I shall never forget the words of a girl I walked with on the island of Iona on the west coast of Scotland in the summer of 1976. I was a Christian; she wasn't. I was troubled and worried; she wasn't. I was carrying the burdens of my life and the world on my mind and heart; she was making choices and getting on with her life with vibrancy and joy. As I poured out my concerns and hesitations to her, she said "You have to run to meet things."
Those words embedded deep within my spirit. Mind you, it took some time for them to bear fruit. And it has taken time to really understand what they mean. She had an understanding and a secret about life that I had not yet found, despite my adventuring into life in Scotland, and my attempt to embrace a radical Christian life. I am not recommending that being a non-Christian is the way to go. But I have often found that we Christians lack the zest for life that an Easter people should have. We have kept on the graveclothes instead of putting on the garments of resurrection. We can become so caught up in our struggles that we lose our vision or don't know how to find the one that is best for us.
This Easter season I can celebrate that God provided me with a vision that I can both realize with some comfort and also run to meet. In a dream last fall he dropped the words "Life Coach". I got up and did an internet search and discovered a wonderful Life Coach training program. They were interested in me, and all my training and experience fit with their requirements. They were grounded in reality, certified and able to provide both solid secular international accreditation and a Christian track, with Christian teachers and students! It seemed too good to be true. I tested the vision for awhile, prayed it through, talked with others, let it die for a season, and then applied. Now I am in training and loving it. It fits with who I am and have been, and who I want to be. It also makes me and empowers me to run to meet the future, call forth what I need to become next in my journey to be all that I can be. And it brings me to life, resurrection life, after a season of many dormant dreams. It calls me and allows me to be what I dream of being, and to help others to do that too.
I wouldn't be here today if I hadn't been listening and watching, and getting ready to run, and running at times to meet the future. Often I would run into the wrong places or take off too soon and then have to slow down, I was so eager to be off and running. Despite my struggles, my faith was telling me that God had something for me to take me into the future in a new way, to make sense of the struggles, to use them to help myself and others, and to ignite my passion so I could ignite it in others. It fit with the revelation that was in my heart,that was written deep on the tables of my spirit, by God's hands.
Streams in the Desert again speaks to us about such expectation:
The old homely proverb says: "They that watch for providence will never want a providence to watch for," and you may turn it the other way and say, "They that do not watch for providences will never have a providence to watch for." Unless you put out your water jars when it rains you will catch no water.
We want to be more businesslike and use common sense with God in pleading promises.Those who come to the bank in earnest present their checks,they wait until they receive their gold, and then they go; but not without having transacted real business....Our heavenly Father would have us do real business with Him in our praying. (April 6)
Living with hope and vision enables us to run the race of our lives with zest and vigour. Trusting God to provide what we need to do this is like running to meet things. When we know how to do that, we can proclaim it to others. I want to be someone who does that with joy and enthusiasm. I don't want to have to go to my non-Christian contacts to get my energy for my life. I respect theirs, and learn from it. But I shame my own heritage, my own understanding and fellowship with God, if I do not, despite all the warfare and discouragement, believe in His providence over my life. I shame His joy in my life if I do not run with joy the race set before me. Only then will others see what I have and want it, and come alive themselves, not only in Christ, in His resurrection promises for our heavenly destiny, but also in the visions for the rest of their lives.
Don't ask yourself what the world needs.
Ask yourself what makes you come alive,and then go and do that.
Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.
Harold Thurman Whitman
This Easter season may we all come more alive than ever before, in Him, and in the visions for our lives, and may we run with joy all the rest of our days.