What is Faith?

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. ~ Hebrews 11:1

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Every Blessed Thing

I apologize for not writing for the last few days. Several reasons really. The most important one being I hadn't taken a day off since I left on April 18th. I took some much needed time to just spend with God, in prayer and contemplation as well as having a bit of relaxing fun.

We drove from San Francisco to Fort Bragg and back, stopping at every little nook and cranny we could. It is truly awe inspiring to watch the Pacific Ocean at various parts of the coast. Sometimes the waves are small, gentle and soothing. Others the waves are thunderous, roaring and angry. It's sort of how I felt before this little diversion.

California has sent very mixed signals. In Redding and Sacramento we were so well received. Everyone we met with was excited that we were doing this and wanted to help us in this endeavor. Right now though, not so much. Mostly we have been met with....Oh, that's nice. Have a good walk, but we have been nixed by just about everyone including the homeless shelters we are trying to help.

It makes it a bit frustrating and I had been wondering whether or not I was doing the right thing. Had I lost sight of God's plan in this? Had I really heard God correctly or was I doing this for some unknown reason that only God knew the answer to. Should I give it up and go home or keep on keepin on? Was I doing anybody any good out here? I know you've heard this a bit before and I may feel the same way again before the end of the trip but for right now, I have new answers. Answers that came in the nooks and crannies of our off the beaten path expedition.
Have you ever watched a sandpiper? They are courageous little buggers, venturing out in search of what sustains them. Trusting their needs will be met, they meander through the newly dampened sand pursuing little treasures the ebbing tide has brought them. The moment the water begins to advance, their tiny little feet scurry as fast as they can go so as not to get dragged under. They know instinctively when to turn and run. When not to follow something that can do them harm.
The seals bask in the sun, knowing when it's time to rest. They too trust that their needs will be provided. They know when it's time for fun and as I watch a mother seal disciplining her cub, it is evident that they too instinctively know what should and shouldn't be done.
Even the plants along the coast know which way to face for their daily sustenance. Towards the sun. Yet in my humanness, I don't always trust my instincts. I often balk at things asked of me and like a child, stubbornly dig in my heels and resist everything my Father is asking of me. Fear takes over, or laziness as the case may be sometimes and I stomp my foot and say "No. I don't wanna!"
Well. In opening my Bible this last weekend I was reminded of men far greater than I, that never saw the results of the actions they took because their heavenly Father asked them too. Abraham, Moses, Noah, Joseph, John the Baptist...the list could go on.
When we left the place we slept at last night, we took a wrong turn and somehow ended up going over the Golden Gate Bridge. Let me just tell you that I dislike driving in cities immensely. (I can promise I will never again complain about Portland traffic after San Francisco.) I intended to go through San Francisco next week, but I was going to walk through it not drive through it.
Thirty minutes later, we got turned around and went back over the Golden Gate bridge and the very first exit was a vista point. Instantly our metropolitan ordeal was forgotten and we were enamored with not only the bridge itself, but the history, the size and technicality of this Herculean scaffold. After snapping 100 or so pictures (One can never have too many pictures of the bridge) on my return walk over the bridge, I ran into the only other walker I had seen and he too was taking photographs.

I smiled and said "I'm glad I'm not the only tourist out here!"

With this awesome English accent he said, "It's Brilliant! You don't walk this daily then? On vacation as we are?" I told him what I was doing and before I could even finish what I was saying, he handed me a $5.00 bill. "Brilliant" he said. "It's a blessed thing you're doing."

It is blessed thing indeed, but not because I am doing this. It is a blessed thing because God is doing this. Because it is His journey, I must thrust that with God's help, it will be far greater than what I can imagine. I may never see the results, but I must trust, that God will nurture those seeds until they produce the fruit He wants. I must trust that He will provide for us all, Patrick, myself and the homeless we meet, whether through grants, donations, an invitation to dinner or even someone from a foreign land offering encouraging words such as "Brilliant!"

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