Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Paradigm shift

Tuesdays are staff prayer days.  Being a part time employee, I tended to come in after that hour that begins the work day, but The Actor, who is in the internship program at church, must be there to attend, so I've been profiting from the disciplinary nudge to not let Tuesday morning slip away.  It's usually half an hour of personal prayer/reflection/quiet time, followed by about a half an hour of joint prayer with an exhortation from one of the pastors.

Now, there have been a number of things over the past month or so that has stirred up my unusual take on the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Bridesmaids ;one message/study after another has discussed it.  So it has all been raked over and I've been pondering it and pondering it and I felt like I was on the edge of something profound, but I didn't really have the time to sit down and pursue it.

But I knew that when I got to the sanctuary for prayer I'd have some time to chase down the revelation that I was glimpsing around the corners.

And as I was heading down the hall, Bible and journal in hand, I suddenly thought of another parable on oil...one that I'd almost linked up in my listening to the Parable of the Bridesmaids before, but somehow just missed the connection.  That would be the story of Elisha and the Widow's Oil , found in 2 Kings 4.  I posted about that in one of my early Friday Flashback posts , and actually slightly referenced that post in the discussion of the Bridesmaid's parable, but I didn't really put them together until I sat down this morning and began to write.

In 2 Kings, the widow's oil (blessing/anointing) was miraculously multiplied to fill all the capacity she'd built up when no oil was flowing....the preparation she'd made when nothing was happening.

In Matthew 25, the foolish bridesmaids left their post so that their lack of preparation would not be obvious to everyone, and consequently missed the bridegroom's arrival and were shut out of the celebration.

I suddenly saw that true preparation happens when there's nothing going on; no indication that the preparation will be necessary or even beneficial.  I also saw that the amount of preparation determines the blessing...and that lack of preparation will create the situation in which we must choose to admit our unpreparedness and suffer the accompanied humiliation OR try to cover up the error and make hasty preparations at the last minute that won't work.

So I asked God what constitutes my preparation...increasing my capacity and filling it full to be ready.

And the response I got was that I must learn to hear, recognize and act upon His voice.

Now, none of this was truly new revelation.  I have pondered all of it at various times and ways, but not all in the same context.  But, for whatever reason, something in me shifted.

More than anything, I want to be the person who hears and responds to the Spirit.  All the time.

And that's not new, either, but I got a teeny glimpse of what it would be like to truly live that way.  And it took my breath away...because I saw it.  And maybe for the first time, I truly grasped that it is what God wants for me, too.

All year I have talked about sensing a deep transformation.  If /when this works its way though, it will be transforming...


  1. "Now, none of this was truly new revelation. I have pondered all of it at various times and ways, but not all in the same context. But, for whatever reason, something in me shifted."
    What a blessed moment! I love you for sharing it - just glows all over. Thank you, thank you.