22 February 2009

Late night thoughts on February 22

My neighbour celebrated his 28th birthday today, and on impulse I phoned his wife this morning and offered to babysit their kiddies if they wanted to go out tonight. (They did. I’m not sure who was more surprised by my offer: my friends, my spouse or myself! I seldom babysit for anyone. Never, in fact.)

I returned home about an hour ago and was preparing for bed when I felt the urge to capture a few thoughts about my day.

Thought #1: It is a privilege being part of a community of kindness.

Both here in Cochrane and at our church in Calgary, Robin and I are surrounded by people who care ... about us, about others, about God. We do not wish to take this for granted, ever. Some of our friends care passionately about the environment, or about education, or about instilling godly values in our children. Others care for those in prison, in hospital or in crisis. Still others care about the powerless, the marginalised, the oppressed, the forgotten. Several talented artists, writers and musicians inspire us by caring about beautiful images, stories and sounds. And I can think of at least half a dozen political and social justice activists in my circle of friends. At work my kingdom colleagues care about sharing Good News with anyone who has ears to hear. Personally, I care about words, and the power they carry for healing and encouragement.

Thought #2: I have been challenged to care for “the least of these” in a new way.

Today in church our youth pastor preached from Matthew 25, creatively using Dr. Seuss’s Horton Hears a Who by way of illustration. {Great job, Tom.} I will reflect further on his sermon; much food for thought.

Thought #3: Today I realised (or rather, remembered) that each of us has different dreams, callings and spiritual gifts.

During a recent London Fog-sharing visit with a friend I hadn’t seen in a while, my gift was to encourage her in her calling (although for personal reasons I have chosen not to fully embrace her particular cause). I recognise that if I were to spend my time moping about not having a “worthy” enough occupation—in comparison to those of my eclectic range of loved ones—I’d fail to use the talents I have been given (biblically speaking). At least once every year or two I wade through this idiotic pool of comparison, and always, always, my life work seems insignificant during the exercise (a fruitless one, to say the least). But deep down I know my life is full and rich and good—and scandalously privileged. I see that.

I also believe I’m obeying my Father by using my inherent gift of encouragement to uplift the hearts of those around me—even though the effects cannot be measured, and no one’s life is saved because of my passion for sharing words of joy. But share I must. It’s as natural to me as breathing.

These were some of my thoughts on this wintry February night. Comments? Feel free to share your own passions/calling with me ...