,” is to surrender. And I love my country. I have a voice. And I will raise it… for America. I shall fly her flag. Proudly. Freedom will be my cry.

The Lampstand

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“Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket or under a bed? Isn’t it to be put on a lampstand? For nothing is concealed except to be revealed, and nothing hidden except to come to light. Mark 4:21-22

My sister-in-law had a pastor who used to say, if you’re not doing anything for the cause, then take down your Christian flag. I understand what he means here. He’s saying that if the way you live your life doesn’t align with Christ, then don’t fly your flag. Don’t proclaim that you’re His if what you do brings dishonor to His name. Because your testimony will leave an impression on someone. Good or bad. How we decide to conduct ourselves will touch another’s life in some form or fashion. Each action we take through the course of our lives makes up our testimony. Our lives are our witness.

And there have been several times that I’ve questioned what I’m doing here. See, I am a woman. And I am overly sensitive (my husband can attest to that). I will take what someone says to me, and analyze it, and stew on it… and if it doesn’t jibe right – then I let it get me down. If I take a remark as criticism, I begin to doubt what I’m doing. And so, today, I wonder… Am I doing the right thing here? Because if you were to read through all the posts I’ve written, quite a few pertain to struggle. And I wonder – does that honor my Lord? Or, am I bringing dishonor to His name. Am I His credible witness? Or should I take down my Christian flag because my life just doesn’t align with His. I wonder…

I’ve titled this spot “The truth about God & me.” And I think in the very beginning, there may have been some “fluff.” I’d have to go back and read to be certain, but you know, there are some places you just don’t want to go. Some things may be better left alone… skimmed over or ignored. Because as a Christian, shouldn’t your life reflect nothing but light and glory and victory and peace and goodness and love? As a Christian, shouldn’t your light be shining bright to point out all the good there is in following Christ? As a Christian, shouldn’t your life be chock full of the fruits of the Spirit? But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22

The truth is, there should be. As a child of God, I should be loving and joyful and peaceful and patient and kind and all that other stuff. But you know what… I’m not there yet! I emphasize yet. I believe this is the whole point of my blogging. See, I’ve heard some phenomenal testimonies in my time. I have heard stories of those who found Jesus, and they did a complete 180, and they haven’t been the same since. And that’s wonderful. But sadly, this is not so with me. I am a Christian woman, I have no doubt. But the truth is, I hold to my old stuff. For the flesh is hard to overcome. My testimony is one of struggle, for I battle idols and hatred and strife and jealousy and selfish ambitions and factions among many other things. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Romans 7:19.

There’s a line from a movie that I like… there sits a man in the witness stand and an attorney hammers him, demanding the truth. Jack Nicholson’s voice rings out, “You can’t handle the truth!” Truth. It’s what we all want, right? Truth. It’s what can set one free. Truth. It’s what God demands of His people, for He desires truth in inward parts. Psalm 51:6. The 100% truth about God & me is that I struggle. And there are places that I cannot go yet in writing about Him. For I haven’t made it there yet.

A brother in Christ exhorts me to get the Bride mentality. But I can’t yet. Because the head knowledge has not made it to my heart yet. At least with regard to my being loved and cherished as a precious bride. I know He loves me, for His word tells me so. But for now… today… I have experienced God in other ways. He is my Heavenly Father, and He provides for me. I’ve experienced this. He is my wonderful Counselor and He guides me. I have experienced this. He is the still voice and speaks, for I have experienced this. He has a plan for my life. I know. I’ve experienced His hand maneuvering the seconds and minutes of my day. But cherished… by God? My head says yes, but my heart registers it not.

Another truth? I fancy myself a prophet. Because I love to proclaim God’s word and I want to encourage others. And for the longest time, I thought my mission was to proclaim freedom. But through the course of blogging, I had the shocking realization that I cannot do this! For how can one enslaved proclaim freedom? How can I help free captives when I am not free myself. Imprisoned by bars of my own making. Thus, I don’t feel free! And no doubt, I am not the only one. I am not the only one. I am not the only one. There are others… Christians… who have not experienced the freedom that is available to us through Christ. Why is that?

The truth about God & me, is I have far to go. And I am not the only one. Why fly this Christian flag of mine? Because I want women like me to know… there’s hope. I know my God is real. He speaks to me. He leads me. He provides for me. And I have no doubt that He’s leading me to that elusive freedom. He’s taking me by the hand and trying to convey to me how much he loves me. He’s been trying to show me this whole time. He wants me to know the truth. I can handle the truth. And the truth is, I’ve been bound. I am held by traditions and by rules and by regulations that were set forth by man long ago. I have been trying to adhere to all the things I think I should be doing… but Galatians 5 is clear. Christ has liberated us into freedom. Do not submit again to the yoke of slavery, for you are called to freedom!

The truth about God & me is that I am bound to law. But according to Galatians 5:14, the law can be fulfilled in one statement: Love your neighbor as yourself. And I’ve read that love covers a multitude of sin. Love and freedom. That’s what I want. I’m seeking it with all my heart, but for some reason, it eludes me. And from what I understand, it’s there for the taking. It’s free. This is part of my struggle. But you know what? I found something precious through God’s word not long ago… it gives me great hope.

The boy Samuel served the LORD in Eli’s presence. In those days the word of the LORD was rare and prophetic visions were not widespread. One day Eli, whose eyesight was failing, was lying in his room. Before the lamp of God had gone out, Samuel was lying down in the tabernacle where the ark of God was located. Then the LORD called Samuel, and he answered, “Here I am.” 1 Samuel 3:1-3

Samuel served the LORD, but at first, he never had a personal word from God. See, his mother had prayed for that boy, and she promised that if she gave birth, she’d give that boy to God. And so, Samuel was committed to the LORD before he even really knew Him. He began to serve because that’s what he was brought up to do. And as he lie near the ark of God, he heard a voice. It was God, but Samuel didn’t even recognize who was calling. Here is a boy who had been in service of the LORD, but he didn’t even know God’s voice when it came. But God didn’t stop after one time…

To me, this is a picture of us today. I think we begin doing and serving before we even know why we’re doing what we do. I think we take on tasks that we perhaps are not even meant to do. Because we haven’t heard from the LORD yet. We haven’t heard His call. And because we can become so distracted by busyness, we further alienate ourselves from Him. We bypass relationship with our Creator because we just get too busy. And His voice is a still, small voice. In our noisy lives, can we hear Him when He calls? Will we even recognize His voice amidst the clamor we encounter every day…

Why do I fly my flag if I’m so flawed? Maybe it’s because of the passage of 1 Samuel. Because within those verses, I see light. I see hope. There’s power in those words… Before the lamp of God had gone out. See, the lamp was still lit when God called to Samuel. And if we’re His, we have God’s lamp inside. It’s lit. There are those who have encountered the fullness of God’s love and their blaze is burning bright. And there are those who have broken free of the prison of their own making, and their flame beckons others to follow. But for some… there may only be a pilot light. And the good news is, the lamp of God has not gone out. There’s still time. And in my walk with God, I think this is me. There may only be a pilot light burning right now, but the truth is… it’s still on.  No, I am nowhere near where I should be. But I am on my way. I am on my way. That’s why I fly my flag. Because… I am not the only one. No, I am not the only one. And that’s encouraging to me. I am not the only one…

We have his light in us. Some shine more brightly than others. But in a dark world, just a spark will do.

… and her lamp never goes out a night. Proverbs 31:18

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=light+of+mine+&qpvt=light+of+mine+&FORM=VDRE#view=detail&mid=7AEE361A71CF83429B977AEE361A71CF83429B97