Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Praying in the pool

So I went for my first swim in ages yesterday. Didn't swim far, the pool got busy and there was a water aerobics class starting that I hadn't noticed in the timetable. I did about 24 lengths, and when I stopped for a breather and to take my goggles off for a moment, I got talking to a fellow swimmer about life and stuff.

It wouldn't be appropriate for me to share what was said, but it's where the conversation went that caught me by surprise. A simple remark opened the door to the opportunity to pray, and so there we stood, by the edge of the pool, with swimmers going up and down and me praying a blessing on someone I'd never met before.

Weird isn't it? I often wonder how many God-moments I miss in the daily run of my life. We're all so very busy going somewhere, doing something, that we probably don't notice a lot of what is happening right in front of our eyes. Worse still, perhaps we are like the religious characters in the story Jesus told about the man who got mugged by thieves and ignored by religious people. Stepping over his body or crossing the road, they moved quickly to avoid contamination that might interrupt their ability to be devoutly religious.

As I continue to read Isaiah, and remind myself of some of the other prophets too, I can't help but notice that when it comes to religious service, God seems to have a somewhat different perspective to us. Rather than focussing on the songs we sing or the sacrifices we make, or the prayers we speak, he talks about the justice we seek on behalf of others, he speaks about righteousness rather than self-righteousness. To use post-modern missional language, he seems to talk about engaging with our culture to transform it rather than huddling together in isolation in order to condemn it.

Do you think that being incarnational might just be reflected not only in the way we live out our discipleship spiritually, but also in the way we live it our practically?

I wonder, when I go out later today, if God will present me with another opportunity to be his co-worker?

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