You don’t find God only in Church.

After three years of active community work, I’ve decided to take a break.  Coming to this conclusion is never easy. It means I won’t be able to see my favorite people on the planet, play music, lead worship or just be there to be a friend to someone.  I felt at a loss. You see, I’ve grown an attachment towards what I do and the people I do it for.  As years go by, it becomes harder and harder to let go.

When everything you do is done as a worship to God, no amount of effort, time, or resource is ever wasted. Every act becomes meaningful, every thought, significant, every breath, an offering.

An elder in the community once told me that any attachment to what’s material or can be seen, is not from God. Wherever God leads you, there’s always a mission to do. So just go and carry with you a servant’s heart.

I struggled with this idea and wanted to stay where I was. I thought, if I’m called to do something new or different, God will let me know in ways that I would clearly hear and perfectly understand.  Surely I was expecting something big to happen to move me. Something that can never go by unnoticed.  So I waited.

Then I remembered Elijah. He too waited on God. The windstorm, the earthquake, and the fire came, but God wasn’t in there. Until something unexpected came along. A gentle breeze.

As luck would have it, that’s how He came to me too.

There was no grandiose event or glorious moment. But in both ordinary places and spontaneous occasions, God gave a series of divine appointments.  

With Whom And How?

Strangers and no-strangers I bump into on regular days.

Dates with myself.

Alone time with Him. 

He showed up in places and moments I never would have expected. 

It’s amusing to know that God can surprise us like that.  I’ve never been more aware of Him than these past few days.  From, 

  • the glitter of the morning sun, 
  • the stillness of water as I walk by the lake, 
  • the scent of fresh flowers, 
  • the feel of wood in my hand, 
  • the glow of the night skies, to
  • the quietness of late afternoons,

 

God’s presence is so real, so tangible. It feels like I could almost touch Him.

Certainly, there is something larger than life. Something greater and significant is going on than the demands of every day.  When you quiet the noise around you, that’s when you hear it. When you wait openly and intently, that’s when you receive and fully understand it.

We never stop being with God just because we’re not inside the church or in the company of believers. He is alive in us and is with us wherever we go. We can always talk to Him and about Him, and bring Him to a friend, a stranger, a family, or to the person living next door. 

 

Divine appointments.  God may call you for it too.  Be ready, and when He nudges you just say yes.  No fear, no excuses, no doubts, no holding back. 

 

 

Question:

Was there a time in your life when God asked you to do something unexpected? How did that invitation go? Share in the comments below. I’d love to hear your story.  

 

I know the feeling, and it’s absolute torture.

I grew up in a very religious environment: going to church every Sunday, going to a Catholic school, singing in a church choir, memorizing all prayers.  While all those were good and gave me a very solid training on discipline, the part of obedience though was motivated by fear.

When I was a kid my image of God was kind of like a punisher or even a dementor (if you’re a  harry potter fan you’d fear this creature).  So whenever I sinned, I felt so much guilt that I try o make up for it by accomplishing more, doing more, that I became almost like the perfect kid out there who’s got it all.  But,  who was I kidding right?

Inside I was broken. I hated myself and I envied everybody else who to me were close enough to be saints.  I feared God and his wrath so much that the scared me would either run away or crawl down a very deep pit of self-condemnation. Believe me, the place that I end up with was dark and lonely, even if that place only existed in my mind.

 

It wasn’t until my late twenties that the dark clouds in my horizon actually cleared. It’s like suffering from a cataract fro the longest time and finally able to see the world with its vibrant colors and distinct shapes.  and yes, it was beautiful, as it is today.

Now, the God I know is tender- hearted, forgiving, gracious and merciful. I want to say He fixed me but that would be an understatement.  He loved me and He loves me still. That’s all He did and still does.  When you have Someone like that, your response is no longer hiding and running away. It’s showing up and running towards. After all, who doesn’t want love or desperately need one?

It’s not anymore about what I think I deserve but what I’ve been freely given.  When I shifted my focus to this indispensable truth, I began to realize how my desire for worth was misplaced all these years.  I hungered for the world’s recognition and applause when God was filling me with so much more and all this time I took it for granted. Tell me about shortsightedness.

Of course, I still have my cracks and all, but it’s in these cracks where His love seeps through.  God can never fill your cup when it’s already full. So choose to stay in need of Him.

Last week I saw a video of a woman climbing a very large and tall tree. Reaching the top she muttered, “The world is very huge and we’re just but a tiny speck”. When you’re up there the tiny ones underneath becomes barely noticeable.  And when you come down everything and everyone one again becomes large.

Perspective.  When it changes, your attitude change and your take on the overall picture change. But to the One who made it all, you’re the same child He first breathed life into as the person that He’s looking at now. And it doesn’t really matter what you get to accomplish or achieve in this life, it’s how much love you put into it, and how much of that love was for Him.