My reflections this last week have been a little scattered as I have been extremely busy getting ready for a Rhythms of Grace workshop at St Albans Episcopal church as well as finishing the liturgy for the MSA Seed Sampler and entertaining guests. And this morning we discovered there were ants in the printer out in our office – not something I wanted to deal with this morning & I hate to think what it did to my blood pressure.
I am reminded of how easily busyness can distract me from God’s pace for my life as I have run from place to place without time for thought or breathing space. It is relaxing just to sit down and write this (and get my mind off the ants).
In my morning Lenten reflections from Henri Nouwen I was impacted by the thought “We act as though we were just dropped down into creation and have to entertain ourselves until we die. But we are sent into the world by God, just as Jesus was.” All of us have a God given purpose and that purpose is not to please ourselves or to to fill in the empty hours of each day with busy activity, like I sometimes feel I am doing. Our purpose is to further God’s work in the world, to take the example of how Jesus lived and use it as a model for how we should live our own lives. The busier I am the harder it is for me to remember this and the more difficult it is to focus on what God wants me to do.
I best reminder of this over the last few days has come through the visit of my good friends Dennis and Heather Choate who were on the Mercy Ship with me back in the 1980s. About 3 years ago they moved to Pingliang, in Gansu province, China (near Mongolia) and are running a school for young people to learn English and computer skills. Their example has really impressed me. The way they have literally gone into the unknown reaches of China and through prayer and hard work started a school that is giving opportunity to people that would not have had a hope of getting a good job is remarkable. Their faith and commitment has been a great inspiration to me this week and has made me aware of how God is able to use all of us to make a difference in the world. We really do serve an incredible God.