Wednesday, June 19, 2013

When God says, "Turn"

   The sun slowly tickled the rooftops on the horizon and I was headed home. It’s the same path I take every day. My right turn was just ahead to the street my family has called home for years – Anacapa Drive.  I love coming home. Part of it is perhaps is the four legged greeting committee. Three cats drape themselves about to change the home landscape into a welcoming zoo. The pomegranate tree/bush has a Siamese dangling from the branches as a silken ornament. The walkway to the house is sporting a squirming calico who is trying to convince me she is a stepping stone. The black and white giant is perched regally on the porch awaiting his mistress and his tuna delight. The scent of a warm meal prepared by my sweet husband fills the air before one foot is even in the door. Who wouldn’t want to go home? Going home always starts with one familiar spot - a right turn onto Anacapa Drive.
   Today, the car in front of me didn’t seem to have the same passion I had for going home or for my favorite turn. I wanted to accelerate, but his clunker “pokied” along with the speed of a teenager forced to wake up on a hot summer morn. It was as if he couldn’t quite gauge where the turn started. He clearly didn’t know where he was going. I was so irritated. I wanted to kiss his bumper with a hurry up nudge.  It was then; I noticed he was an older gentleman. He had on one of those big bug-eyed glasses you get after cataract surgery. The shadows and the beams of light from the sunset must have produced confusion for his tired eyes. He was in no hurry to go anywhere, so he just puttered. There was no passion to get home, no excitement for the anticipated turn. 
                               It was then I heard a God whisper, “so it is with my church.” 

Humbled, I saw a reflection of myself in a mere instant – how do I act when God says, “turn. “ Like a scene from the movie Scrooge, my mind re-winded to the many times God had said, “we’re going my way, Lynn”, “lay your own talents down and pick up my grace,” “get out of the boat and start walkin’ on the water.” In all of the cases, I was the clunker.  In God’s grace, he wasn’t pointing out my failures as a sign of unforgiveness, it was a learning curve or should I say “turn.”

I took notice of the things that hindered the man in front of me for they were the same things that produce stumbling blocks for me.
  • The path was not well lit - I reminded myself that it is in his word where I find his direction and light.  
  • The way was unfamiliar – I must stay in the state of becoming like Him - stretching my abilities, taking risks with my faith and going the extra mile.
  • He was  worn – Isn’t it true, that in my weakness He is made strong?
  • The turning radius on his old car was not as good as a new car – What if God wanted me to befriend those with traits that I find uncomely like those who brag or are superficial? Worse yet, Does that describe me?  How flexible am I? How far does God’s grace in me extend? It is easy to love the poor and needy but what about traits of those that I find distasteful? Help me Lord to see with your eyes and heart.
  • He tried to turn too soon and then too late and ultimately missed the turn altogether.   – How many times have I not waited on God and it got me in trouble? I can remember a few stupid purchases I bought that cost me twice the amount because I wanted it now. instead of saving for it. Believe it or not God in His wisdom sometimes wants me to do without or HE wants to give it to me, Himself.  And how about the times have I missed what God was doing?  Could it be that fear or past experiences hold me back from today, so I drag my feet?
  • He didn’t appear to have a destination in sight – When God says turn, I need to remember the real destination – and that is to God, Himself.  The bumps, hard turns and brief moments of sheer delight should not be my focus.  I’m pretty sure Peter walking on the water underscored that one.
   I didn’t even need to pinch myself to know it was true, the puttering senior in the clunker car was me. I made a hard right on Anacapa Drive and zoomed up the street to my home. My lack of patience for the older man eased into compassion. I openly thanked the Lord in my car because he is steadfast in his love for me even when he observes my annoying “life driving.” He is not afraid of my failures as the navigator of heart. God’s turns include invitations to stretch my faith and submission to his Lordship. I think I will turn onto Anacapa Drive with a different perspective- there is a GPS (God’s Perfect Son) at work my life and yours. 
Want to make a turn with me?
Home is really a beautiful place!