Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Being Intentional

Each day brings its own challenges and opportunities and in recent days as I have seen God's hand at work leading and directing my steps, in spite of my own plans, I have decided to be more intentional about what is the 'one thing' He would have me focus on every day. Anything accomplished beyond that is like icing on the cake! :-) When one is juggling a variety of roles, the challenge is to not be overwhelmed and to keep asking the Lord for direction. As I have been reflecting on this, the prophetic words given to me by my mentor prior to my departure from Toronto seems to come to the forefront of my mind each day as a reminder to submit my plans to the Lord and simply allow Him to lead and tell me what I should do. She encouraged me from the passage in Numbers 9:17-19 which said:

17And whenever the cloud lifted from over the tent, after that the people of Israel set out, and in the place where the cloud settled down, there the people of Israel camped. 18At the command of the LORD the people of Israel set out, and at the command of the LORD they camped. As long as the cloud rested over the tabernacle, they remained in camp. 19Even when the cloud continued over the tabernacle many days, the people of Israel kept the charge of the LORD and did not set out.

With this intentionality, I have seen the Lord's faithfulness in helping me accomplish that 'one task' on a daily basis. Yesterday was a great example of this as I  needed to get a response back on a tax situation from our former staff person Sotheary who is now living in Vietnam with her family. I was expecting an email back but instead God surprised me. I was doing some grocery shopping in one of the local supermarkets when I heard someone calling my name. It was Sotheary who happen to be visiting Cambodia for 3 days and was leaving yesterday later in the day to return to Vietnam.  She was able to provide me with the contact info in person. Today, as I awoke asking again what 'hat' I should wear, the focus was on finances so it was time to wear my 'accountant' hat and get all the month end finances and bills sorted out and reconciled to submit to our Canadian offices. Yes its not always the most exciting things on a day to day basis but I'm often reminded that it is in the mundane and the ordinary that we experience God's presence. In his book “The Life You’ve Always Wanted”, John Ortberg said that one of the best ways to enter into servanthood, is to involve yourself in the “Ministry of the Mundane”. He then used this (his translation) story from Matthew 19:13-14 as an example of such a ministry. 

Jesus took the little child in his arms and said, in effect “Here’s your ministry. Give yourselves to those who can bring you no status or clout. Just help people. You need this little child. You need to help this little child, not just for her sake, but more for your sake. For if you don’t, your whole life will be thrown away on an idiotic contest to see who is the greatest. But if you serve her-often and well and cheerfully and out of the limelight-then the day may come when you do it without thinking, ‘What a wonderful thing I’ve done’. Then you will begin serving naturally, effortlessly, for the joy of it. Then you will begin to understand how life in the kingdom works.”

And so whether it is setting up an office, figuring out the right size of hanging file folders and balancing the books, all of these are part of the ministry of mundane that we are called to do. But it is in these ordinary aspects of daily life that we have the opportunity to hear God speak in the boring parts of a glorious life. I guess its no wonder that Jesus commanded us to 'consider the lilies (Luke 12:27)

All this to say, it is an exciting thing to have the Lord lead in the daily aspects of my life here. I am discovering and learning about a whole new level of submission and truly enjoy releasing control of all the details into His hands and with that truly comes not just a peace that passes all understanding, but a deep rest in the soul.  One never knows how He will show up but we do know that when He does show up, His timing is always perfect. Walking with Jesus is truly a quest that changes you from the inside out!

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