Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘Amen’

Lessons From Our Journey

Last Sunday Greg had the privilege to speak in a small church while their pastor was on vacation.  And while Greg speaks all the time doing weddings and funerals,  speaking at a church is something he feels out of practice, having been away from pulpit speaking for a number of years.  Still he took on the challenge – and did a wonderful job!

He decided that the only way to really be effective was to take the congregation with him on the “Lessons learned from our Journey”.  He told personal stories of things we had gone through, all the different places we had lived and walking through “open doors” to get to the next place.

These 3 points are taken (borrowed) right from Greg’s message:

1.  The “decision” to move and the subsequent preparation seems much more difficult (at least emotionally) than the move itself

(So true.  We mulled this over and whether or not it was the right thing to do.  FOR YEARS.  Once we came to the conclusion it made sense to explore other areas, everything else fell into place.)

2.  The Longer you stay in one place, the more “stuff”, the more “baggage” you accumulate.

(Wow.  Isn’t this the truth!  As Greg started cleaning out the garage for one of MANY of our Open House events, he found boxes we didn’t even remember having!  And cobwebs and all sorts of dust and junk all the way up and back on shelves high up in the rafters.  Do we really need all this stuff?  Especially when we didn’t even know we had it?  But you never know, right?)

3.  When you make the decision to move (or just to downsize, or to “spring clean”), it sets a whole lot of things in motion.

(Yes and Amen.  One thing leads to another.  One empty shelf cleaned out to sell – leads to 3 others that aren’t.  Selling one piece of furniture leaves things uneven in a room.  Must sell.  We have way more than we need.  We found out that we can live in about half of the space we live in and it really makes sense to rent to a larger family needing our space and going somewhere else.)

And so he talked about the cobwebs and junk that we all carry around and how necessary it is to clean and remove them.  Things we don’t even realize we carry around.  It makes sense to lighten the load, let go of it and begin again.  Sometimes in life – you just need to do this.

After the service several people came to him and told him that he spoke right to them and their particular situation.  So many people on a similar journey.  So many finding themselves at a crossroads of sorts – waiting on the “next step” and that “open door”.

I believe, as does Greg – that if we are healthy, have our priorities right and the main things are in correct alignment, such as character, integrity, faith in God and kindness towards others, that it does not matter where you live and what you do – those things are secondary.  If we stay “open” to hearing what God is telling us, as we believe He does by working through our personality and gifts, then He will bring opportunities our way.  It is up to us to either seize the moment or pass it by.  And to be honest – when people ask me if we’ve heard what our next step it – I just laugh and say, “we don’t know anything – except who we are”   We are staying busy – preparing for the “unknown” and enjoying each moment.

It is much easier to steer a moving car than a parked car

Parked cars in San Francisco California

Parked cars in San Francisco California (Photo credit: Wouter Kiel)

What about you?  Are you also on a journey?  Does it take you out of your comfort zone?  Have you kept busy and in motion?  What lessons have you learned?

 

God Bless

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The Testament

Cover of "The Testament (John Grisham)"

Cover of The Testament (John Grisham)

Greg and I have been reading “The Testament” by John Grisham together – out loud, a few chapters a night before turning in.  This is my favorite book by Grisham – and one that I have recommended to other people over the years because of the strong redemption and salvation message in it.

It is a story of a very wealthy man who takes his own life – but before he does he signs a  handwritten will leaving his entire estate to an illegitimate daughter – a missionary deep in the jungle of Brazil.  But as much as the wealth and power of this one man gets much attention in the early chapters of the book – it is really a story about the journey of the troubled and complicated lawyer, Nate – who is the one appointed to find and share the news of the inheritance and who takes a journey to Brazil to find her.  It is about his life and what happens to him after encountering her, a simple missionary who has no regard for money.  In fact she refuses to have anything to do with what she has inherited, which would make her the richest woman in the world.  Her attitude about money so changes him – that his life is never quite the same.  He see his life in a different way after being with her – and he finally finds God in a simple but powerful way.

We have been reading it – and pondering after each chapter.  What if someone left us 11 billion dollars?  Would it change us?  How?  In her case wouldn’t she be able to buy more medical supplies – or even build a clinic – a hospital or something greater to help the Indian people?  How about a school – or several?  How about churches or universities?  A boat for traveling around on the many rivers in that remote area?  It is staggering to think how much you could buy with unlimited resources like that.

But then, we were forced to ponder her ‘take’ on the situation.  How she heard what was left to her – considered it – and then refused it.  She had no relationship with her wealthy father – never knew him in fact.  I believe she thought that money corrupts – in much the way it had her half brothers and sisters she had read about – and how it brought no peace and happiness in the end for her father.

I believe that it is refreshing to hear that not everyone finds the same value in wealth or position in this world.  That living simply – finding real lasting peace and joy from fulfilling a calling that burns deep inside is really the only way to live.  This woman had nothing but the clothes on her back – a tiny shack to live in and limited medical supplies – but she had something that very few people have.  She had peace, a purpose and a deep and sincere love for people in Brazil.  And that was all she wanted or needed.  Her faith in God sustained her and it was enough.

It is inspiring to read a story like this – and to recognize and honor those who have left behind a life of many comforts – and many stresses to follow a calling that burns within – with no regard to personal financial freedom and normal comforts.  And we know MANY people who have followed where God has led them around the world and even here at home to do the same.  These chosen people have found real joy and peace in following what is so real to them – it is the driving force of their life – and those that encounter them and their life of sacrifice are never the same.

As we all strive to find out our ultimate calling and purpose that God has for us – may be do it with humility of spirit – never being lured by the thought of financial gain or personal comfort.  Our prayer needs to be:  “Lord, I pray that those that come across my path will forever be changed – because when they see me – I want them to see you, because when they really see you – they will never be the same” Amen

God Bless

 

God Bless

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