“Allow God to be as creative and original with other people as He is being with you.” ~ Oswald Chambers
- Fill in the blank
- Complete the sentence
- Close the loop
- Finish that song!
We humans have a need to finish what we started. Almost as if we’re designed that way. Why does it seem like we’re always spinning our wheels? On the go. No rest for the weary. We get chastised for doing too much, being too busy, moving too fast. How can we possibly rest?
Oswald Chambers (in My Utmost for His Highest) writes… “Wherever Jesus comes He establishes rest – the rest of the completion of activity in our lives that is never aware of itself.”
Is that the rest God has in mind? His rest? The rest we feel when a project is accomplished, a job completed, a project is done, an item is checked off our to-do list?
Maybe that’s why breaking big projects into manageable chunks, just like cutting my chicken breast into bite size pieces, helps me out. I’m nourished as I consume each portion, and by its provision, I embark on the next. Each completion rests and restores me.
Don’t tell me to stop and rest. There is rest for me at this finish line. I’ll take a deep breath, give a big thanks and then…start again. Refreshed.
Doesn’t Play-Doh feel great?!
I had forgotten until I got out some containers for my Wednesday “Pal’s.” They are 4th graders at a local elementary school that have been “assigned” to me as part of a mentoring program. I am pretty sure they were assigned to mentor me rather than the other way around, but anyway… We had bright blue, green, purple and orange play-doh so they decided to make a nature scene. Pond surrounded by trees. What to do with the orange? Fish in the pond of course.
Our play time is always short, though, so we had barely completed our creation when it was time to clean up. The tree tops were easy to separate from their trunks, but it’s darn difficult to get those orange fish out of the blue pond to put each color neatly back into its container. One must try, though, so colors are pristine for the next creation.
We fished them out best we could, but as we rolled up the pond I could still see a seam of orange where the fish had been. A narrow streak down the center of the blue. Don’t worry. I resisted the urge to pick out every orange particle. But this morning when I read Oswald Chambers I thought about that doh and that seam:
God will not give us good habits or character, and He will not force us to walk correctly before Him. We have to do all that ourselves. We must “work out” our “own salvation” which God has worked in us (Philippians 2:12).
That orange seam was like what God has worked in me. Clearly distinct from the rest of who I am.
When we pull out that blue Play-Doh again, we’ll mash and twist and shape it into something new. The orange will be worked into the blue. It won’t take long before we don’t see it at all. Oh, it may have imperceptibly changed the color of that blue doh, but no one will know but me. It will be worked in.
I don’t think Paul had play-doh in mind when he wrote his letter to the Philippians, but perhaps this is what he meant. Working out our salvation is really about working in the salvation of God. That streak of color, mashed and twisted, is just the shade we need to shapes our lives into the creation He has in mind.
Who would have thought that God would use fish in a lake and some children to show me that?