Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sunday Afternoon Tea

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep
 to gain what he cannot lose.
Jim Elliot

My ponderings this week were brought about by a few different sources all coming together in a jumble of thoughts, becoming more focused as the week passed by.

There are weeks like that when God is trying to get my attention and it seems every book I read and TV show I watch and radio program I listen to in the car and Bible verse I read... they all come together to plant a seed of Truth into my heart (and hopefully reach that area of my brain in which one ponders).

When we were living in another state, the phrase "Live Life on Purpose" was constantly in my thoughts, especially during times of Bible reading and reflection.  This was during a time of great upheaval in my life which was to continue for at least a few years.

God was calling me... tugging at my heart... reminding me that our life "is but a mist".  I was in the midst of homeschooling years but living in a city with no friends, much less family, other than my husband and son.  My husband traveled almost every week for his job as a Corporate Quality Assurance Manager/Engineer.

But He that is "closer than a brother" used those days which became years to cause the roots of my faith to grow deeper into my soul.  The hurricane strength winds of adversity taught me one has to choose to live their life in such a way that each day they ask Him for direction and purpose and faith and strength and provision.

I was thinking this past week how I've recently allowed myself to drift through life instead of resolving to walk His path.  Multiple circumstances brought this to my attention, not the least of which was suddenly finding myself at the doctor's office and not hearing his usual "You are fine, see me again in three months".

The Springing forward of the clocks along with the sudden heat of the afternoon sun have also come together to wake me up a bit.  As I look through the lace curtains of my window, bright yellow flowers are forming on a large bush next to the fence.  Pink blooms are growing at the end of the branches on the small tree it sits near.

Not seen through my window but below the deck are dozens of bright and butter yellow daffodils.  Around the corner of the deck, azaleas are just beginning to show off lavender shaded buds.  Just a week ago the world was covered in shades of gray.  Another season has truly passed...

I have to remind myself of lessons learned during the difficult years of adversity... how He showed me we are all created for a purpose to fulfill as long as we have breath on this planet.  I think all of us who call Him Savior sense a passion He has planted in our heart even if we have let the flame become a pilot light instead of a burning bush.

I have been pondering the Jim Elliot quote above, words I hold as precious Truth from one who has walked before me and finished his journey at the age of twenty-nine.  Words written in the inside cover of my Bible in my youth.

Words I will continue pondering this week... am I spending my days doing those things which bring me closer to Him and His purpose for my life?  Have I let age or circumstances or lack of faith or fear come between me and the passion He put on my heart?

Another quote worth remembering is this...

I believe God made me for a purpose;
but He also made me fast.
And when I run I feel His pleasure.
Eric Liddell

I love that scene in Chariots of Fire when he is explaining to his sister why he knows running was a God given passion.  Is there something in your life in which... when you are doing it... you feel His pleasure?  I hope so...

Mine have changed through the seasons and years, as they probably have in your life.  For instance, my passion for early childhood development I experienced when Stephanie was little was later replaced by a passion for homeschooling when  Christopher was of school age.

My passion for corporate organization was later replaced by a passion for politics and social action which has been replaced by praying for our nation.  My love of writing and teaching Bible studies was replaced by a passion for blogging.

Some, however, have remained for decades such as a love of reading and writing and beauty and tea time and family and chatting about Truth at a coffee shop and all coming together to be His light in a dark world... never perfectly but always desiring to "feel His pleasure" in what I do.

So how is this coming together in Real Life and Real Time as I ponder where I am today in relation to the journey in which He called me earlier?  I'm finding the need to spend time in certain parts of the Word, reading books which are tugging at my heart, writing thoughts and ponderings, and listening for His wisdom.

It means becoming quiet and believing that when I ask, I receive... wisdom.  No matter what our circumstances, He is there and He intends our journey to be bringing us closer to the goal in which He called us. 

It will rarely be easy and always will need His strength and His courage and His provision to continue.  He designs the journey that way, you know.

But I believe as we finish our race, it will all be worth giving up what we cannot keep... to gain what we cannot lose.  Let us embrace that God given passion and feel His pleasure.  :)


Sharon Lovejoy said...

Thank you for this heartfelt posting.

All joys,


Nana said...

Oh Brenda, I must tell you what an inspiration you are to me! Sometimes our valleys strengthen us. You have the gift of uplifting everyone who reads your posts. I look forward to hearing from you. Your trials help me live day to day in my own live! Love and Blessings, Nana

Vee said...

Sometimes I feel guilty over the things I truly enjoy as if I should be doing something else...anything thank you for the balanced approach.


Love the Jim Elliot quote.


Linda V said...

Thanks for your post, Brenda. You always lift me up, as well!

Anonymous said...

Jim Elliot was a special person, and I have always loved that quote of his. Elizabeth Elliot also has written so many wise things!! Thanks for sharing. I hope your medical situation gets better soon.
Elizabeth in NC

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

A beautiful post for a Sunday Afternoon Tea, Brenda........Do you know the Twila Paris song, "He is No Fool" which was inspired by the quote you used? It never came out on CD, but I have an old tape. It's a wonderful song. I hope and pray you continue to feel better and better.

Front Porch Grace said...

Awesome. Your passion for the Word and teaching what you have learned is obvious.

Thank you.

In His Grace,