Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Longing for the Sea Again

If you want to build a ship,
don't drum up people to collect wood
and don't assign them tasks and work,
but rather teach them to long for
the endless immensity of the sea.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

I sat in church yesterday, and 
I hadn’t been for a while.
Over the past year or two, our church 
has gone through many changes.
The pastors are gone, most of the people
are gone, and the sense of identity is gone.
I sat there, taking in the worship,
trying to figure out who I was in this place.

It’s devastating when community breaks.
These relationships were among
the most important that I had.
I got saved in this church, 
and right from the first saved breath, 
I knew that I loved Jesus so much.
And everything began out of our desire
to serve Him with all we had.
But at some point, the yearning for the sea
got snuffed out by ship building
and managing sailors.
We had some magnificent looking ships and
our sailors were top notch.
We played by the rules because rules
ensured success. If we do X, we will get Y.
And it was all looking pretty spectacular.

Until the curtain got pulled back.
And it became clear that it was 
looking more like the city of man
than the holy temple of God.
And it all came crashing down.

There is so much pain in crashing down
cities and ripping apart relationships.
But in the pain, God’s steady hand 
stayed extended. He held us tight. 
Can we get back to when this was really
about the love of the sea?

So as I stood there, I could still feel the pain 
of a community left in shambles. 
I stood there not knowing where I fit.
I stood there not even knowing IF I fit.
But I also stood there knowing that
it really didn’t matter.
Because God was leading us all
on a journey back to Himself.

And I looked around, grateful for
the faces that were still there.
They are solid extensions 
of the grace that is Christ.
God has allowed us to step away and
sort through the rubble of devastation.
He points to things that needed to come down.
And reminds me that unless He builds it,
its laborers work in vain.

And I breathe in gratefulness. And peace.
It doesn’t take away the pain.
But there is grace, and mercy,
and the faithfulness of Him who is bigger
than the circumstances of the past.
He reminds me that there is a
future and a hope as I follow Him.
We are getting ready to head out to sea.
And I can already smell the water and
feel the salt air on my face.
It is well with my soul.

No comments:

Post a Comment