Lead us through our wilderness, Lord…
to the land you have promised.
And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night did not depart from before the people. ~ Exodus 13:21-22
“I have so many choices facing me right now, Guiding God…I listen for your voice.
I listen with an open heart. I trust that you will guide me to the right choices. In this trusting, I am going to move out in faith and open the doors in front of me…
Ever present God, the process of opening doors begins now. Please help me discern the best choice.”
~ Patricia F. Wilson, Quiet Spaces
Heart beating fast, I fling open the doors.
The party has already started. In fact, from the look of things, it’s well underway. Everyone I love is here! Along with plenty whom I don’t know.
How do I enter? Where do I begin?
- Start at the first table and introduce myself around?
- Find someone I recognize and start a conversation there?
- Stand to the side and wait for someone to notice me?
- Find another who looks lonely and befriend them?
- See who’s in charge and ask where I’m to be seated?
Stepping gently, I wander in. Like I’ve hit a magic floorboard, the lights instantly dim and a spotlight illuminates me. A voice booms, “Wendy, welcome to the party! We’ve been expecting you.”
Oh, but look what I’m wearing, surely not fit for such an occasion. I squeeze my eyes tight against the blinding light and fold my arms around my body, much, much too late to cover the grubby shorts and sweaty t-shirt.
I am surrounded in intake of breath. No tittering and no guffaws, only silence. What are they staring at?
Must. Look. One squinting eye hazards a look toward my sneakers. Oh my. Oh my, no! What I’m wearing is glorious, glowing, flowing, lovely. I am the belle of the ball. Arms raised, eyes wide, I must spin, just one turn in Cinderella’s gown.
…Tablecloths grab, silverware flies, glassware and centerpieces crash to the ever-loving ground. Frozen, I stare at the mess I have made. How am I ever to be me dressed like this?
“Stand still, dear one. Don’t move. Let me look at you. You’re lovely just as you are.”
In an instant I am back at my desk with pen in hand, jotting notes for the next article and planning the next training session. T-shirt, shorts and sneakers …ah, glorious.
Now, we return you to your regularly scheduled program, already in progress.
Funnels are so much fun. So functional. So practical. Take all that content and pour it right on in. Down it goes, swirling and mixing, tossing and turning. Churning and bumping and… narrowing and forcing and pushing and shoving. Vying to be first, to be next, to make its way.
Imagine if we made everything stand in a straight line and wait its turn. Nothing left to chance. No mixing. Just take a number and step on down. How much fun would that be?
Yet, that is often what I ask for. Make this easy, God. Settle things down. Just show me what I am supposed to do here. Put things in order so no one gets hurt.
But God knows me. He knows I need the funnel. The very large-mouthed funnel to pour in all that complaining, all those questions, all those wants and desires, fears and failures. To receive my reluctance and tolerate my procrastination. Oh yes, God knows me so very well.
He says, I’ll take all of you. Okay then, here ya go! And I stand amazed as gravity pulls everything down and toward the center. Funnels it to the narrow way. It finds its way down, simply and securely, not by its own means but by a better way. Which delivers a steady stream of me. Sifted and perfect for His recipe.