I'm not sure where my mind is going as I type this. Do you ever feel so inundated with thoughts and ideas that you get lost in the middle of them? That's kind of where I'm at, so I figured I would type this out and see if I can make sense of any of it.
Last night I had a conversation with my son about some of the strange things God seems to be doing lately .... not just in any one place or with any one group, but things that are "happening" all around us. It certainly seems that He's up to something. The question is, what? More accurately my question is, "is He really up to something or is it just pure emotion?"
First my husband and one of my friends suggeseted that our church do something more than just collect an offering and send a check to the hurricane relief effort. Somewhat impulsively my husband called an old friend who attended our church in Lake Charles, LA. He also contacted another friend who we had known from New Orleans who is now pastoring in Meridian Mississippi. Both contacts said, "Come", so we did. To our utter amazement, within 3 days .... that's right, 3 days, we had $100,000.00 worth of frozen meat donated, a trucking company who donated a refer truck to haul it in, two OTR truck drivers who took off work and volunteered to drive the 18-wheeler, a 24 ft. Penske truck donated to us, and enough dry goods to fill it. Then we watched as God seemed to be commendering our entire trip - see http://katrinaadventure.blogspot.com for the story.
One thing we did not want to do was to go to the hurricane devestated area with donations once and then forget them. Their need will continue for months and more than anything we wanted to encourage them that they were not alone .... that we would not forget them.
Before we knew what was happening, yet another trip to Meridian was planned. They leave in a week with 3 trucks full of household items that will be given to the people who evacuated New Orleans as they set up housekeeping and start again to rebuild their lives. Enter Casey. She is a young lady at our church who has basicaly felt useless.... BUT she had a burden to try to do something. She had an idea that maybe she would like to do a benefit concert to aid the hurricane victims. We had a week to pull that off. A week in which almost all of our muscians and our choir (our choir makes up about a third of our congregation) were out of town all week for a choir trip. How in the world would we ever get it together in a week? I reminded her that I've recently seen God do bigger things in less time ... so it was a go. We did what we could and let God do what we couldn't. Last night was the concert and at first it was worrisome - not many people came. The pews looked so empty. NOT what you want for a benefit concert. BUT again, God showed us that it's not up to us ... when He in in charge of something, nothing is impossible. The offering was taken and we collected $3,500.00! Who would have thought that such a small crowd would give that much?!?!
After the concert my son came home from an all day meeting he had for SPARC. OK, now my son is 20 years old and is all on fire and ready to change the world. He drives me nuts with it. In the past I've tried my best to bring the boy back down to earth. I've called him "spiritually immature", among other things. Like I would know. Ha! BUT I'm beginning to talk less to him and listen more to him. He may be on to something....
I've watched as he has had what he claims is a God inspired vision ... he feels that God is calling college students together to do something earth shattering through prayer and fasting. I've watched as it is beginning to happen .... and it's been another one of those thigns that God seems to have taken complete control of .... I know for a fact that my son has done nothing other than to be available and to be willing to listen to God rather than his mom. On Nov. 4 & 5, hundreds and perhaps thousands of college students from all over the state of Ohio will be coming together for a day of prayer and fasting ... they are praying for revival to take place. God has even supplied a nationally known speaker who's main ministry is prayer. And she's coming for free! When was the last time a nationally known speaker volunteered to speak for free? The thing that impresses me is that these 20-something college students have the wisdom and humility to NOT advertise their speaker or their worship leader. They don't want people coming for any reason except to pray. My son has a key role - he will be the send-off speaker. There will only be 2 - Becky and my son. No one will even know my son's name - he is not allowing anyone to introduce him. Only a few months ago I thoughy my son was only another over zealous, immature kid who wanted to change the world. Still today that "change the world" things leaves me a bit cold. But I've watched it take place... and I can't deny that something is definately going on ... something beyond anyone's contol. I'm 43 and I'm not stupid enough to deny the obvious. Not generally, anyway. :)
This brings my thoughts back to the adventurous faith I once knew. Back before I was wise and settled, and "mature". You see, growning up, I had people around me who lived out their faith ... in bold ways.
One was my childhood pastor. Ralph was one of those men who prayed and expected God would answer ... and He always did. He's the one who I wrote the What's the Name of Your God post about. He is no longer a pastor .... now he lives on a farm with several special needs children ... and he lives on faith. He's one of those people who, when they need something, they pray, and someone will come to the door with exactly what they need. I know few people with faith like his. In fact, I'm not sure I know anyone with faith like his. That doesn't mean he and his family do not struggle - they most certainly do. I get regular updates and it seems there is always at least one crisis going on. With so many special needs children, that's just a given. But I've never seen them lack for anything they really needed. And I've seem some pretty amazing miracles take place in their lives. Things that couldn't be humanly planned or explained.
So, growing up, that kind of faith was normal to me. It was wild, and adventurous and simple. And it wasn't tarnished by power hungry egos. Then I grew up. I saw struggle and despair. I saw the nasty side of the church. I got tired. I rebelled. I pretended. And what's worse, I became content. Now there's something to be said for contentment... I'm most certainly NOT advocating living on emotion. But there's a danger is being content too. Either is an extreme.
Last Monday I was sick and as I layed on my couch I was determined to take the day off. I wanted to sleep all day. But I felt the Spirit nudging me. I told Him to leave me alone - that it was my day off and I wasn't doing anytihng that day. Of course I got up, made a pot of coffee and took the leap into doing what I could to get the ball rolling for the benefit concert. It wasn't that much - a matter of a few phone calls and eating my pride a bit as I asked people do attempt the impossible and was afraid they would think I was rude if not insane. Today I feel a bit like that too .... I see all that's taking place around me and I'm reluctant ... hungry for it, but reluctant too. But I feel I'm right on the edge of leaping ....