Last weekend, I took Allan kayaking at Blue Marsh Lake. We spent just over an hour paddling around the water and soaking up the sun. (In all honesty, I did most of the paddling!)
After some time out on the water confined to our small kayak, Allan asked if he could get out for a few minutes on one of the small islands that dot the lake. As we rowed into the shallows, I could look down and see the calm sand below. However, as soon as I put my paddle down to the hidden land below me, everything changed. The calm, tranquil sand began to swirl around and cloud up the water.
Last evening as I lay awake, I found myself reflecting on that swirling feeling. Our world right now is much like that once tranquil sand. It’s been disturbed and it’s clouding everything up.
I found myself praying and telling God how I missed the old world. But when God nudged me with the question of “why,” the answer surprised me.
I only missed the old world because I was comfortable there.
Before this year started, I was comfortable being a pastor and preaching each Sunday. I was comfortable as a husband and father with all that those roles entail. I was comfortable with our church’s rhythm of ministry and my family’s rhythm of life. For sure, I was always looking for new things to do and new ways of reaching people for Jesus; but as a whole, I was comfortable with the ebb and flow of life.
And then someone stuck a paddle into my tranquil water and everything got muddled up.
I don’t know what life looks like anymore. I don’t know what an average day with my family looks like or what an average week of ministry entails. The sands are swirling and it’s hard to know what to grab a hold of in the midst of the tornado.
To be clear, I am not doubting God’s presence in this storm nor am I letting go of leaning into Him with full dependence for each day. What I am questioning, what I found myself asking God last night, is this – what am I supposed to find in the swirl?
I suspect that like me, many of us were comfortable. There were things buried under the sand but we were not about to disturb it. We were not looking under the rocks and pushing in with our paddles… we were content to go with the ebb and flow.
Yet now we find ourselves in a world full of chaos and movement and I find myself asking God what things is He calling me to see, speak into, grab hold of, and simply love that I didn’t know were there before.
It’s like the tornado Dorothy found herself in the middle of. She looked out the windows and saw things she had never seen before.
Today, I pray that we would each look out into our world and see things anew. May God show us the people, the places, and the things He wants us to grab a hold of and get uncomfortable with as we share the love of Jesus in our turbulent world.