Finally it feels as if we are getting on top of the box-emptying and unpacking that has dominated our life for the last week. I am now sitting at my (unpacked) desk in a room that temporarily will serve as my study. I have my (unpacked) books on the bookshelves that just about fit in this temporary room.
But there are still things in the wrong rooms. One of the bedrooms is still a temporary resting place for the things (unpacked) that haven’t yet got homes. And don’t, whatever you do, try to go into our garage! It is (literally) packed floor to ceiling.
You see it’s all waiting for two events. Tomorrow we have a garden shed being delivered and that will enable us to take out of the garage a number of garden-related items that don’t belong there. Once the garage is emptier the plan is that it will be converted into an office for me. Once the office is created the (unpacked) contents of my temporary study will have to be taken back downstairs and set up in the new space along with items that are currently in our dining room that don’t fit in the current study but belong there. That will free up a bedroom to be a bedroom again and then the (unpacked) items that are still in the other bedroom will be able to be moved to what is currently my study… still with me?
All of these things have to happen in the right order. There’s no point at all in us having the garage conversion done until we have somewhere for the current (packed) contents of the garage to go, and the items that will go in the current study can’t go in there until the current contents are in the garage once it has been converted after the shed has been erected to take the current contents of the garage.
Getting everything and everyone in the proper sequence has not been easy. But it’s happening. Most of the people who are involved in the process are unaware of the crucial part they are playing in the whole process. They only know about the work they are doing. It’s only we as a family who will know the whole story.
And that’s true of the journey of faith too. Most people don’t know the significance of the part they have played in someone else’s faith journey. Most of us are unaware of the influence that others have had on someone before we have been involved with them. Only the person who is on that particular journey really knows it for his or her self.
Because Christians have Good News (that’s what Gospel means) they are very keen for others to share it and receive it. And we are sometimes overzealous in that (sorry). No, actually I am not sorry for the zealousness (if the Christian message is true then it’s impossible to be overzealous about sharing it!), but I am sorry for the insensitivity, manipulation and (sadly) spiritual abuse that can take place in the name of sharing the Good News. The keenness and desire for others to have what we have means that sometimes we are disappointed when we don’t realise that people are moving on their journey of faith. And it also sometimes manifests itself as guilt because we feel we have failed the person and Jesus.
So let’s relax for a moment and recognise that Jesus invites us all to play a part in someone’s journey of faith. But it’s THEIR journey, not ours. It’s the Holy Spirit’s job to help them express their faith, not ours. All we are asked to do is be faithful, vocal, visible witnesses of what we have experienced and believe.
We may never know the part we played. We may never know the whole story. But I like to think that beyond death we will be delighted and surprised at who’s with us and we are enabled to know the part we have played in them being there.