It’s a Messy World, 21OCT – #494

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494

I have a backlog of writings in my head from being “off the grid”, this is the first stemming from retreating to an AMAZING event, the Walk to Emmaus, I would encourage you to think about joining a walk sometime, I was BLESSED to know of yet another great faith family that wrapped their love around me! And yet another array of pairing of fellow disciples called to work out in the messy world.

This writing topic had to wait in my head, but God found the right opportunity to get it back out, quiet 6am camping…

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It’s a Messy World, 21OCT

Bear!!! I’ve not that felt that level of fear in quite a while…

Bear!!! My friends and I saw him at the same time that he saw us, he was just wandering like a deer would, apparently accustomed to our voices, probably smelled the smores, actually going for the bread the neighbor left out for him (oh!)… We were close enough to see his face… And he saw ours…. My fear couldn’t have been more real. My whole brain focused on “how do I get to that porch?” – he watched us – I envisioned him charging at us – but no, he went the opposite way – he ran scared too … I got to the porch of the cabin – Thank the Lord! But, then I didn’t want to leave the porch – even though I really wanted to get back to the campfire – but oh the fear…. it was a big bear! A real bear!

None of us at my friend’s cabin for girls’ weekend had been that close to this bear before, but I’m told he’s a regular traveler to the yard… Yeah crazy… The balance of co-existence, always a trade off for being in bear territory but a rare opportunity to stand around a campfire with the girls, it was a blessed escape off the grid, making new memories and decompressing life…

It’s a messy world… There are many tradeoffs for living in the world that we endure while we move thru life, but this particular event was also a reminder of the balance of living in the natural world, a world which could get dangerous… Bears are native and repopulating this and many regions. They were part of the natural balance of the woods before we, as industrial Americans, starting taking over every postage stamp-sized parcel for “safer” living, and we as Americans have both over-gleaned the natural resources and “sanitized” the heck out of life…

It’s actually amazing that bears can return to our wooded areas, just like there also are gators in Florida backyards, we barely remember that our ancestors lived in respectful fear of the natural world – with many more of these beautiful creatures…. They also maintained knowledge of what plants to NOT eat, they had to think about survival too, we don’t really experience that level of survivorship…Essentially the world, the natural world, was a messy world…

A week ago, i had another treat of a camp scene… a blessed time away, as a pilgrim at the Walk to Emmaus retreat. A series of faith education talks over multiple days of being with God, focusing on His love, His plan for everyone, His plan for us. Three days I was blessed to be able to be phone free, time management free, and embraced by a new layer of supporting fellow travelers. We are called to be disciples – we are travelers on this journey of faith and sharing – where do we start? – what do we bring? – who will we meet? The retreat was blessed time but really a regrouping to re-enter the world as disciples… Yes pilgrims on continued voyages thru the world… a world that we are “in” but not “of”… (John 16:17)

It’s a messy world.

The first series of the presentations stuck with me all weekend, and probably forever , reminding us that “it’s a messy world” but we are called to be disciples in this messy world.  Jesus came during a messiest of messy time – we should remember that ours is not necessarily messier, it is just different messy – killings, devastating poverty, human trafficking, serious afflictions from substance abuse to fatal diseases taking their toll…. Whew…. Jealousy, greed, hate and probably the most insidious of ancient and modern-day plagues: APATHY… Whew… Isn’t that also one of the hardest affronts to overcome? Yes, APATHY… It’s a messy world. Many choose to ignore as much as possible rather than work for better life for all…

We are pilgrims – we are disciples – we are called to serve – to spread the Good News… How will we enter this world everyday – what are we going to do about our own attitudes, our history, our baggage, our self-serving drives? How will we accept our commissions?

Jesus said: 19 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28

And Jesus knew that even He was not taken seriously in His hometown, they all had to hit the road:

Jesus said: “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them.He was amazed at their lack of faith. Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits. These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Wear sandals but not an extra shirt. 10 Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town.11 And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.”

Did the disciples have fear? Do we?

How will we keep continuing to step out into this messy world of ours? – how we will remember to not let it paralyze us? – how will we put all our life concerns into a global perspective?

Surely we will pray and try to obey. One step at a time…

We cannot and should not sugar coat the world just to live above the fray. We are continually called to remember to pick up the phone…  Jesus is calling, He says “Follow me”. We are to step out in faith and bring a friend. What’s your plan?

Bear! I was frozen in fright, but I had a plan, I was focused on getting to the porch and instinctually (although foolishly) thought about out-running that bear, but I knew to go slow. The others simply waved their hands – oh and they tried to grab their phones LOL – and he ran off – whew – safe for now – they returned to the campfire quickly…. I wanted too as well, but it took me a bit longer to be brave – to get off the porch – but I did – and I became ever vigilant for the bears return… I learned new fear and courage, I faced a fear that didn’t disappear by sugar coating it. And then as a team we all watched each other’s backs… As we should – for bears while camping as well as for the pitfalls of life…

Jesus needs us to walk with Him, He’s forever here with us as He gave us the Holy Spirit to be another guide “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever. John 14:16

But we have to get off the porch…  It’s imperative that we grab for Him, pick up our tools (which are our God-given gifts of talents) and then use our skills and take our crosses to bear, and keep moving… We acknowledge the weight bearing we must take on for our mission, the directions known and unknown… And those bears of the world’s problems we are called to face… And we step out in faith…

Perspective – it’s crucial to remember the scale of our problems (and maybe they are or aren’t as horrible as we think when we put them into perspective)… We think of the scale of our more unfortunate neighbor’s problems, the world’s problems, and God’s problem… God’s problem is that not everyone knows Him or knows of HIS love… We are called to work on His solution, suspend our agendas and work on His… called as disciples to step out into the messy world with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit…

The fear understandable, the commission great, the world messy…

God does not call the equipped but He does equip the called…

Go with God. God bless you fellow disciples.

Amen

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