22 December 2009

Way Marker

Definition:  symbol or signpost marking a route

I love history.  I especially love how, in the Old Testament, God has the Israelites set up way markers at sites where He exhibited His faithfulness and provision with the command to tell the story to their children whenever they saw the marker.  By following the markers, the story of God and His relationship with Israel unfolded.

At the end of last week when the new CFO at my son's school required a lump sum payment rather than the previous arrangement, a crisis ensued in my heart and I began to make plans to liquidate whatever assets I had--the TV, the treadmill, maybe even the house.  But something stopped the frantic whirring of my mind and I began to pray instead.

Last night I heard the answer to my prayer.  Someone unknown to me became aware of the need and wrote a cheque to cover the amount owing, with no obligation of repayment.  How humbling it is when God answers our prayers in such a way that the specifics of the request are not just met but exceeded.  Oh to be driven deeper into His grace so that I can be wholly trusting, like Abraham, in the promises of God.

So, in our family story, this is now a way marker.  I can point to this event, like the Israelites would point to those piles of stones, and recount the story of God's provision.  In our journey forward, God requires us to look back and remember that He truly is Jehovah Jireh, the God who provides.

Thanks be to God.

01 December 2009


Definition:  a set of measurements that quantify results, performance, or progress

My brain is conflicted.  The right side hates metrics.  The left side of my brain , however, understands the necessity and given that my occupation is that of project manager, this is a good thing.  Even as I type, I have three major project charters & plans, along with design specifications that are awaiting my attention.  For my right brain, this is akin to waiting for the guillotine to fall.  The work is already done in my brain--I don't want to waste time writing it all down!

There are many things and places where metrics, as we understand them in the business sense, just don't work.  A friend of mine was very distressed this past weekend to have been privy to a conversation where a church's spiritual state was being being measured by the metric of attendance.  The fact that they have a large attendance, published weekly in the bulletin, is apparently indicative of God's blessing.  And they were proud of this. 

Another metric...get younger people into leadership, or rather, remove older people from it.  Older people (and for the crowd that was having this conversation that means those older than 60--they're not exactly young themselves anymore) only hold things back.  They aren't culturally aware.  And the times, they are a'changin'...wait, didn't Bob Dylan pen that line over 40 years ago??  He's pretty much a senior citizen these days.  It's odd that people, especially young ones, are still listening to him.

There is no problem with younger people, who are spiritually qualified, being in leadership, and being respected.  But Scripture doesn't throw the baby out with the bathwater.  It promotes mentoring, old with young, respect, young for the old, and mutual submission.  The nature of man hasn't changed since the Fall...who better to understand sin than someone who has spent a lifetime wrestling it?  Who better to spiritually lead than the one who has spent a lifetime following & growing in Christ?  It doesn't mean that they have to be in a position of leadership, because a wise elder recognizes when it is time to move over in order to not discourage those younger than them, but they should have the ear of leadership without the desire to control.

So, while the stated metrics were attendance and youth, it leaves one to wonder if the the actual metrics are peoples' responses to these things.  When we are not humbled by God's blessings and when we shut out the crowd of witnesses that have gone before us, it leaves many questions about the heart.

And that is the metric that God looks at.