The weather has been perfect lately so I’ve been walking a lot more than usual. The other day I was walking through some dirt roads behind a small market with donkey carts around, men sitting and drinking tea, that sort of thing. I just smiled to myself because for years I would imagine myself around chickens, and people, and sun, walking on dusty roads and here I am doing it. I feel so lucky.
Christmas is coming and that’s hard. Many of the people I’ve grown close to have either left or won’t be around for Christmas. I keep skipping all the songs that talk about being home for Christmas in my Christmas mix. But there’s also really great things. The Christmas party for the boys coming up this week. Getting to go shopping in the suuk for present for the staff kids. Getting prepared for sharing different parts of the Christmas story in Arabic for our language school party. Which presents lots of unique opportunities to enlist the help of our local teachers and friends in helping us translate and prepare for it–essentially getting to explain why His birth is a big deal and why He is a big deal. So that’s pretty exciting.
Something else I’ve been chewing on lately is a discussion I was part of a little while back about a secure sense of self rooted in Christ. A jolly ol’ fellow there said something I found to be very poignant. He said that Christ was perfectly confident in who he was. He knew that he came from God and that he was going back to God. That gave him the freedom and strength to be the person he was created to be.
It is a simple truth–but I had never heard it put that way before. And it’s true. We have that same freedom too. We are from God and are going back to Him. Nothing should hold us back. Fear should be far away from us.
From The Message translation’s introduction to 1&2 Samuel:
“…We don’t have to fit into prefabricated moral or mental or religious boxes before we are admitted into the company of God–We are taken seriously just as we are and given a place in his story, for it is, after all, his story; none of us is the leading character in the story of our life. For the biblical way is not so much to present us with a moral code and tell us “Live up to this”; nor is it to set out a system of doctrine and say, “think like this and you will live well.” The biblical way is to tell a story and invite us, “Live into this. This is what it looks like to be human…” As we submit our lives to what we read, we find that we are not being led to see God in our stories, but to see our stories in God’s. God is the larger context and plot in which our stories find themselves.”