The rim of Mt. St. Helens points to the desire of our website… to speak from the broadest, clearest view possible. It’s a battle… lots of foggy, rainy days… and, sadly, too many sunny days spent looking in and down… instead of out and up.
It’s a fleeting experience. The moments I think I do see clearly, I wish I could sing like Jimmy Cliff…! I CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW
Seeing clearly means connecting origins with consummations… watching an unchanging God carry out his purposes through all generations and tongues and nations... embracing our tiny place in space as part of an infinitely greater whole… discovering what kind of work produces the best, eternal yield.
How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion endures from generation to generation. (Daniel 4:3, ESV)
Earthly kingdoms go away. God’s kingdom never goes away.
It’s in our midst.
What do we want to be when we grow up? The answer matters. Do we want to live in harmony with God’s eternal purposes or get suckered into the pettiness of choosing sides in the perennial soap opera of human conflict?
We should be careful about boundaries. We seem oblivious to the need for clear boundaries between God’s kingdom and earthy kingdoms. We should not accede to a miniaturized version of kingdom transmogrified by our favorite brand of earthly kingdom-ness.
God patiently exercises his will, age upon age, always with his own endgame in sight. He is the supreme example of patience. For how many millennia has he been orchestrating his unfolding drama with perfect attention to detail?
God builds his spiritual kingdom on earth through vibrant relationships with individuals. it’s heart work… it’s a lifetime of work in us. It’s patient work… very patient. We should be encouraged because there is no one more patient and self-assured than God.
Sobremesa (after-meal, table-talk) is the outgrowth of a clearer line of sight… an eye for the long haul. It’s the part of God’s endgame that pertains to providing the foundation and the means for relationship with him. The foundation was poured at the foot of the cross. The means include you and me… coming to a place where we can say with the Apostle Paul, “imitate me!” Sobremesa means quality people-time.
A clear view from the rim reveals three things worthy of a lifetime of passion and commitment: the cross... our witness… growing relationships.
Patience is often about putting up with stuff… waiting… not faltering in the midst of trial. But James talks here about God-like patience… steadfastness with an eye on the endgame… patience unto death.
Patience is our mandate… our calling… our privilege. Patience is our birthright.
And let steadfastness have its full effect. (James 1:4, ESV)
Sometimes we give up on people even though Jesus doesn’t. He showed us how it’s better to let steadfastness have its full effect. He exercised divine patience with his disciple Peter because his plans for Peter had been determined before Peter existed… and in spite of Peter’s blunders. Jesus didn’t give up on him… he wasn’t even surprised. He still included him and used him. Where would the New Testament be without his two letters?
God’s promise is sure… we only need to be clear about how we define “well doing”… it needs to be in sync with God’s endgame.
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. (Galatians 6:9, KJV)
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