So, it the New Year. A year of new beginnings, new starts? And yet, when so much from the past has influenced and changed us, we hang on to it. Old friends, old loves, old struggles, old mistakes. There are plenty of things from the last few years of my life that I am still holding on to. And maybe I didn't even realise how much, until now.
On the Thursday night of Training Week the 2nd Years ran the evening worship session. They are always really good, and it is good for us "Firsties" to learn from those who have been through and struggled with things that we are all coping with now. They are a great sense of support and leadership for us, definately for me.
Jo is really shy normally, and yet she got up the front and did a talk on 'jumping into empty swimming pools for God' (it does make sense...) Her talk was good. But what made the most impact on me was that Jo was saying it. Jo, who never (voluntarily) takes an 'up-front' role. But she did it anyway, and said some really good things to us about how we must trust in God to fill the pool with water. And it made me think that maybe I really could do an assembly after all...
After the worship, I sat at the front and was thinking through things. Kat came up and prayed with me, speaking specifically that God wanted me to have peace. Afterwards said to me that God had showed her this image of keys, and that I was holding on to them, and God just wanted me to loosen my grip a bit. The keys to the past or the keys to freedom, and inner peace? I don't know. But either way, God was telling me to let go, and really trust that He had my future in His hands. Trust that God lives in this very moment with me.
As I was writing this out in my bedroom at Niki + Paul's, I looked up at my bedroom wall, and hanging up there is a photo frame, with these words inside:
"I was regretting the past and fearing the future, and suddenly my Lord was speaking, "My Name Is: 'I AM.' He paused, and I waited. He continued:
When you live in the past, with its mistakes and regreats, it is hard: I am not there. My name is not: 'I WAS'.
When you live in the future, with its problems and fears, it is hard: I am not there. My name is not 'I WILL BE'.
When you live in this moment it is not hard: I am here.
My Name Is: 'I AM'"
We must live in each moment, in which we will experience God. He IS in the world around us, if only we were to look closer. In every smile and every tear. His voice is like thunder, like laughter, like rain drops. It is the NOW we must change, in order to change at all.