Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Watching the Clouds Roll In

The past few days have presented some dramatic skies, with layers of clouds, moving at different speeds, spreading shadows and exposing sun and storm, one right beside the other. The cold fronts and summer warmth have been colliding, no clear winner just dramatic and unpredictable weather. There is much beauty in the unsettled skies and much portent. At any moment we could run inside for cover or out into the day and revel in the clear bright daylight. The changing sky can captivate me with wonder and at the same time trouble my soul.

These are days, when, as the light changes and the earth begins its slow rotation to fall, I think about the future and where I am going most often. I believe it has to do with being programmed young, when August meant some serious thought given to returning to school, to getting school supplies and clothes and trying to do better this year than last. Or maybe just have more friends this year than last. Whatever it is, I tend to start thinking of the future seasons and where I am going when August comes. This year, unlike most, the road ahead is not clear. Where I am going is as changeable as the skies these days. And amidst my ancient need to gather school supplies grows the question of what supplies if any I should be storing up. Where is God directing me to go?

For all of us in transition times, and these are transition times for many, including our church, we can take heart in knowing that we are followers. Jesus loses patience with the religious leaders of his day when they ask for a sign. They ask for a sign almost immediately after thousands had been fed and there was tons of leftovers. In the midst of abundance, of God's indulgent provisions, we too can ask for signs and overlook the present abundance and call to service. I take heart that we can follow Jesus, knowing that the road we travel, the way that we follow, is paved with abundance and miracles. Not too many clear futuristic visions but rather, food enough, company enough, healing enough, love enough for today. I pray today for the courage to enjoy this journey, the insight to see God's abundant blessings in my life, and the patience to savor each step of the journey. I ask that we can all live this day with a sense of Christ's followers - we do not have to store up for the future, but instead walk in the way of Jesus, looking, not for signs, but for opportunities to serve others on the way. For the steps ahead will be clear, as I see and respond to the gifts and needs of those who I encounter on my journey. May we all be blessed this day with encounters that help us to follow and rejoice.

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