The story goes that there is a male goat from somewhere in the western world. There are a great number of things this story mentions about the goat. Here is what the story says about the stubborn goat:
When I preach or speak, I hope for the inner-dialogue from those who listen to resonate with the words of Henri Nouwen in his book Creative Ministry.
"What you say loudly, I whispered in the dark; what you pronounce so clearly, I had some suspicion about; what you put in the foreground, I felt in the back of my mind; what you hold so firmly in your hand always slipped away through my fingers. Yes, I find myself in your words because you words come from the depth of human experiences, and therefore, are not just yours but also mine, and your insights do not just belong to you, but are mine as well." (35)
This will only happen if I am willing to be known as pastor and preacher, and only if I am willing to be fully available in relationship and connection. The pastor is still a fellow man, and the moment a pastor forgets that reality, they are not a pastor. They are a performer.
The true story is told of a Jesuit priest in Bombay who would drive a motorcycle from one end of the city to the other each day, until one day when he was in an accident. He was then in the constant care of a non-Christian doctor.
If I knew I'd be blind
six months from today
n one of the first articles there was an interview with the original cast (still my all-time favorite). When they interviewed Chevy Chase, he had the following to say about writing.
This concept is in regard to the conversations we have in the communities and organizations we live in.
God continues to hammer away at my heart in the chambers that involve waiting, patience, and listening. Here's the thing, I don't want to do any of those things right now.
Today, I have had eternal life and power on my mind and heart. Even this morning on my walk, I had the prayer on my lips: "God has not give me eternal life; He has given me himself, and HE IS LIFE!" That is to say the Holy Spirit does not give power, the Holy Spirit is the power within me.
Romans 6:9-11 says, "Death hath no more dominion over Him...in that He liveth, He liveth unto God. Likewise, reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God."
When I finally lay down my own life to be dead to who I once was, the gift I receive is not a new life. The gift I receive is the very presence of God in the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is life and power that now resides within me. Any power or life I receive cannot be separated from God's presence or utilized apart from Him because the life and power IS Him.
When Jesus says in John 15, "Remain in me as I remain in you" I am reminded that the eternal life I have is in this in-dwelling of Christ. That is to say life is in the very presence of God. Power is in the presence of His Spirit, and that presence is at the center of who I am.
When I live in connection and entanglement with that presence, there is power and life in my days. When I am disconnected and distracted, I live my days with less power and life than is actually available to me.
When we say "God with us", we are speaking of the present at all times. We are not concerned with the "ought tos" of the past or the "what ifs" of the future.
Do I really want to be united with Jesus THAT much?
Perhaps it is a vision statement. Perhaps it is a life mission. Perhaps it an all-inclusive goal setting.
When one day I look back on my life, I want to know I left my footprints all over the lives and hearts of the people I interacted with along the way. I want those footprints to be evident in those who are lost, in my closest friends, and even the strangers I come across only for a moment in any given day. I want to have left my footprints all over the lives of people.
I do not want my footprints to be for my own recognition, but because my footprints prove I showed up. I want my footprints on the hearts and lives of people only because I came running when I saw God's activity in their lives. When I saw God's movement in different moments, I stepped in.
That is the influence and impact I want my life to leave. I want it to be unlike footprints in the sand and entirely like footprints in wet cement that dried before the imprint could be smoothed out.