Sunday, December 15, 2013

But I'm called to stir!

An analogy was given this morning about not being able to break away from our tradition. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in what "we" think God ha called us, and in fact He very well may have, but that doesn't mean it's what we're going to be "do" for the rest of our Christian lives.

Take the instance of mother and daughter baking wonderful treats for the annual Christmas gathering:

"Daughter, please come stir this, while I tend to the other chores"

"Yes, Mother, I will. I love stirring cookie dough!" The daughter beams when Mother calls her to the kitchen.

Eventually, it's time to stop stirring, and add more ingredients to the wonderful cookie batter. 
"Thank you, Daughter. You did a fine job. Please bring the batter and add it to these dry ingredients" Mother gently directs. The daughter is stricken with shock. "What, Mother? Surely not! You called me to stir, and I'm doing a great job at it! I need to keep stirring!"

Sounds silly, in  a way, doesn't it? But stirring was just a small part of  the entire baking session. If the daughter continues stirring, then the next step of making delicious cookies would never come to fruition.  The mother knew what was ahead, (delicious cookies) . The daughter simply knew that she was helping her beloved Mother, and making her happy. Perhaps she thought that if she stopped stirring, the 'happiness' would be over? 

How true this is in my own life. If God called me to play an instrument, then I should continue! If God called me to teach, then I should teach! I have a hard time to break out of habits, but often times God has thrown a monkey wrench in my plans. Often times when we feel "led" to work in or with a specific ministry, we often think that we're "led" to do that until death do we part.

In scripture, God had a way of shaking things up a bit, and often would throw in that proverbial monkey wrench into His children's lives in order to remind them of their dependency on Him.

In Luke, we were comparing and contrasting Zechariah's response to the angel's announcement with Mary's response to the angel's announcement. The consequence of Zechariah's questioning seemed rather harsh, but the silence he went through for the 4 or 5 months reminded him on a daily basis, of God's plan coming through. The angel was the monkey wrench in Zechariah's life. He was a priest, doing his priestly stuff, and the people were waiting for him. There was a time frame that they expected the incense to start rising, a time frame for the priest to come out and start praying for the folks, and everything was just so.

Except on this day. By having a conversation with the angel, that threw their whole ceremonious tradition off, and they weren't sure what to make of it. I wonder: After John was born, did Zechariah go back to the same ole, same ole? Light the incense, pray for the people, then go home? That was really all the peek we were allowed to have in the life of Elizabeth and Zechariah. Once John was born, we don't hear from him again until he pops up a grown man, preaching and baptizing.  What of Elizabeth and Zechariah?

I must confess, it's hard for me to give up my routine. If I do laundry on Tuesday--every Tuesday, it's hard for me to even think of doing laundry on Monday or Wednesday in order to do something else.

What about you? Are you stuck in a habitual rut? Have you been in the past, but broken out of it? I would dearly love to hear how some of you escaped this madness called tradition.