April 2017 - LPNI

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April 2017

LPNI Devotion – April 2017
A Time of Unexpected Change
I am living in a time of unexpected change.  Aren’t we all?  I found out several months ago that the position I had held for quite some time would not be funded for the full year.   My initial reaction was anger, then denial and a lot of fear.   My more reasoned response was to create options.   I am aware that “creating options” is one of my coping skills.   It is a way to take some control of events over which I have very little control.   I am questioning now if that has been the best way for me to respond.  
My Sabbatical last year focused on “Living Well in the Third Chapter of Life”.   I should have been ready; I had done the homework.  I love God’s sense of humor.   I approached my project as a way to help others as they lived their “third chapter”.   I may have even thought that I might need that guidance at some far-off point in my life.  So now it is that “some far off point”.
It seems faith might say there is no need for my creation of options.   God already has a plan.   Does faith require that I just wait on God to reveal it?  How am I to live well in this Third Chapter of Life?  What are some good options for me?
Moses, Noah and St. Paul among others, as we read in the Bible, didn’t have “following God” on their first list of options for life.   In fact, they all had other ideas, and God’s plan worked for them and him despite their lack of faith as we read in Exodus 2 and 3.   God used these unsuspecting men to accomplish his will. Will he do the same for me?
Samuel was another person who saw God’s call moving him in unexpected ways.   First, his mother surrenders him to Eli.  Then, Samuel finds himself sleeping in the temple.   Next, Samuel hears the voice of God, though he presumes it to be the voice of Eli.   Finally, Samuel relents, Speak Lord, for your servant is listening. (1 Samuel 3:10)  
God gives none of us a clear, preprinted itinerary of our lives.   I have let God know that Options A, B or C are acceptable to me.   However, I have found that sometimes God has Option X on his mind.   While I never in my wildest imagination would have dreamt that particular option for my life, in the past God always has made Option X the perfect option for me to do his will.  
Unexpected change and unexpected options bring about both fear and excitement.   Learning to live with those seemingly opposite feelings is where we experience and really live our faith.   It feels very much like riding a roller coaster at a carnival.   I am calling the up and down feelings of the experience of living my faith, “wheeeeee”!!!  Speak, Lord, for this servant is listening.
Chaplain Rocky Mease, M.Div., M.A., B.C.C.
Derby, Kansas USA
 
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