Tag Archives: mystery

Just enough light for the step you are on

22 Aug

Isn’t it amazing when God gives you vision? When prophecies or dreams give you that peace that surpasses understanding, or things just seem to fit beautifully into place? Sometimes God works like that…. but what about when he doesn’t?

What about when you have a summer stretching ahead of you, no job and an overdraft to pay back? What about when you have left uni and the post-recession workplace offers little comfort for your career plans? What about when you face being at home for 3 months, and you don’t quite know how to navigate those tough family dynamics?

I was reminded of childhood afternoons of treasure hunting. Little pieces of paper would direct us to the next clue until eventually we reached the prize. Those little scrawled messages coupled with perseverance were all we had until we reached the next stage. Sometimes it was fun – the mystery, the searching… however sometimes it was frustrating and I yearned to bin the cryptic clues and just hunt for the prize.

Sometimes God gives us just enough light for the step that we are on

This statement keeps catching my eye from the spine of a book on my shelf at home. In a season filled with uncertainties about finance and jobs, it’s a reminder that although God doesn’t often reveal the big picture, he gives us what we need for the month, week or even just the day! This could be insight, money or a sense of peace over a decision you need to make. Matthew 6v34 (NLT) echoes just this: ‘So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today’.

In the Lord’s prayer, we pray ‘Give us today our daily bread’. Sometimes we skim over it without thinking, especially when we feel secure that the paycheck is coming, our friendships are ticking along nicely, we feel secure in love, and the fridge is full. But sometimes that line is said as a heartfelt prayer in itself, perhaps loaded with desperation.  So what do you do when life finds you scrabbling for clues as to what’s next? If you, like me, are in that place right now, try these tips for size (along with some verses to look at in your quiet time… or moments of panic:

– Take some time to think over your testimony, stories of forgiveness, moments of revelation and miracles of provision. Remind yourself that your God is faithful. Read 1 Corinthians 1:9

– Pray for peace that transcends circumstance. Not only will this quieten your heart, but what an amazing witness to others as they see you calm in the face of uncertainty and storm. Read Romans 15:13

– Share testimonies and stories of how God has worked in your life. It is inspiring and affirming. What a way to raise expectation. He’s done it before, he will do it again. Read Hebrews 2:4 

– Be expectant. Wait confidently in the assurance that God knows the complexities of your situation, he knows what you need best. Read Micah 7:7

– Don’t be afraid. You are hemmed in by God. He has gone before you and will be with you, no ground you tread on has been un-trodden on by your God. Read Deuteronomy 31:8

I want to finish with God’s words concerning the future in Revelation, the unknown, the mystery of what is to come are these:

‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end’ (Rev 22:13 NLT). 

He is already in the future, and he is good.

 

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The marching man with dirty knees

28 Sep

As London wakes
You drink your breakfast
From an aluminium can
Another hungry sip
Adding to your already foggy mind
Your familiar morning haze
~
You with your dirty knees
And ripped jeans
Taking big
Intentional steps
A swerving stride
High legs
Marching man
~
Your scuffed hands
Are weaponless
But you are invincible
Marching into battle
Barking slurred orders
To invisible troops
~
An army of one
Striding across busy roads
To unheard beats
An unseen band
Marching man
~
Lifting your hand
A sharp salute
Honoring the invisible
A smirk on your face
Like a naughty child
~
Would you notice
If I stayed to march with you
For a while?
A few paces
In step
Your lonely battle cry
Heard
Saluting with you to the unseen
To the beat of the invisible band
~
I didn’t.
But the little part of me
That doesn’t care about intrigued stares
Regrets
That I let you march alone

Bake my dreams

27 Sep

Waiting is hard.

If you saw the ‘Great British Bake off’ you will have seen bakers crouch eagerly at their ovens, watching their creations slowly rise (hopefully). All impatient for the moment that the alarm buzzes and they can nervously take out their cake to face the scrutiny that awaits.

It’s all in the baking!

If we were to skip the process, even shave off valuable minutes or in some cases seconds, then the results could be completely different. The result would be either an odd looking cake, or a rather sore stomach.

The bakers are caught in this odd tension of wanting to get their cake out – aware of each second that ticks by, whilst recognising the importance of what happens whilst it’s in the oven. It can’t be rushed by turning up the heating dial (why I end up with burnt rice), or quickened by stolen glances (the culprit for my pancake flat cakes).

I find myself in this funny tension in life sometimes. You know, when you have dreams, hopes and goals that you have held for weeks – years – decades maybe? Sometimes the passion and excitement can be too much to bear, yet you know you have to wait.

It reminds me of being a child in the run up to Christmas. That sense of anticipation and excitement, the irritation at seeing all those unopened doors on the advent calendar that are getting in the way of me and my Christmas day.

