16 October 2010

Under the Tree

Right now we're in the middle of a week of spiritual emphasis here at RVA.  The students have had chapel sessions every evening with a special speaker.  I (Jim) have been a good staff-member and have attended all the sessions until tonight.  I showed up, we had a great time of worship, and Tim (the speaker) began to share about grace and what an incredible gift we as Christians are given.  I'd already been thinking about that all afternoon, and I was having a really hard time focusing - I'm really tired - and I felt like I just needed to leave.  So I did.  Snuck out the back door and headed for home.  I happened to have the iPod with me, so I stuck the earphones in as I walked.  I was listening to Jars of Clay - the first song was 'Frail.'   Basically a song about grace.

I walked into our yard and felt the urge to lay down under the Jacaranda tree in the yard, still listening.  The next song was 'Worlds Apart.'  A prayer about grace.  And suddenly there under the tree, I felt a bit like the rich young ruler in Luke 18:18 who was so secure in his possessions he could not bear to leave them and follow Christ.  There I lay - in Kenya - a world away from Colorado, USA, but still a world away from really trusting my savior as I should.

I still worry about the future - and I shouldn't.

When I don't worry about the future, it's because I have confidence in our worldly possessions:
Enough money in the bank to fly the whole family anywhere in the world.
A house in our name in Woodland Park, CO.
A well-stocked pantry.

Edward, our yard worker, was ecstatic about Tuesday night's rain, because his garden would grow and his family would have food to eat - he says he doesn't worry about it, he just plants the garden, prays, and waits.  My thought was that Edward has it easy - he's got NOTHING ELSE to trust in!

So tonight, as I lay under the tree watching the moon with an iPod Edward would have to work two months to buy, I felt lousy.  Like the rich young ruler - wanting to trust HIM with all I am, but saddened because my 'possessions were great.'  Then it hit me:  How cheaply I view His Grace!!  Then the lyrics through the headphones:  "I look beyond the empty cross, Forgetting what my life has cost..."  So I laid there and listened to the song again, and again - in the rain - and prayed.  I still have a heaviness in my soul, but am feeling awed by His Grace.  May we grow to trust Him more!

(The links above are youtube versions of the songs, should you wish to listen.)

1 comment:

  1. Jim, thank you so much for sharing and for being real and authentic. You definitely are in the same place as pastors/ministers as far as people can view you, and it is really good to hear your struggles. I am still figuring out how to do that here. Thank you. We pray for you daily! And some days I miss you all hourly.