Those moments. Sometimes when we stand still long enough, they allow us to see something new. Glimpses not of here and now, of what we see and feel and touch around us every day, but glimpses back into time, of a journey made and a life changed. Of hopes and dreams and a future mapping out before us, of being carried and held and protected and grown.
These are the moments and the stories that marked out the week. Conversations, different in detail but the same in spirit, that slowly build and repeat and become a gentle motif.
Have you ever had those times, when what you hear all around you becomes the same? Different people, different times, different ways, but all humming the same tune, singing the same song, whispering the same story in your ear, over and over and over?
“This time last year I was hoping for…. and now I have …..”
“Did you think this time last year that now I would be here and doing this…?”
“Last year I was asking God for this… and now look at where we are…”
It’s the nicest thing about an annual event: Christmas, holidays, a new school year. A festival that comes around again each year, that first precious week of August. As tents go up and stages are built, as volunteers and speakers and musicians and skaters step off trains and planes and come; come to serve, come to speak, come to build His kingdom here in Cornwall, we marvel that it is here again so soon. And as I take it all in, talk and walk with people I love during that week, I am quietly surprised by the beauty provided in that natural break, a pause in time that allows us to draw breath and reflect on what has gone by since we were last here. We cast our minds quickly back through the moments, days, weeks, months that have passed,and suddenly we see it all anew, stretched out behind us like one giant storyboard proclaiming God’s grace. The things that have gone before. The way we have changed. The provision that has been made.
Let’s stop and reflect for a moment; and give God the glory. For where we are today and for where we’ve come from. For the journey we have been on, whatever that looks like. For what only he can do, when he calls into being that which is not.
“Faith is being sure of what we hope for, certain of what we do not see” (The Bible, The Book of Hebrews, chapter 11, verse 1)
It is hard sometimes to hope for the things we can’t see, and so much easier to live shaped by the things, the people, the situation that exists to us, every day, here and now. It is not easy to be certain that there is more. Better. Different. But that is the truth of the Gospel. God does not leave us where we are. He meets us where we were, but he is always, will always, be changing us, transforming us, carrying us, even when we do not see it. Sometimes it takes a moment to look back and see that journey. To mark that moment in time and see where we have come from. We might not be there yet, but we’re not where we once were. And that is worth rejoicing in!
Until next year…. Creation Fest 2017