Wednesday, 22 February 2012

#BigRead12 - Week 1 Preparation
Today is Ash Wednesday.  Today we have started week 1 of the #bigread12
This is the week of preparation and we are asked
Are you ready to meet your maker? God has come into our midst. It’s time to prepare.
We have not yet met our maker, we are before any contact with God, before knowing Jesus. This is the time before all of this, a time of getting ready.  The material this week asks us to think about John the Baptist.  John was important, the man tasked with preparing the way for Jesus.  John responded to Jesus when they were both still in-utero and, as cousins, they must have known each other when growing up.  Then, when Jesus was ready to be baptised, it was John the Baptist who ministered this. 

Jesus' baptism seems to be the only (not that it's 'only') task that John was tasked with, a big one and the only one.  It made me wonder whether each of us has one main task with which we are tasked.

The material for this week asks us five questions. Here they are with my reflections.

1.Am I giving others a heavier burden because I’m not fulfilling the role God has called me to?
This is such a big question, what a way to load a question on those of us who like to beat ourselves up.  All I know how to answer right now is that the only person who I feel is burdened is Mike whilst I perhaps fulfil too much of a role I feel God has called me to. Often I neglect my calling as a wife and perhaps this is the reminder I need to prioritise this calling somewhere other than last,

2.Should I be taking time to discover what my gifts are and how they fit into the picture of my local church?
I think I can honestly say I have and am doing this.  enough said I think.

3.If I’m keeping close to God, are the desires of my heart what He wants for me?
It was hard learning to put my own desires aside and listening to God's desires for me.  At least it was hard at the beginning, and then what happened was that my life and values changed until I lived and longed for what God had in mind.  No doubt he has an ongoing plan and things will change and develop, but I now "mostly" trust that He will work on my heart to help in the process.

4.Is it ever too late to step into the role to which God has called me?
Never, ever, ever.  How do we know when God wants us to do the thing He wants?  It may be in our first year or our last.  All we have to do is remain open for the possibility.

5.Is the discontent that so many people feel about their lives, the result of not playing the part that we were destined for?
I believe so.  I have never felt so content as now that I don't try to surge my own path through the wilderness.  That doesn't mean that life is easy necessarily, but at least I no longer feel empty or somehow not good enough in my life.

Towards the end we looked at the pudding discussions; unfortunately without any actual pudding.  I was taken by that around ‘Come as you are’ versus ‘Make an effort’.  There are so many ways you can skin this cat of a debate but for me it spoke to me about the fact that it's not our outward appearance that matters to God, it's how we are inside.  Yes He wants us to make an effort, but not in regards to our vanity, more in the vanity of our soul. We are asked to come as we are, as God knows we can be.

Taking away into the week we are asked as part of the course to try something new this week and the idea of walking a labyrinth was proposed.  I have a crazy week and there's not a labyrinth close which I know about, but I have a wonderful finger labyrinth and so this week commit to using that each day in my quiet prayer time and see how that works for me.

This is the preparation,
this is the first week
and these are my notes and reflections. 

How has it been for you?  I'd love to know all about it, as would the #BigRead12 team


drbexl said...

Great to see Emma, and an important point to recognise that that first question could be interpreted as adding a heavier load. When thinking of it, was also thinking on e.g. if we take on too much "doing" are we also making the load heavier for others when we become ill. This is a real question for ME, who is always busy busy busy... then I suddenly crash - how do we find more balance - it's a REAL challenge!

Emma Major said...

good point Bex, I hadn't thought of that. thanks for that.