“I still believe deeply that our few years on this earth are part of a much larger event that stretches out far beyond the boundaries of our birth and death. I think of it as a mission into time a mission that is very exhilarating and even exciting. Mostly because the One who sent me on the mission is waiting for me to come home and tell the story of what I have learned.”
What I learn from life is what’s important. As a child, I remember being frustrated with all the rules and limitations placed on me. Teen years brought anxiety as to who I was becoming. Being an adult meant taking on responsibility for my actions and their consequences. Now, I have valuable life lessons learned through trials and errors. Home is where God is and it takes these life lessons to steer us home.
Abba is always waiting for me to talk to him. Formal prayer has its place, but, for me, the continual communication throughout the day with Abba is like having my best friend with me all the time. I grasped this concept a little too enthusiastically as a child, as one night my parents talked to me about the “secret friend” I apparently had at school, that the teacher had told them about. When I explained that I was just talking to Abba, as they had taught me to, they told me I could keep my friend. I refer to my friend as “Abba” very intentionally. I have fond memories of cuddling up with my grandfather in his huge recliner and him wrapping his arms around me while I fell asleep or was comforted when unhappy. He would just take me on his lap and hold me and I would settle down. It is this special feeling of “all is well with the world” that I associate with the name, Abba. Abba means Father, but it is a far more personal relationship than many of us have with our earthly fathers. When I talk to Abba I know He will calm my soul.
Not everyone thinks like I do. The theme song for me when I was a teen was “Walk a Mile in my Shoes”. I eventually learned that not only should people try to understand me, but that I should also walk in their shoes. The sad part here is that even walking in another’s shoes doesn’t always help. Far too often we are trying to sell the person new shoes; ones that we want them to wear. It is taking me a lifetime of walking in Jesus’ shoes, to truly learn to walk as God wants me to walk, to listen with the ears of God, and to love with the unconditional love that Jesus modelled for us.
Recently I struggled through another lesson. I was working within a group and the idea of what the final outcome should be was just not unanimous. My will verses other wills became a stumbling block. I doubt that God’s will was even being considered. Another quote from Henry Nouwen came to mind:
“The farther I run away from the place God dwells, the less I am able to hear the voice that calls me the Beloved, and the less I hear the voice, the more entangled I become in the manipulations and power games of the world.”
I was definitely entangled in manipulation and power. These people were my friends; people I highly respected, who were very talented and dedicated. Their ideas and desires were worthy of my consideration. I needed to listen with the ears of God. I needed to love these people the way God loves me. I needed to walk through the situation with God. With the change of attitude, the task at hand was amicably completed. It wasn’t as I had envisioned, but it was better. It was what God wanted. We were all to bloom where we had been planted so God’s glory could shine forth. Scripturally speaking, God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. 1 Corinthians 12:18-20 NIV
I’ve had to learn and relearn to put God first, to deny self, and love others as God loves me. Each time I am successful there is much joy to share with Abba, and when I fail Abba waits for His prodigal daughter to return home. There is no condemnation, no judgement, nor retaliation. There is simply an ever loving Abba waiting for me to seek Him out. He wants me to learn how to complete my mission on earth and return home. Home is where God is and the day will come when we will never be separated again. Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. Proverbs 3:5 AMP