Rocky Ground

This morning first batch of coffee didn’t turn out so I had to rush to run the machine again, therefore not having time to make lunch. Glanced at the unfinished pile of camp follow up on my way out the door and felt guilty. Arrived at the new office which is a lovely mess because we just moved yesterday. Don’t even know where my check lists are let alone feel like I am crossing things off of them! Had get in touch with people to postpose a meeting. Scrambled a bit trying to do some Unity organizing. Had a couple difficult conversations. Dropped everything to sort out a rental glitch in Ottawa. Let a few people know that I was feeling stressed and looking for pity. Tired. Trying to sort through 18 things in my head at once. Beginning to feel out of control. Driving between work errands WHEN IT HIT ME… A TRUCK!

Okay, no I didn’t get hit by a truck. But it felt like I got hit by a truck.

Out of the blue, I remembered this other time I felt out of control.

I was living at The Welcome Home in Winnipeg (a community based inner-city mission). As the only young adult living there at the time, I took it upon myself to organize a painting-bee to redo the walls in the basement. My vision was it turning out as this great service project with 10-20 other young adults showing up to split the work and eat pizza and then probably getting so fired up that we would decide to devote the rest of our lives to feeding the poor. The day of, every single person that said they might come cancelled. With only cans of paint and piles of brushes to keep me company I felt very alone and frustrated. But I also felt stubborn, so I decided to do all the work myself. I was half way through yet another coat on the third wall, listening to the same playlist for the fourth time as the clock crept past 1 am and was running out of red paint before I paused long enough to admit that I was in over my head. I put the brush down, crumpled to the floor and had a heart to heart with God about life.

Counting two World Youth Days, countless conferences and retreats, weeks of training and tons of liturgy – that was the single most powerful moment of any “Youth Ministry” I’ve experienced.

It changed me.

It’s not that I woke up as a more wonderful person the next day or ended my sinning streak or anything really notable at all. It’s just that this experience shifted my perspective. During that late night prayer I discovered in a concrete way that the success or failure of my plan was insignificant. Unless I conformed to His plan, I would keep experiencing failure. But that if I did conform to His plan my weakness would be transformed.

 “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Cor 12:9

Today on the feast of the Transfiguration we celebrate, among other things, a pivotal moment in the life of some of Christ’s disciples. A moment when three men came to more fully understand the true nature of their Teacher. When then literally saw him in a different light.

So here’s my prayer for you. Whatever rocky ground you might feel you are standing on today, I pray that you discover it is your own Mount Tabor. I pray that you come to see Christ in a different light, which in turn transforms the way that you see everything else. That you feel completely out of control. And that in doing so, you acknowledge that God is greater than you dared to dream and that God is in control.

Needless to say, my day is much better now than it started out to be. Glory to God in all things.


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