Looking at statistics and engaging with people, people of faith and no faith, I am increasing drawn to the desperation, despair, denial and dedication before me. The dedication and commitment of some, their tenacious acts of defiance for the hope that is Christ spur me and inspire.
The vision of hands used to working wood, of nostrils used to the aroma of wood as it is hewn or worked loom, once again, before me. How real was the despair of those around Him as His senses combine to assess, smell, caress that wood; the cross member which was to become for Him a vertical deathbed that led, Narnia-like, into a different world where death is vanquished and sin is rendered impotent and done for.
Every step proclaiming something awful to those whose eyes, whose reality, was grounded in the 'what is'; but surely there were some who gazed upon that scene and saw something full of awe?
Greater love has no man than to lay down his life . . .
Tear down this Temple and in three days . . .
It is written that the Son of Man must . . .
How hindsight informs the past and denies the present; how the present denies the past and fails to live in either the future or the past. How the future is a hope like the hope of those seeking six numbers on the Lottery - the place where all is well; all is at peace.
And so day-by-day, step-by-step, we - the Bride of Christ - sit in the garden of our lives waiting and watching for flowers to appear and bloom even though we have planted none - we wait hoping to benefit from the toil of others, perhaps gone. We look to God to dress the vines and tend His garden so we might be blessed.
God? Watches and waits wiling us to pick up the shovel, the rake and fork; to clear the leaves, remove the litter and pull up the weeds.
How hard it is to see the world with God's eyes; to engage with people with His heart and yet that is our call.
Faithfully some wait, tenaciously, but 'what is faith without works' and yet 'what are our works without faith; without prayer and vision'?
I hear time and time again the words, 'those who plan to fail fail to plan!' The problem is that many who do plan fail to involve the author of all and merely set the scene for well-meaning dissipation.
So what do we do and how do we do it?
We seek the Lord and discern that which we, individually and corporately, are called to be [the dreaded 'mission statement'].
We imagine that which we will see if we are living out the mission [the equally dreaded (and dreadful) 'vision statement'] and discern the ways we can make it real.
We convert these into reality [goal setting] and get others to work with us too!
Why do we really make it all so difficult - it's as easy as picking up a piece of wood ;-)