For those who aren’t likely to read the whole story here’s a quick snapshot of what has prompted me to start writing this.
As I was talking with a friend the other night I said:
‘At the moment I feel like a guy who spends a lot of his life trying to start a fire with two pieces of flint. I crack the flints together and try to generate a spark that might just ignite something nearby. Most of the time I can’t even see a spark, and a fire seems like a loooong way off, but without cracking those flints I know a fire will never start. Truth is I might crack the flints for years on end and see nothing at all combust, but trois 3 the escort download if I stop with the flints then its all over anyway.’
It was an image that stuck with me because as a missionary it feels very much like what I do each day – just ‘showing up’ and doing the stuff of life that fosters relationships.
During the LBC years I did much of that same ‘flint work’, but somehow something caught fire. Something began to burn and spread, such that it was way out of my control and definitely not down to me as an amazingly gifted leader!
People would come and ask me ‘how we did it’, and I’d tell them the things we did in our youth scene by way of activity and strategy, but I would always finish the conversation by saying, ‘the simple fact is I can’t explain it. It just feels like God has shown up and is doing something around here. And its great!’
Since then I wonder if I have come to expect those ‘God encounters’ as normal, because I am always disappointed if they don’t happen. I expect some bushfires start… I expect to see the Holy Spirit at work in wild ways.
The reality I imagine, is that most of life will be spent ‘cracking the flints’, sometimes with extreme results, and sometimes with nothing visible to report.
As I heard Deb’s story and as I have reflected on my own I wonder if they are abnormal. As wonderful as it is to be in the thick of some crazy times I wonder if we are to expect that sort of stuff everywhere we go.
Honestly… I think not.
I wish that weren’t true.
The tendency once something combusts is to put it down to ‘what the church was doing right.’ (and then package it, market and flog it the way), but I am increasingly believing that the church has much less to do with what transpires and much more of it is simply attributable to the grace of God.
I am very wary of that being a cop out. It could be a reason not to work hard and diligently. But I wonder if most of life is spent just ‘cracking the flints’ and leaving the resultant fire to the Holy Spirit.
Yes – I realise you can crack flints skilfully, or you can be lousy at it, but starting a bush fire… that’s another whole deal isn’t it?…