Random Ramblings

Reflections on my walk with God


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Follow me

When Jesus called his disciples they got up and followed Him:

Now as Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. Going on from there He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and He called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him. (Matthew 4:18-22 NASB)

I’m reminded that when we make a commitment to Jesus we too are called follow Him, often this calling may require that we leave our comfort zone, it may mean that we leave jobs, family, friends … Everything that we hold onto in this world. Can we “up sticks” and move to where God sends us?

Ruth leaves everything to follow Naomi. Her family, her people, her gods. She is faithful to Naomi and trusts in her God.
But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. Thus may the Lord do to me, and worse, if anything but death parts you and me.” (Ruth 1:16-17 NASB)

When Saul hears about the threats from the Ammonites, he is seized with anger and cuts up the oxen that he is ploughing with. He sends the pieces to the rest of Israel as a rallying call to follow him.
He took a yoke of oxen and cut them in pieces, and sent them throughout the territory of Israel by the hand of messengers, saying, “Whoever does not come out after Saul and after Samuel, so shall it be done to his oxen.” Then the dread of the Lord fell on the people, and they came out as one man. (1 Samuel 11:7 NASB)

Elisha stops ploughing, sacrifices his oxen and uses the yokes to cook the meat. Completely giving up everything to follow Elijah.
So he returned from following him, and took the pair of oxen and sacrificed them and boiled their flesh with the implements of the oxen, and gave it to the people and they ate. Then he arose and followed Elijah and ministered to him. (1 Kings 19:21 NASB)

When Jesus calls His first disciples they literally get up and leave everything behind. They don’t even know Jesus but are drawn by Him to follow. In Luke’s gospel the fishermen are described as having caught the biggest catch of their lives, but still they leave it. They leave family, friends and a small fortune in fish – security for them and their loved ones.
When they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him. (Luke 5:11 NASB)

Later in the same chapter Jesus calls Levi, a tax collector and therefore a rich and hated man. Levi does not hesitate.
After that He went out and noticed a tax collector named Levi sitting in the tax booth, and He said to him, “Follow Me.” And he left everything behind, and got up and began to follow Him. (Luke 5:27-28 NASB)

Peter was able to say “Behold, we have left everything and followed You.” (Mark 10:28 NASB) 

As they were going along the road, someone said to Him, “I will follow You wherever You go.” And Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”  And He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.” But He said to him, “Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God.”  Another also said, “I will follow You, Lord; but first permit me to say good-bye to those at home.” But Jesus said to him, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:57‭-‬62 NASB)

Can I give up everything that I rely on to follow Jesus? Can I let go and let God today?

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Trying to pray

The kitchen vent rattles and clatters
The sun burns golden through tightly shut eyes
Seconds tick away
A door slams

I’m trying to pray
The quiet I long for escapes me
Dirty dishes wait patiently
The laundry pile beckons

I am trying to pray
Behind closed eyes
The needs of friends and family
Situations local and global
My mind is wandering

Thoughts of what I have to do today

I’m trying to pray
Thanks to God for the new day
Thanks for prayers answered
Requests for healing
For answers to questions

I’m trying to pray
But there is a list of jobs to be done at home
Surrounded by the family clutter
And the messiness of life

I’m trying to pray
Thankful for my own health
Praying for those not so fortunate

I’m trying to pray
But my mind wanders to the pile of marking
The emails to be answered
Lessons to prepare
Work engulf my thoughts

I’m trying to pray
Resting in God’s presence
Trusting Him with my problems

I am praying that
I will be at peace even as I plunge into the busyness
As I deal with the messiness
Remembering that this it not all that there is


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Juggling

Like slow motion or a freeze frame I see myself with all this “stuff” in the air above my head as I frantically try to keep everything going. …and then I remember I can’t juggle…..

And it all comes crashing down around me. …
image

All that “stuff”.

Home, family, minor health issues and the main source of limitless stuff – work.
Assignments that need to be written, lessons that need to be planned, marking to be done, yet another meeting to attend, admin tasks…..
And another email pops into my inbox needing an immediate response.
And then there is the course that includes people from industry …we have to keep them sweet, even if it means cloning and becoming a contortionist. ..
It truly is endless.

What happens when I let it all drop?
Nothing really. Life goes on.
The stuff is still there.
The not yet started
the unfinished
the shoved to one side jobs are all still there.

No crisis results.

In the moment that I accept that I can’t actually keep juggling and give all the stuff over to God, my burden vanishes.
The stuff is still there, but now I can perhaps deal with it. Picking out the things that really do matter.
It really is more important to visit my Dad than to mark that work. It is more important to open my Bible than to open my email.

Jesus did not say “come to me and I will remove all your responsibilities, and leave you with nothing to carry”. No, he said His burden is light.

We are all called to carry our crosses, we are all called to work for the Kingdom, whatever our jobs may be.
Jesus did not promise life free of responsibility or work, He did promise to help us to carry the burdens.

Once again as has happened so many times before. My circumstances are unchanged but my attitude is completely changed. When I work in His strength and accept my circumstances, I can “do all things”.

When I am overwhelmed I have to remember that His hands are big enough. Unspoken- In Your Hands (Acoustic Performance):