It is always interesting the things that come to mind prior to heading towards Slovakia. Each trip God has certainly impressed my thoughts and heart with different thoughts and feelings that seem to come together into one larger creation. I tend to understand things more creatively, so maybe this is why God brings it to me packaged this way. This year I joined the team very late, but made it in time to be part of the smaller team meetings. Our teaching group is being thematic with the teaching and Martha decided that we’d coordinate some elements with the Olympics theme. In keeping with this we were discussing characteristics of an Olympian. A few that we came up with were courageous, victorious, dedicated, passionate, patient, respectful, committed, obedient and so on. We created clay sculptures of ourselves that represent or depict some sort of expression of our character. This is an exercise we will use in class to also use as a tool for conversation.
As I was journaling and doing some reading, I was making note of some of the more noted characters in the bible and their ‘Olympian’ qualities. It brought me around to, I want to be brave like Daniel, a leader like Abraham, obedient like Noah, wise like Isaiah, confident like Esther, diligent like Paul, submissive like Mary and the list could go on. I also made some notes about what these people would be without God commanding their ways: a coward, crowd follower, rebellious, foolish, timid, unreliable, fearful, shy, independent, etc. It was eye opening, because we don’t always think of all of these as negative. Especially the word, independent, stood out to me. Independence without God, leads to our own version of living life. Dependence leads to willful submission to God, and the fullfilling life He can bring us into. Two weeks later, sitting in the church service in Martin, we heard verses from 1 Peter 2: 4-6 “Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, You also, as living stones are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ…” God has a perfect place for us if we are willing.