Tuesday, April 29, 2008


When using the word shrinking here, you might instead use the word shirking. I'm thinking of just how easy it is for me to shrink from really seeking to fulfill God's calling as I understand it for me. Which ends up amounting to shirking my responsibility.

Of course how this would all work out is impossible for me to know. But that's not the point. The point is that I need to seek to fulfill God's calling to me in Jesus and I need to do so both as an individual as well as part of a body of believers.

This must begin with much prayer but it must not end there. We must seek to be obedient to God's will revealed to us in Scripture and in Jesus. This involves obeying commandments and exhortations we read in God's word. And we do so in the context of our lives, which means we'll have to venture to do it in concrete ways.

For me this certainly involves getting out of my comfort zone. I like to do not much more than curl up on a sofa and read a book. But I need to get out in my neighborhood, and one way I can at least make my presence known is by working on our yard. I'm interested in growing praire grass, particularly in our front yard as it's been hard with our sandy soil and all the concrete and heat coming from it to keep it healthy all summer long. I want to do so not only with the grass in mind, but with God's calling for me in reaching out to our neighbors in mind, as well. A few summers back we had a barbecue inviting all our neighbors on our block, and while most did not come, a good number did. I want to get into the mode of prayerfully befriending others, or being available to others with the hope that they'll see Jesus in us.

I have to admit though, after a busy day at work and knowing another day awaits me, it is not easy to get out there and do it. To do whatever is on one's heart in the hope that God will use us to help others. Of course we want to help them come to Jesus for themselves. And bring his touch into their lives through our lives. How? How can we know? This is a faith walk and by the Spirit. It certainly involves loving others in deeds and words.

Of course we need to think and pray in terms of community as well. We each have our distinct part to play, and it's meant to fit together as each of us does our part to see others come to know Jesus. One way our church is trying to reach out to the community is through having a community garden.

It just depends for me on whether I shrink back from it and end up shirking my responsibility and one aspect of my calling from God. We may not know what to do, but we need to pray and as we do that, we can try out different things. God then can lead us, as we look to him in all of this.

What idea or example might you share with us on this?


Anonymous said...

Ted -- I was reminded of Hebrews 10:38-39. "But my righteous one shall live by faith; and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him. But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul."

Ted M. Gossard said...

Yes, Charity. I thought of that verse too, I believe, as I wrote this post.

Good to hear from you, and also great to read your new posting just a bit ago.

Anonymous said...

Out of gardens grow fleeting flowers but lasting friendships.
~Beverly Rose Hopper

Ted M. Gossard said...

That can be true. A garden and a city in the end of Revelation, you know.

Anonymous said...

another one...

Gardens, scholars say, are the first sign of commitment
to a community. When people plant corn they are saying,
let's stay here. And by their connection to the land,
they are connected to one another.
~ Anne Raver

i hope your garden grows well!

Ted M. Gossard said...

Interesting, Nancy.

We lose so much, I'm afraid, being so transient, and what we gain is not as much, surely.

I hope the garden is just a sign of God impacting the community around where the church meets. That is why it exists, not for its own sake, at least not primarily.

Anonymous said...

i hope it is a wonderful garden full of love and sharing...and as you say, a sign of the Love of God growing and reaching out those in the area and beyond.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Yes, and of course being a community garden, all are welcome to have their plot of ground there. Hopefully we can build relationships to bring people there, as well as building them in the garden itself. Actually I don't plan to have a part of the ground there. Maybe I should rethink and pray about that.

Anonymous said...

guess what!!!

i just went and talked to our neighbor about helping me start a community garden at our place!

now for the people...

here we go!