Sunday, July 07, 2013

Sunday Afternoon Tea

Each of us is called to a special place in the Kingdom.  If we find that place we will be happy.  If we do not find it, we can never be completely happy.
For each one of us there is only one thing necessary... to be what God want us to be.
Thomas Merton

I read those words this week in... of all places... a cookbook.   They made me smile as the very essence of the meaning was exactly what I've been pondering these past few weeks, only written in such a way to make me view them from an entirely unique angle.

Being a pondering kind of person, since childhood I've thought about why I am here on this planet.  The circumstances of my birth are rather out of the ordinary as I am certain neither of my parents, when entering a second marriage for both in middle age... thought about raising any more children.

Later when I accepted the Lord's call to salvation, I would often reflect on such an unlikely convert as myself... for there was nothing in my background to suggest this girl would hold fast to the cross of Christ. 

But He knows us not only as we were, or even what we are... but what we can become.

Perhaps the seeds for recent ponderings reflect July as my birthday month.  What is my place in the Kingdom, Lord?  You wrote in Your Book that you knew me before I was shaped in my mother's womb.  You knew my birth and have already written the date of my return to You.  So what is in between...?

Well, it was easier at one time to think I had this figured out... there was the season of life as a career person being salt and light in the corporate world, then the season of working within politics and Christian organizations to be salt and light in the political realm... my work within various churches... and the many hats worn while homeschooling.

But is knowing Him all in the doing?  Is that the purpose for which I am created?

The older I get the more I realize He gifts each of us with lovely abilities... and that in the use of those abilities we honor Him most.  How much like a loving God to create us in such a way that great joy comes when we use His gifts in His service.  I can become thoroughly "in the zone" when writing, researching, cooking, baking, decorating, planting flowers, and harvesting veggies. 

I know He wants us to use our gifts in the brief amount of time we have on this planet.  He gives them to us for a purpose.  I understand that, really I do... but I think there is more to finding my place in His Kingdom and it has not that much to do with works.  It has everything to do with knowing Him.

Perhaps the Westminster Shorter Catechism put it best when asking "What is the chief end of man?".  I think that is truly our special place in the Kingdom, for there is no one else just like us in all of history... and there will be no one just like us in the infinite space of Eternity.  God knows that.

So as we are told in the Catechism, "Man's chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.".

For you see, it was not until I realized it isn't so much what I DO for him... albeit it important to use my giftings for His glory... it is only in knowing Him and enjoying Him that my heart will truly delight in true joy and contentment.

So, my pondering friends... if you still do not feel God's love for you.  If you do not realize, as Max Lucado likes to say, "If God has a refrigerator, your picture would be on it"... stop your doing long enough to get to know Him.

All He asks first if that we believe He is truly the Son of God, sent to take away the sins of the world brought about by the Fall in the Garden.  He bought back legally the Keys to the Kingdom.  It was there in the Book all the time... His Plan that is.

As was so well written by Lewis in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe:

"It means," said Aslan, "that though the Witch knew the Deep Magic, there is a magic deeper still which she did not know. Her knowledge goes back only to the dawn of time. But if she could have looked a little further back, into the stillness and the darkness before Time dawned, she would have read there a different incantation. 

She would have known that when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor's stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backward."

Read His Word.  Talk to Him.  Listen.   Enjoy.


Keri said...

Beautiful. This speaks to my heart today, as I'm on a journey to banish fear from my life by re-learning who God is and how much He loves me. I have no doubt that He smiled as I clicked on your blog, knowing that I would receive another reminder of His desire that I know Him and remain in deep relationship with Him.

And as a graduate of Bellarmine University, where Thomas Merton's words and ideas are held up as the truest wisdom, I appreciate the opening quote from him. And from a cookbook, no less! :-)

Rebecca said...

It's hard to argue with the Shorter Catechism, isn't it? Your explanations/observations about it are reassuring and great reminders to me - a fellow "ponderer"...

Angela said...

Thank you for another lovely post that I so need to hear today, Brenda. God is using your words to bless others.

Anonymous said...

Lovely post, just lovely.

More pondering going on - thank you.


Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

This is the key to life, isn't it?

The only place that true joy, true contentment is to be found.

Thanks Brenda for your words today.


Anonymous said...

Wonderful ponderings! I, too, am a ponderer and enjoy your perspective. I'm approaching a landmark birthday next month, that I am not too thrilled about, and have found myself pondering about life at this stage. Interesting how one's perspective changes over time with maturity and life experiences....Hopefully, becoming wiser, more patient, loving, etc...
Thanks,as always, for sharing!
Laura C. (From WA)

My Little Corner said...

I love your ponderings...I've been on my own journey of knowing Him and that's the only true road to joy in life. You've blessed me with your writing for quite some time, though I normally don't comment. You're always a blessing!