Saturday, June 9, 2012

building a boat

Have you ever thought about what it was actually like for Noah?  I mean--all those years when he was building that boat, before it rained--before it had ever rained.  Have you thought about how many trees he had to chop down?  Or about how long it would've taken to make them into boards and let them season?  Or about how he'd have to wake up each day with this renewed commitment to do what he was called to do, even though the progress he was seeing was minimal?  Or about how much faith he had to have in the One who had called him to be so committed to such a colossal project?

Noah's been coming to mind for me a lot this week.  I learned a few days ago that Da[w]bar House (my publishing company) will be a ministry partner at the Big Ticket Festival.  Last year the Big Ticket Festival had 30,000 attenders.  We'll have a tent where we'll be running hourly trainings on storytelling and recognizing and responding to emotional barriers to faith.

This is a colossal project, which, if I had 6 months to prepare for, would not be quite so overwhelming.  But the opportunity to teach and interact with such a large number of people, sharing all the things I've been learning about evangelism and storytelling is a huge opportunity--one that I can't pass up and one that I am so thankful for. 

But it is so. much. work.

2 Thessalonians 3:13 says, "And as for you, brothers, never tire of doing what is right."    And I think there's a reason that Paul felt he needed to encourage the Thessalonians in this way.  Because Paul knew, as anyone who is truly committed to following Jesus wherever he leads knows, that from a human perspective, what God calls us to do is always too big for us to do in our own strength.  It's too much. 

But faith does not jump from calling to execution.  Faith requires someone to be on the ground between the calling and the goal.  And that someone is stretched and challenged to live out faith one day at a time, one small project at a time, until the end is reached and you can look back and see that somehow, God has turned all those tiny little steps into an ark that's big enough to house 2 of every kind of animal and feed them for a year.  Somehow, with God, the sum of all the parts you add is greater than it should be.

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