Monday, June 09, 2008

Teaching a seminar in my church's "old chapel."

Saturday of this past weekend was spent cutting up the 45' Cypress tree (top) that fell during a storm while Deanna and I were in Indiana.

I was so thankful that a couple of friends came to assist me. I could not have done it without their help. I mean, I could have done it, but not with the precision that it needed to be completed with.

The tree top that dropped, landed in a precarious position. It was perched and resting atop our privacy fence. Once a couple of eight foot sections of fence were removed, it was poised to fall directly on our neighborhoods phone box main.

I was pretty concerned about being the reason our area lost phone service. My friend Skip and his daughter Geri came to help. They came loaded with rope and other tools that would ease the mornings difficulties.

Skip and his family also happen to be missionaries to Peru. They go every year and lead their church group. Skip's wife Carol began working in our office a few months ago. What a blessing she is!

Anyway, Skip is wiser than I in the ways of being an "Ax Man." He took some stout rope and tied off the massive base of the treetop. The only issue I had was that he was planning to be the weight that would prevent the tree from falling where we did not want it to go.

He set his body and I began to saw in predetermined sections that were stabilizing the tree in it's position. Each cut seemed to bring about the expected conclusion. I am afraid what would have happened if he had not been there to direct this symphony. At the very least it would have been out of tune.

The noise of the saw idling was too loud for conversation in between. I would point where I thought I should cut next and he would nod yes or no. I don't know how often he had to redirect me, but I felt a bit like a little boy asking daddy for permission.

I have handled a chain saw for many years. Doing precision work has not been my area of involvement. I generally left that to people who knew what they were doing. Having Skip there to help me make decisions was wonderful. Somehow, it took the pressure off of feeling like I had to make critical decisions that might end up costing significantly more than I wanted to pay.

We felled the tree without incident.

Whatever the issue, having someone direct the flow of activity who knows what they are doing brings such peace to the team.

This is certainly true of life in Christ.

It is true in our churches and other venues, where discerning His direction and will can sometimes be a daunting task. Godly leaders are so important. Without their leadership, it is a bit like a room full of energy with no particular outlet, and when a door opens, it explodes out with no channel of expectation or measure of effectiveness.

Throwing raw energy at any task does not guarantee it's completion. Having key people oversee and direct the flow of energy is important. One can usually tell rather quickly when the wrong person was posted at the helm. One can also tell when the right person was selected.

While cutting, and hauling the limbs and debris, we became covered with Cypress sap. Cypress sap is a bit like superglue. It adheres you to whatever you come into contact with, and it does so instantly.

By the end of the day, we had brown splotches all over our clothes and exposed areas of skin. It wasn't very interested in coming off later during a shower.

Sin in our lives is very similar. How quickly and almost inadvertently at times we come in contact with things not pleasing to the Lord. We get filthy with it, and then struggle to unload its vile stench. It's presence in our lives also seems to draw other things that we were not interested in, to our presence. We find ourselves 'stuck' where we don't want to be.

Fortunately, we serve a God of grace who loves and forgives. He bathes us anew when we stumble, and we are washed clean. Seemingly, it happens a bit easier than getting Cypress sap off of your person.

God may be raising you up, training you up to be in a position of leadership. Don't doubt yourself, if He is leading. He is preparing you for things He can accomplish through you. It's about His doing a work, and you being obedient.

Your obedience can mean anothers Salvation. Go where He leads, and allow Him to direct. You will be blessed!



At 3:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your comments today, Brent. I needed them. God Bless!

Lisa Potter
Santa Cruz, CA


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