Well, I have always thought of myself as a blessed person. Granted I have not always been as grateful as I should have been but I always have when looking around at the poverty in this world thanked God for giving me all that I have. His grace in my life is obvious in even a cursory scan of my day to day life.
I am right now sitting on a bus bound for Dulan hailing from Ge’ermu. We are currently sitting on the side of the road. Most of the passengers have gotten out and are grabbing a bite to eat.
Do you know how the Father occasionally throws a thought in amidst the contorted mess of our minds? Everything seems to stand still as you digest the thought and ponder what God meant by it. Just had one of those moments. The world stopped and I was slammed with my own doubt of God’s work in my life.
I stepped out of the bus briefly to stretch out and enjoy the chilly night air. There was a little shop open so I stepped in to grab a drink.
I have been reading a book on the providence of God. From page one it has been revolutionizing the way I see God in His work in our lives. Previously I knew that God was using things in this life to ‘grow’ us up. Of course! Romans 8:28! Who doesn’t know that? But it was not a real living thought to me. I guess you could’ve thrown it on the shelf of thoughts that you know but don’t really KNOW if you know what I mean.
Inside the shop were this little old man and his little old wife. I looked around at the wares (there wasn’t much to see) and chose a peach drink and a roll of cracker/cookies. They were courteous and friendly. I couldn’t understand a lick of what they said to me and they couldn’t understand a lick of what I said but we were smiling and we connected in an odd sort of way. I paid them and gave them a tract to read and walked back over to my bus.
The author wove a convincing case of scripture and personal examples to evidence God’s work in everything we do to draw us to Himself. To be honest I was blown away and began to ‘test’ it over the next few days. It proved sound and true as time and again the things that I did not like and the things that I did I could see purging me and cleaning out those old impulses. It was like every little event was whispering in my ear, “Follow the King Caleb!” “Leave this junk behind and go on for God!”
I stopped on the side of the road to think a little before boarding the bus. Seeing the old man and woman had reawakened desires and confusion in my heart which seems always to be lurking just below the surface. I long to have a life goal and to pursue it with all my heart. The complicated world of the west with all the hoops you have to jump thru and the image it forces on you that to really matter you must be doing big and important things has always frustrated me. Even more so since I have not found that life goal or at least don’t know it yet. I sometimes beat myself over the head with this fact. “What are you doing Caleb?” “Get going on something!”
As I said seeing the old man and woman had stirred the pot again and as I stood on the side of the road my heart was murmuring at my state in life. Something about the simplicity of their lives and how they didn’t have all this junk like a chain and ball attached to their foot like we do here in the west. Luxury and if I might add just things in general are enemies of our souls. Amassing these miniature fortunes we are mentally chained to them. And on top of that we build detailed and intricate arguments why we can’t throw it away and live like this little old man and woman. All they owned was in those two rooms. And they were happier than most of the folk I see in the states. Not that I want to go live in Timbuktu and run a little shop but the simplicity of life and dedication appealed to me.
So there I was standing on the side of the road my heart crying out to God. My own personal empire back in the states still has such control over my heart and that pain was searing me as well. There is a song by Caedmon’s Call that was running thru my mind and is a beautiful representation of my thoughts. The title is ‘Roses’.
High above the valley of Quito/an old man and his bride grow roses
Red and yellow white and golden/to him they are precious as children
Their daughter she moved to America/One more brick on the tower of Babel
She has a son that they’ve never seen at all/Praying that they raised her well
And on the mountain high/they will live and die/as time just slips away
And the children grow/In the God they know/as time just slips away
Skipping to Verse 3
Now I’m back at home all alone/and I’m trying to find my thoughts
That old man’s so inspiring/but the TV’s always on
And the phone it won’t stop ringing/and these bills they keep on screaming
To pay for all these things/that we never really need
I wonder what he’s doing right now/He may be walking thru his simple field
And thinking about how/God has blessed him so…
A longing for a beautiful harmony of simplicity and purpose is what I seek. As I stood there thinking a thought suddenly flew into my mind with such force that I must chalk it up to providence. That same question I had been asking myself but with a very different point. “Caleb, what are you doing here?”
My answer was obvious, “Father, I’m here to serve you.” Two thoughts flashed thru my mind. One was that I had just given the tract to that old man and woman and the other that I have spent the past few years doing what I know best till God gives me final direction. Instantly I realized I was in the center of God’s will. To live my life in His service in any way I can until final direction is given is the call on a young person’s life. In doing this we are in the center of the divine will and need not heed the accusations of our own minds.
So for all my fellow young people who have not received clear direction yet, our lives are not useless or secondhand. But if we sit on our butts waiting for God to give us each our own personal road to Damascus experience we can be sure we are going to sit there a long time. The Father wants to use vessels that are ready and anxious. Vessels that have been preparing themselves for their lifelong work and have been in service to Him in other ways while waiting. This world needs steady and competent workers for the fields. The fields are ready. Let us work until we receive that clear direction. Let not a day be wasted that could be used in advancing the Kingdom. Only in loving God with all your heart and living a life of service for Him can we ever find our identities in this confused world.
All for the King!!!