Thursday 8 January 2009

Every Day is NOT the same. Saints we have to wake up

Below is my answer to what Sheila writes in her post. This comes out of listening to Mark Stibbe's Noah messages.

Sheila wrote: in No trumpets, no scrolls

Some days are silently life changing. I'm having another one of those silent, yet life-altering, fork-in-the-road sort of days. Never, does a scroll drop from heaven, written in flourishing, heavenly script, "Heads up! Things will never be the same again! This is a Very Important Moment!" Never do trumpets play...not even in your head.
You simply have to become wise enough to "number your days, so that you can apply your heart to wisdom", as the Psalm says. You must discern the moment.
Today, ever so quietly, our balding and cheerful postman delivered a large box.
Hannah's first choice of wedding gown. This one will be the first one she will ever try on. We hope it is "the one"; we'll see. It lies there, on her bed, waiting to change her whole life...and mine.
Today, ever so quietly, I have taken down the Christmas decorations. For the very first time ever, Hannah's go into a separate box, a simple box, nothing fancy, lovingly tied up by yours truly with plaid Christmas ribbon. Those trinkets will hang on her tree, next Christmas, in her first apartment, with her new husband. This was accomplished silently, no words from me, alone in my livingroom, with soft jazz music playing in the background, while I drank a Slimfast milkshake - I'm not dieting, but rather just needed quick nourishment that I didn't have to prepare first. Quiet activity. Life changing, nonetheless.
Today, ever so quietly, I walked into my bedroom, carrying a load of laundry, and caught my son making copies of his transcripts, SAT scores, and immunization records. I had no idea. With no prodding, no hinting, no cajoling, he is enrolling in an area college. He is paying for it himself, aside from any scholarships or grants he can, himself, obtain. He is set on working and paying his own way. He had been on the telephone with Roane State this morning, unbeknownst to his father or me, and as of this moment (just got a cell phone call from him) has paid his application fees, and filled out enrollment papers. He is seizing the day, having prayed desperately for the mind of God concerning his future. Quietly, with no input from his parents, no manipulation from mom; with no gabbing or fanfare or an ounce of insecurity on his part....confidently and almost noiselessly, he took yet another step towards becoming a man. I wasn't expecting it. Life changing stuff, it is.
There was a time, in my young motherhood, when I would have grabbed up a telephone and spoiled the silence. I would have vented these emotions. I would have been far too overwhelmed, even wonderfully and positively overwhelmed, with so many milestones in a day. Now, in the twilight of my mothering years, I have learned to value the quiet, transforming moment, and to meet that moment, and honor it with a quiet heart of my own.
And tomorrow is another day. No telling what it will hold.
"In quietness and confidence shall be my strength...."

Christine has been through this with 3 daughters and I'm tagging on behind with Ben.When I was listening to Mark Stibbe on Noah something of the same finality really hit me when he was describing the shutting of the Ark doors....not related to you ofcourse. But truly every day is not the same. And there are days which change everything. When everything changes. Another thing really hit me once again ...for years we have toddled along in charismatic churches at one level. We assume that things will continue much the same. Just as Southern Baptists thought that things would continue just the same. In 1966, they and other evangelicals at Lausanne Conference on Evangelism projected forward that because of higher criticism and many other factors...there would be hardly any church left by 1990.And then the Southern Baptists went back to their churches and continued much the same as they always did.But things did change. Suddenly. A whole generation were suddenly...and it was sudden...born again in the level of baptism in the Spirit. Things were never like the 60s again.And in the same way another step change is to occur. In a way, Florida was I believe the advert.The cinema trailer. (Some scream back sarcastically...what an advert!!!! But I just friends were there. They know of what they speak).


Sheila Atchley said...

very, very encouraging, and also very sobering, to realize what God can do in ONE DAY. You are so right, Chris. The church has experienced such turning points. I want to be just as discerning of our times as the church, as I am in my own home.

Thank you for the challenge. (I know you were not challenging me, but my spirit receives it as a clear call to walk wisely in these days, and to discern when "the day" comes to the church in which it all changes. That day is upon us...)

PS. I very much admire your wife for having been through this three times! I'm open to any advice or counsel she may have! :-)

Chris Welch - 07000INTUNE said...

I've passed the PS on!!! Thanks for all of your remarks. Sometimes Christine will say something really key,
and I try to get her to write it down to put it up here. So far she has remained hidden in the background.
Bit like Pete Day on Dan's site