Tuesday, November 5, 2013

the relentless power of persistence...

I think in many ways we have bought into the lie that the spectacular is what makes the difference.  What takes place in a moment is what defines history.  There are plenty of examples that might prove our point... Who can forget the events of September 11th, November 22, 1963 or April 1916 here in Ireland.  These are defining dates that in many ways changed the course of history.  Yet the truth be told...there were things that led to each of these moments.  They didn't just happen.

I'm sure that in your own life there may be dates that loom large.  The death of a loved one... the birth of your child.  To be sure these events change our lives... but I'm beginning to wonder how much of what we perceive of as sudden is the result of time.  Don't get me wrong there are things that do happen in a moment that change us. I think of the shooting in Connecticut, where the lives of so many were taken in such a reckless way.  I think of the Gunman in Norway who made his way to an island off the Norwegian coast where he proceeded to slaughter innocent children.  There are certainly times when a moment changes us... even if that moment was preceded by hidden movement.  I think about the moment I was confronted by the grace of God for the first time.  It was certainly not the first moment God's grace had been present in my life, simply the first time I'd become aware of it.

Yet I also wonder if we underestimate the relentless power of persistence.  Think about it. Maybe the next time you're by the water notice how it has impacted everything around it.  Rock is carved, hued out by the power of the wave.  Stones are rounded to leave us with the smooth pebble, all the result of waters power of persistence. Truth is many of the things we believe to have occurred in a moment are simply the revelation of what had been going on perhaps unobserved.  Heart attacks reveal the gradual build up of obstructions of arteries over time. 

What does this have to do with anything?  I'm glad you asked.

I was walking by the sea yesterday and as I watched the waves beat the shore I found myself reflecting on the unchanging nature of God.... I've walked that coastline since arriving here in Ireland and nothing much has changed... the ruins of Black Castle still remain... yet in that moment it was as if God helped me to see something else... He wanted me to see the incredible power of persistence.  He wanted me to see how the relentless power of those waves and the wind had carved out that coastline. The seemingly immovable rock has been carved out by the sea since the beginning of time and that relentless persistent pounding, continues to impact even today.

Do you ever wonder if you're making a difference?  Perhaps in the lives of your children or those you lives amongst?  We look for change and so often what we see is nothing... perhaps we should all be reminded of the relentless power of persistence. 

Maybe you're tempted to give up... to quit praying, to quit trying, to just quit because it seems that only something BIG will make any real difference.  Can I challenge your thinking here as God has challenged mine.  I think about the people of God walking around the city of Jericho... hardly significant.  I mean what difference can a walk make, right?  Yet as we're faithful in small things... God moves in ways we can't fathom.

I wonder what small thing might you continue to do to lavish God's grace onto the shore of your world today?