Yesterday I got to school late enough to have to stalk people for a parking space. Deciding it better to wait in one spot after three minutes of trawling after people (mostly pedestrians cutting through the parking lot), I pulled into one lane and put on my flashers. Three, then eight more minutes went by as I listened to a sermon on CD I keep in the dash. I looked up from time to time to check that I wasn’t blocking my blessing. You have to wait somewhere after all, and I could have been preventing someone from vacating a space. Most of the time, no one was afoot. Occasionally, I’d see someone exit a building, head for a car but only to retrieve or leave something in a trunk or on a back seat. You can always tell those folks from the rest. They walk with their keys hidden. What I noticed not long after my place was revealed to me is that I never got anxious while I waited. It helps that I had no pressing appointments, course, but I noticed my temperament remained unruffled all the time waiting. Imagine if we were similarly patient and unflustered all the time. Imagine how God could use us then! Once, maybe twice, the thought occurred to me to join the commuters’ circling ritual, darting between rows, following hard on the heels of those who dared to walk in plain sight. Both times, a still, small voice inside simply said, wait. Doing so I landed a spot far closer than I’d imagined likely at that late hour in the morning. Doing so, I was reminded that God wants us to wait on Him before dashing off on a wild tare to “handle things” all the time. I’m glad to have gotten in some waiting practice yesterday morning. I believe I’ll try it again. And often.
It’s a blessing to work in higher education at a school with running, potable water, central air conditioning and heating. We are within walking distance of public transportation, a public library, places to eat, buy clothes, books and groceries, – all at bargain prices. People from all over the world work and attend here. There are well-tended trees, grass, buildings and facilities – even seat protectors! This is not so in much of the world or for many of her workers and children. I am mindful of each of these gifts, though not as often as I’d like. We even have black bunny rabbits that graze around the parking lot at sundown!
In the Adult Sunday School Manual for this week, we are exploring, THE MYSTERY OF GODLINESS. The Introduction is comprised of the following:
A. Greatness of the Mystery—God in Christ
B. Glory of the Mystery—God in Us
I sit in wonder, contemplating these two. Matthew Henry confirms the grounds for my awe related to Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians, chapter 3, when he writes: An effectual working of Divine power attends the gifts of Divine grace. Consider the implications. Just as a slave or prisoner is to be given special protections and care in civil societies, prisoners of Christ are given Divine power to accompany the gift of grace. Excellence becomes therefore, no longer a question of choice, but of nature, and as such, it is a closed question.
How so? Oswald Chambers devotional for today explains: “We must not measure our spiritual capacity by education or by intellect; our capacity in spiritual things is measured by the promises of God.” And, as we already know, because 2 Corinthians 1:20 declares it:
…all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen.
Therefore, the only question that remains is: “Is God able to fulfil His promises? Our answer depends on whether we have received the Holy Spirit.”
This is a phrase I encountered as a young girl. It was offered as a reminder of the faith practice of thanks giving. “Gratitude has power”, I was told, “so keep your gratitude key turning!” It’s not that I’d forgotten it all these years later. More like I’d somehow reduced it to something more mechanical and devoid of expectation than intended, that is until today. Today I got two powerful reminders. I received notice that a second book had sold on Amazon and received a Starbucks gift card for my help organizing a professional development event for the department. Despite the fact that I’ve never been a coffee drinker and recently gave up wheat and refined sugars, the gift card comes just in time for lunch date and to shift my attention to my early training in high expectations. It’s as if the combination opened a mental portal that has always existed but has rarely, if ever, been inhabited. Let’s hear it for next level living.