Saturday, 28 April 2007


So much is involved in that one instruction, to ‘clear the ground that lies neglected’; so much effort for some, so much time for others, so much of both for most of us.
It is the endurance of that effort, and a patient and persistent hope in the passage of time that comprise perseverance: a constant application of commitment from us that allows the constant flow of grace to touch our lives, to enter our consciousness, and to work within our hearts.
Each of us will have both task and trek before we can make our inner ground fully available, but let us look ahead, beyond the edges we shall encounter on the way, to the expectancy awaiting us when we have cleared that ground.

We are ready and we are receptive; we await the seed God wishes to plant within us. We have no way of knowing what He may ask of us, but we are alive in a way we have never before experienced. We are spiritually alert.
Anticipation fills our waking hours, and falling asleep at the end of each day takes on a whole new significance; we feel we may not awake the same as we were the previous day.
The concept of ‘watching’, which may have been unknown to us, or may have been vaguely understood as trying to keep at least a small part of our awareness in touch with the possibility of Christ’s return, is suddenly experienced as a lump-in-the-throat reality.
An overriding sense of unseen but all-pervading power brings, perhaps for the first time, awareness and conviction that we are not masters of our own destiny.
Our free will allows us to decide where we do in fact go, but our real selves, the persons we were made to be, are drawn into a communal desire with the will of God. We are called to a realization of truth, to a manifestation of love, and to a fulfilment of our deepest longing in the following of our Lord’s call.

But having reached this point, having been prepared to follow wherever God may lead us, what then? Where will we go? What will we do? And more disconcerting than either of these concerns, how ever shall we know?
Will we be granted some form of conviction as to the path to take? How will we know to trust the conviction? How will we know the path? Will we take a course that suits our own desires or imagined destiny?
If God provides a guide: if someone arrives in our life - a Spirit filled person to beckon and to lead - will we know them? Will we hear? Will we see? Will we follow? Will we see them in the right light? Or will they become an attraction or distraction in themselves?
Such provision may be simply for support: to enable us to hold firm; but it may be that God is granting us the chance of a relationship that will take us forward in ways we could never have imagined.

The close followers of Jesus – his apostles – were taught by Him in order that they could become the people His Father created them to be: the people He chose them to be. Jesus was their teacher. We also may be blessed with Jesus as our teacher, but the Holy Spirit may grant the provision of a human companion who, for a time, may be our mentor, our teacher in the ways in which God needs us to become competent and effective.
Such was the prophet Elijah to the young Elisha.

Elisha was chosen by God to be Elijah’s successor: to become His prophet after him.
Their meeting (1 Kings 19:19-21) is first seen as the call of Elisha, but is also the fulfilment of God’s instruction to Elijah.
‘… he came on Elisha … as he was ploughing behind twelve yoke of oxen, …Elijah passed near to him and threw his cloak over him. Elisha left his oxen and ran after Elijah. … following Elijah, (he) became his servant.’
It was God’s plan that the two men should meet at this time.

Elijah: the mature man of God, knowing God’s will and acting upon it. He was God’s servant: His prophet.
He had no need of a servant, but Elisha had been chosen by God, and he needed to serve, and to learn. He was not yet ready to serve God as His prophet, but he was ready to follow the man appointed by God to be his teacher; to learn to be in God’s presence, to know His will, to respond to His prompting, and to become the person he had been chosen to be.
Elijah was God’s servant.
Elisha became servant to God’s servant, that he may himself become effective as a servant of God.
By spending time with Elijah, seeds would be sown in the prepared ground of his heart; seeds gathered from the inner harvest of Elijah’s maturity in the presence of God.
Elisha would be formed from the example, teaching and Godly power of his appointed mentor.

Elisha was ready for God to move him.
He was ready to do God’s will; ready for Elijah when he came, and ready to leave everything to follow him.
His inner ground had been prepared and lay ready for God’s leading.
He was found ploughing the land, but God had another plough waiting for him.

In a similar way Jesus called the fishermen, Peter and Andrew, and James and John, away from their boats and nets, saying, “I will make you fishers of people.” (Matthew 4:18-22).
Their inner ground had been prepared; they were receptive, and they were ready.
They too had been ‘watching’, and, without knowing what to expect, had recognized their calling when it came.
As with Elisha, their response was immediate; they followed.

Each of them was called by name: a specific person for a specific place in God’s plan.
We too are called by name.
It is the intimate knowledge of ourselves encapsulated in that calling, that makes it undeniable, unavoidable, and ultimately irresistible.

About Me

Who I am should be, and should remain, of little consequence to you. Who you are is what matters; who you are meant to be is what should matter most to you. In coming closer to my own true self, I have gradually been filled with the near inexpressible: I have simply become "brim full", and my words to you are drawn from those uttered within myself, as part of an undeniable overflowing that brings a smile to my every dusk, and to my every new dawn.
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