I want it ‘NOW’

But if I had had my Christmas when I had desired it (probably before the calendars even hit the shelves), then it wouldn’t have been the same. The weather wouldn’t justify a cosy open fire, the presents wouldn’t have been wrapped, there would be no seasoned Christmas pud, or hope of snow.

It’s in the waiting that these things come about.

Not just any waiting – proactive waiting.

For if we were just to sit and wait for the things we hope for – we may risk not being the person we need to be when we get there.

A little part of me wants to click my fingers and be 4 years down the line where I am really able to use my skills as a therapist and see lives changed, and people freed and empowered. But – if I was if I was there now, right this very second – I may be more damaging than helpful. I wouldn’t have the knowledge and the skills needed that grow through time and learning.

It would be like taking the cake out of the oven early.

Sometimes waiting isn’t inevitable. Sometimes our inactivity is the only thing stopping ‘it’ from happening. We can be the barriers to our futures, our dreams. We can spend our lives waiting and devising new ‘as soon as..’ excuses. Waiting for our lives to start.

Become the change, the movement. Be decisive. Your decision to move could be the decision that changes the course of your life.

~
Start that business
Make that phone call
Schedule that doctor’s appointment
Take that trip
Have that difficult conversation

~

When circumstance requires a wait – don’t sit still. Grow, challenge, and develop into the you that will make the wait even more worthwhile.

Bake.

For in the oven happens a miracle. A flurry of chemical reactions, a busyness that the eye cannot see. A critical process.

Be the cake in the oven – not the one sat on the side waiting to be put in. Focus on the present, live in the now but in knowledge of your future – live your life story.

If I you were to pop a polaroid picture, a snapshot of my future as it could be, into my hand right now. I might say – wow! THAT is what I want, I will do whatever I need to do to get there, to live that, to be that change. No matter how long, hard, high the mountain top experiences, or low the valleys will be – it will be worth it.

So, bake my dreams.

And I will try my hardest not to waste my time staring at the oven.

An ode to the man who didn’t ask

23 Sep
Sitting there
Lounging
On the pavement
Against the wall.
Your concrete sofa
Your chaise longe
~
You sit reclined.
Legs outstretched into my path.
Exhuding an
Atmosphere of regality.
This is your street
~
You breathe through a
Smouldering cigarette
Not bothering to
Pull it from your lips.
Denying yourself the London air,
Ash threatening to fall on your
Marked jacket.
You don’t mind
~
Your outfit
A dusty street man’s,
Mismatched and well worn.
3 pairs of trousers
Rolled carefully to different lengths
A strange rainbow of colour
Against the grey of your pavement
~
You stare.
Moving only your eyes
As people open shops
Beginning their working days.
Fueled on good nights sleep and steaming coffees.
A different life
Ruled by ticking clocks and ringing phones
~
I wonder
What is going through your head?
Maybe nothing,
A simple fog of morning sleepiness.
Maybe jealousy or intrigue
At the lives of passers by.
Or perhaps bemusement at our complicated existence
~
But I sense a disconnectedness
A blasé
An unaffectedness
That says
This is my world.
You live yours
~
You do not ask of me,
Or speak
Or look
As I expected.
You don’t interrupt the moments I spend
Seeking my key
An opportunity to request change or food
As many would
~
Did you even see me?
Notice me?
~
I am touched by the irony of this
The lack of exchange,
Aknowledgement.
Confused.
You have turned the tables
The un-noticing
Becoming the unnoticed
~
This is my world
You live yours

Maybe I shouldn’t have looked

14 Sep

I sat opposite a man on the train home last night. I looked at him.

Living in London, you get used to not looking people in the eyes. It’s a shame how I can share a carriage with someone, yet retract into my own little bubble – my paper, my iphone, my music, and get off – not having taken a second to look and think about those around me. To recognise them, acknowledge them. Sometimes I wonder if I could sit opposite a friend and not even know.

Anyway, last night I took a second to look at this man, in his suit, with his big briefcase. Hiding under his hat. And I saw these big, sad eyes.

A person.
A story.
A history.
You hold so much
Under that ‘travelling face’.
Journeying with me
The equally unknown.
Yet we share a space
Air
A stare maybe.
~
So I glance.
Your eyes are sad.
You purse your lips
And lie back in your hat.
A mystery.
~
What are your dreams
Your thoughts
And hurts?
Who knows you.
Really knows you.
What do you want with this life?
Are you mad at what it’s offered.
~
You have gone.
~
Home perhaps.
Alone?
I imagine you stepping slowly
Slouched with those sad eyes
~
Who are you
Travelling man?
As unknown to me
As I am to you.
We shared the space
On this train.
A moment.
A few stops.
~
But your eyes,
Heavy and softly glazed,
With what I imagine as
Unshed tears.
Will stay with me a while.