Don’t know about you but when recurring “themes” occur from random people I tend to take notice and include said theme in prayer? Also Quite often for me these things happen shortly after prayer. People who are unconnected in any way start a conversation, books you read; scripture all keep saying the same thing.
I became aware of the theme this weekend for me with Jo speaking about stories and hidden treasure. Jo told the story of a man who went on a great journey looking for his life’s treasure to almost find it where he was looking and then realised it was always at home and under his bed.
This week I randomly picked up the book god of surprises, and the chapter I read was to the effect.
“We pay so little attention to our inner life. However they are key to our behaviour, they Buck and swerve and duck.
We are like riders on the horses of these impulses and all we do is try and keep in the saddle
We never try and befriend the horse and attack the end results of suppressing these impulses with medicine, stress and look down on those that try as unscientific
Why do we ignore it?
Simply because we cannot measure quantitatively it control it.
So these brutalised emotions over time take hideous revenge.
Prayer opens the door and allows God to work with us as he created us.
He allows us to work with our inner selves and discover the “hidden treasure” we all possess and try so hard to suppress.”
The chapter (and the book) is all about locating, understanding, making friends with and reacting sympathetically to our “hidden treasure” as we are made by god and he put it there and meant it to be listened too. He wants to use it for his purpose.
Then a friend on Facebook said randomly “I feel urged to tell you to pray to ask for discernment”
Then I went to see my spiritual director who started up the subject and we spent the afternoon working on the subject of how to discern gods will? He thought I had good discernment (as I had by then prayed). I realise I was being a little less than brave that day as I suggested all the other things apart from the one thing I kept being urged to do?
Then I read the first line of “faith in the fool” a book I continue to learn from “There is more to life than being useful is its recurring theme. Of no earthly use and of infinite value. It talks about Holy Fools and clowns who do foolish things.
One of the best lines is “One of my favourite holy fools is the woman of doubtful reputation who interrupted a dinner party and poured a whole jar of expensive perfume over Jesus head (Mark 14 1-9). Some saw this as a foolish act of useless extravagance, a waste of a marketable commodity.
For me all of these things are saying, sometimes we in prayer feel urged to do what seems preposterous, and foolish, beyond us or useless. Others may make us feel like all those things but Jesus see’s the value as he was the ultimate Holy Fool of course.
Myself I had been resisting an idea that seemed preposterous for a long while, others like Matty spoke directly into that very thing today “ I would like to hear you preach” , my Christian friends all have recently. Spoken into that thing I parked as silly, and preposterous for someone who came to the church so late and wasn’t worthy?
Then Jo said in that same talk “what makes you so “£$% special that you cant be forgiven.”
And Matthew was quoted at me (13:44-5) where a treasure is hidden in a field. I realise I found this treasure when I came back to Jesus, I knew it then but I considered it a silly idea at the time.
44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
So I found it , hid it and I think maybe today I realise I have to go buy that field.
Also this week I wrote on Facebook
“You know some days I just want to spend my time sitting and being with him in his house.
All I want to do today is pray.
Make you wonder what does he want me to hear?
Other lines where used at me this week “ he chose fisherman not princes to be his ambassadors”
And “I am not in control but I am deeply loved by one who is”
Overall though I realised that the only time I feel contentment is when I picture myself trying to bring to people the thing I described so well also this week in a conversation. The lead up is important but the ending is my heart’s desire…
Have you felt braver since you found god?
I dont fear death?
I dont worry about my future?
I dont worry if people get angry or react when I speak about Jesus?
I walk into things not worrying if I will get hurt as I know I have his protection and my time is allotted by his grace.
I feel more love towards my fellow man and that calms the waters
I feel his grace every day and that solves, cures, calms, opens, closes, heals and protects whatever he chooses.
He untangles lives, cures the pain within, offers hope, forgiveness, accepts and loves every single part of you, he doesnt want saints and used fishermen, taxmen, people who hated him and everything he stood for to be his ambassadors.
He knew before I started this journey. I know the world needs him SO much and when I was just started as a Christian and somebody asked me what do you want I replied “I want others to feel like this”
Then this week I was remnded of how far I had come “Matty’s evensong sermon last week was in the church I was baptised and confirmed and it spoke into my journey so far, how existentialist philosophy took me away, and then it talked about athe trinity as a single relationship that was now for me so strong and real and active.
So it’s me isn’t it, the blocker, the person that argued with him for 20 years, who see’s himself as unworthy and something preposterous to think and keeps choosing targets that seem more normal, more attainable.
But Ive seen that a collar does open conversations does make people want to speak with you. My first talk to mens breakfast was “Being Visible” and that uniform does indeed do that.
So in the last week I have applied for lay reader and to the church army.
So Mike Tricker – Lay Preacher? Preposterous isn’t it?
Cockney loud, like a beer, like west ham, ribald humour, a man that argued with Jesus and listened to Sartre for so long before I realised Sartre was wrong and Jesus was right.
Also the man that had to Google lent two and a half years ago. Sometimes short tempered , and not always great at listening.
Lay Preacher, just simply preposterous. But no less mad than Saul, no more ribald than say a rough fisherman’s humour?
So it isn’t. I can talk well, I present for a living, My latest CCS was on the subject of how much of Saul God used in Paul, see when you look God used a LOT of Saul, his passion, his position in life, the pharasee’s zeal for clarity in matters of faith.
So apart from my faith what could god want to use?
I write well and when I am passionate about something I can take people with me on a journey and drop them off where I want.
I do it all the time in sales; people follow me when I speak. When I believe in a subject I can take you with me when I talk.
That was also I thing I randomly said to Arthur this week.
Where I want to “drop them off” is now right at Jesus feet, at the Calvary bus stop , and let him untangle, forgive, love and renew.
Pray for me?
Footnote I came off this page and the next thing I saw… Oswald Chambers.
We too can be lifted by Him into heavenly places through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, so that He can reveal the teachings of God to us.
The Pics I posted in this piece – ones I posted today
It seems, I think I may have finally listened correctly