Saturday, May 11, 2013

Disciples & Servants.10



"Refrain from calling men your spiritual father; for you have only one Father who dwells in heaven. Neither allow anyone to call you learned teacher; for there is only one true teacher, Christ. The person who would be greatest among you must first become your servant; and all who humble themselves shall be exalted."
--Jesus


Thursday morning, as I was about to leave the house for work, I heard anguished groans from my wife. She had, at that moment, discovered that our fish tank was a cloudy red color and all the fish were dead! A mystery that only time, experienced aquarian-ists, or Google searches will unveil.



Later on, after a relatively successful and satisfying day that included meeting and praying with a follower of Jesus, I was headed home to spend time with friends and family for dinner. Without warning a car pulled into my lane giving
Brokenness comes in many shapes
fractions of a second to swerve away. I clipped the other car which sent my car up into the air on two wheels and the thought that I was going to roll. I came down on four wheels but momentum was taking me through the median and across oncoming traffic. Jangled equilibrium prevented me from doing anything but brace myself for impact, but none came. Avoiding another collision, I looked at the looming ditch ahead and wondered if I'd flip over the edge. But the ground gently sloped downward, and I came to stop at the bottom. By God's grace no one was hurt except for the scratched forehead I got hitting the rear view mirror in the initial collision.

It is truly amazing how, even though the incident itself only takes seconds, the thoughts you have in the moment are distinct. They may not be expressed in words immediately but in later reflection create a timeline. My first instinct at impact was "NO, I just want to go home." "I'm going to roll", "road sign", "brace yourself", "no brakes", "ditch", "wow," "blood."

The lessons for better fish tank maintenance can be learned on our own. The lessons for being a less distracted, safer driver as well. But the deeper meaning of events in our lives takes a greater power than which we are capable. For as long as I've walked with the Lord I am amazed that there is still more to learn about trusting Him. My first instinct at impact ("NO, I just want...") as natural as it is, reveals that it is not yet reflexive to say "Thank you, Father, your will be done." Do I want that reflexive trust to be my very nature? Absolutely, or at least I think I do...but even the truth of that in my inward parts He will continue to work on and develop. There have been many times when I stand in the howling wind and say, "I'm pretty sure I've learned this one!!! Can't we move onto something else?

And He says, in the midst of the wind, "Trust me with all your heart and don't lean on your own understanding...in all your ways acknowledge Me and I will direct your paths. And where your heart isn't all in, I'll help you with that too! If you trust that my paths lead to a good place--oneness with Me--you'll continue to let Me lead you through valley, mountain top, swamp, thicket, sunny beaches or snow squalls."

Lead on, then, Teacher...but can I have minute to catch my breath?