“If deep trust has got you this far, why do you think that God is going to give you a blueprint for the future now?!?” That was what Roy Searle said to me while I was on retreat this summer. And as I let go of my expectations and simply enjoyed God’s presence and waited on Him I began to see clearly what I long for us to be as a Union of Churches, Associations and Colleges…
I long for the Lord to be so utterly at the centre of all that we are and do that we would ooze Christlikeness out of every pore of our life together. It struck me that Mother Theresa is known throughout the world for her deep and authentic Christian faith. I long that Baptists would be renowned as people of authentic faith too. Not just people that talk the talk, but people who walk the walk. To do this I believe that we need to get serious about prayer.
I long for us to cherish those closest to us. I have always tried to serve in ministry in ways that honour my calling as a wife and mother. Whilst I was on retreat God showed me that this is not just important for me, it is important for all of us. Embodying the fruit of the Spirit in our lives, when few others are looking, is a true mark of our maturity and also acts as a firm foundation for our more public lives.
I long for teamwork expressed through trusting relationships. We are one team across this nation, all playing our part in different ways. A few years ago I was fortunate enough to see the stage production of War Horse. I was spell-bound by the magnificent “puppets” that were the horses. All was so brilliantly observed and executed that you quickly did not see the people operating the horses from within, but were captivated by these incredible animals that seemed so real.
I long for us to be like this - a team that is such a breathtakingly gracious, co-ordinated collection of parts moving as one, that it is not the “operation” that is seen, but that people are captivated by our movement.
I long that we would be instinctively engaged in God’s mission to the world. Not because we ought to, or have to, but because it bubbles up and overflows naturally out of our lives as Kingdom people who embody, share and proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ and invite others to participate in that goodness too.
There is just one small problem… I alone cannot make this happen. But I do believe that, as we seek Christ together, and long for these things together, we will find ourselves becoming like this. Thankfully our future is not in my hands; it is in God’s hands and all our hands.