How can you prepare to be surprised by God?
My way, truthfully, is to pack every possible option. To bring every book I might need, every piece of equipment I might demonstrate, and more. I prepare and work out the details, sketching and outlining and scratching in more notes in the margin. I prepare out of my fear of failing those who have come expectantly for help, or healing, or direction.
No one can prepare to offer those. There is only One I know who offers those. But still, I prepare. And then I come to Junaluska and I’m bowled over by the change in plan. God says, “Wendy, thank you for your preparations. Now let me just add these few things.” Which change the whole game.
God knows I am not the kind to come empty-handed. He expects me to prepare my heart and my mind. But then to pray, “Lord, help me love these as you love them.” And in rushes surprise. You can’t help but smile at the joy that comes with it.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,
I have been surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. People on a journey of faith, come to dive deeper. What do I have to offer them?
…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
I am not naturally caring and serving by nature. I know this. I wake before 5am, according to the illuminated digital display across the room. All else is dark, the fog out my window so dense that nothing but the cross glowing high on the hillside appears through the sliver in my drapes.
Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. ~ Hebrews 12:1-3
“Just keep looking to the center,” it seems to say. “To your center. I am in the midst of this.”
Our core must be strong. That’s what I teach and show my athletes. And around that strength your joints may move, smoothly, through their full range of motion. The motion they were designed for. I show this to my friends who have come for the workshop:
“Hold yourself, just so. And pull, just so. But keep your core strong, as you strengthen your triceps,” I say. And I am grateful they have “stretchy bands” and are trying it for themselves. My words are completely inept. But they try it. They move it. Then one observes, “Ah, you’ve said something very important: your core must be strong so you can move.” That’s a very familiar message.
A cloud of witnesses. They start with faith and land in fitness. I start with fitness and land in faith. We have taken many roads to get here but have landed in the same place. What a surprise.
Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. Make level paths for your feet, so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed. ~ Hebrews 12: 12-13
I think God may have been trying to get my attention in the ladies restroom before the session. When I stood with dripping hands in search of a paper towel. The dispenser had printed directions: “motion activated.”
Surprising the places God will speak a word to you.