Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Steering the Titanic

Galatians 5:6 (New Living Translation)
New Living Translation (NLT)
Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers.
6 For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, there is no benefit in being circumcised or being uncircumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love.

A friend is with us for a while, the circumstances of her life having her down for the moment. I saw a documentary on T.V. a couple of years ago about people who lived in their cars in the States, and was shocked that people lived that way. These people were ordinary people who didn't want to live in their cars and wash in public washrooms, but something had happened that tipped the balance of financial viability in their lives and they found themselves out on the street with only their cars and a few belongings. It can happen to anyone, I realized--not many steps keep us on this side of security.

We've lived with more than our share of houseguests in the past, but we've come to enjoy our solitude at this stage, and so it was a stretch to make room for someone else again. I've learned that it's important to talk up-front about how it will work when someone moves in, and I did, doing a good job of setting out the boundaries around my selfish world. In doing so, I lost the grace of Jesus, who would have me respond with welcome, hospitality and compassion to people who need help.

I consoled myself by thinking of the story of the two sons in Matthew 21:28-32, one of whom said he wouldn't go and work in the vineyard when his father asked him, but did in the end, and telling myself that at least eventually I "got it.". But I felt that God must often feel as though he's trying to steer the Titanic when he wants to work through me. This is a metaphor for how my life is; God has pretty regular course adjustments to make!

“The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” Galatians 5:6b New International Version

(Written with the permission of my friend).

1 comment:

Dave Hingsburger said...

Oh, my gosh, if you are the titanic and hesitate to think what I am. I too feel like I often grab the rudder after I've lost sight of land. It seems sometimes that my soul is like a cat, it can never go directly to the goal, it has to meander over here and over there and eventually, get where it could have been long before.