While I was browsing the web this morning, I read something that resonated deeply within me. David Carson wrote, “When I get serious with God, I retreat into a quiet room with no distractions, an open bible, a new notepad and a comfortable pen. Then I cry out to God for wisdom, for God has called me to be a voice, not an echo...”
I have neither a pristine new pad nor a comfortable pen but I do have my bible, trusty laptop and currently reliable though slow, slow, slow internet access. A “quiet room” is something of an oxymoron here at Zimpeto but I am becoming adept at shutting out the noise of 700 school students having recess 50 feet from my house. Earphones in, ipod on, music up, mentally switch off the noise of the world trying to distract my soul.
With a day off work, I even turn off my phone and feel wonderfully irresponsible... then I change my mind and switch it back on again. The irresponsibility is a little too much for me to rise above.
I get quiet and I listen. And I hear, “What do you know? What do you know... today?”
Today I know that God is good. I know that He is kind. He is faithful. Today I know that, even in the midst of difficult situations and questions that have no easy answers, He is mine and I am His. Today I know that, in an imperfect world filled with imperfect people, I have access to the perfection of the One who created me and knows me to the core of who I am. Today I know that I am frustrated by my own imperfection but He is not.
What a relief it is to be sure, today, that I am fully known – and accepted.
Today I know that life is a gift and so are the people around me... even the grace-growers. Ah yes, especially the grace-growers, the ones who challenge my patience and my self-control again and again, allowing grace to grow in me if I choose my responses well. How would I learn to live patiently without having my “patience button” pressed occasionally to keep it in good working order?
Today I know that, cliché though it is, pain moulds me into something better than I am, if I can receive the pressing lessons it holds. Today I know that faith is being sure of what I do not yet see and, though I cannot yet see the shape into which He is moulding me, the result will be good because He is good. And He turns all things to good for those who believe.
Today I know that I believe.
Today I know that there are babies waiting for some love. I know I will come home covered with sand and dirt and sweat and probably the leakage from a few nappies needing changing. Tomorrow I know I will be doing some laundry.
Today I know the visitors I serve here will have a dozen questions for me as soon as I walk into the visitors’ compound. Some of the answers I give will not be satisfactory and others will bring joyful, gracious thanks bubbling up and overflowing into my day. Today I know that this job is a path of privilege to be walked with care.
Today I know that the weather report has predicted the coldest night of the year and, thanks to my family, I have two new hot water bottles to curl up with. I know it will be a two-bottle night.
Today the wind is wildly whipping up the sand and I know that everything in the house will be covered with a layer of grit within the hour. I also know that tomorrow Maria – God bless Maria! – will be here to help me clean the dirt away while laughing at my jokes even though we speak different languages. Today I know that laughter is a language all of its own.
Today I know that one breath at a time is as fast as I am required to walk through this day and that, if anyone demands that I walk faster, it is ok to say no. In fact, it is necessary.
Today I know that I am where I want to be. I cannot say that any day living here is easy. If it were easy, there would not be the satisfaction of knowing, at the end of each day, that He led and I followed and that His grace was sufficient for the day.
Today I know that, for everything He calls me to, He fills the deficit between what I can do and what He calls me to. He fills the deficit between me and Perfection. I want to live today and every day knowing that Perfection leads me and all I am asked to do is follow, trusting.
Today I know that He is good and that He is making me into His likeness, just one day at a time.
PS 118: 24 “This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
[David Carson quote from http://www.christianity.ca/NETCOMMUNITY/Page.aspx? pid=4849]