Saturday, September 10, 2016

Not My Desire

The life that God seems to have chosen for me is not the one that I would have chosen for myself. (I say "seems to have chosen" in this public forum. In my own heart and life I say that with more confidence.) My Lord, who knows me better than anyone else, has chosen to plant me in Roseville, a pleasant suburb of the Twin Cities. I would not personally have chosen this place to live. I'd have lived further south from here, down in St. Paul itself, nearer to where there are multiple ways of getting around besides driving, in a place where Toni and I could easily walk to stores or cafes or just jump on a bus. Up here, in Roseville, it's not practical to get around without a car. My compromise is to drive and park where I can get on a bus. That's what I've done many times this summer and will continue to do this fall. Still, it's a compromise. I'd rather just do it my way. (Insert tongue sticking out emoticon.)

God seems to be leading Toni and I to participate in a church that I wouldn't pick. There's nothing wrong with it. As far as "normal" churches go it has a lot to recommend it. But I wouldn't pick it because it's a pretty "normal" church: full of friendly people (on Sunday mornings at least), balancing "contemporary" and "traditional" music, pretty good preaching (the Lord has said something to me personally every week), various kinds of outreach programs, youth & children's stuff going on. I like both of the pastors. I met with one of them and we have a lot in common. Still, though, it's a pretty much run of the mill place. I'd probably pick something a lot smaller. Like a house church. (Another tongue out :p )

Some parts of this phase of my life are turning out much more "conventional" than I thought they would. I grew up in the suburbs and it looks like that's where I'll be for most of the rest of my life. I grew up in a pretty good suburban church and it looks like that's where we'll be. I imagined things would be different when we moved from the small town thing to the cities. I do get to keep my unconventional (for me) job, so that's one thing I can say is probably something I would pick myself, though it would have been completely unexpected until a little more than a year ago. But because I'm not picking these things, I expect God is at work in them, and I suspect that those very suburban things will turn out for God's glory. That's what I say, in faith.

Tomorrow I'll sing with the Roseville Covenant Church choir. That's also something I wouldn't have picked on my own. I had a sense, though, sitting in church a week ago, that it would be good to try it out. One of the things I've treasured about this time in my life is that I haven't needed to perform in front of audiences. And now I've volunteered to do it. I do really like the director. And, most inspiring, the choir of this church is the place where prayer ministry goes on.

Here's a pic I took of the choir praying for two choir members who have volunteered to lead after rehearsal prayer each Wednesday. Being part of a prayer group is something that I've been wanting, and I stumbled into it by saying "yes" to something I wasn't looking to do - that is, sing in the choir.

There's a spiritual principle in here somewhere, don't you think? God's best is often worked out in the midst of things that we wouldn't pick out ourselves.

Tomorrow we'll be singing this in the choir:
By faith we see the hand of God
In the light of creation's grand design,
In the lives of those who prove his faithfulness,
Who walk by faith and not by sight.

By faith our fathers roamed the earth
With the pow'r of His promise in their hearts
Of a holy city built by God's own hand,
A place where peace and justice reign.

We will stand as children of the promise;
We will fix our eyes on Him our soul's reward.
Till the race is finished and the work is done,
We'll walk by faith and not by sight.
Yup. OK. That's what I'll do. And I'll do it with the men and women God has chosen for me.

Here's a church choir singing what we'll sing tomorrow -- but our group is not just men.

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