Thunder rolls across the red desert and the rain is starting to fall. I left my computer and walked out on the porch to watch the dark clouds blot out the sun, quenching the light to the dimness of evening despite the fact it is only 4pm. I look up on the ridges, at the view softened from the usual sharp exchanges of rock and leafless branches of aged trees by the rain which is now getting heavy. As I watch the live trees on top of the ridges begin to sway to the strong wind that has come with the storm. The sounds of the thunder draw nearer and flashes of lightening can be seen against the backdrop of the dark clouds. Sari, my dog retreats to the house away from the ugly sounds but turns and lays down in the doorway with just her nose and eyes visible where she can keep a watch on me. As the storm grows and the thunder becomes louder she gives up her vigil and retreats to her safe place under the table in the dining room.
Storms and rain always seem to bring contemplation of the past that has moved forward to the present for me. Looking out over the red earth I can’t help but think of where I am and how I got here and what my purpose is. Contemplation always brings God to the extreme foreground because I am here due to His calling on my life. As a writer I stop to think if foreground was the best word I could use in this part of my writing so I look it up. Foreground: the part of a scene or representation that is nearest to and in front of the spectator; a position of prominence. Yes I think it is a perfect choice. God does hold a position of prominence in my life, my choices, my calling and purpose.
If it wasn’t for the calling God put in my heart when I was 16 years old I know I would never be here in the red center of Australia watching a storm build and spend itself on the ridges above me. It was not something accomplished a few years after the calling first came either. Since vanity is still one of the sins I indulge in I won’t be telling you just how many years it took to get me from Southern California in the USA to Alice Springs in Australia but it was more than a few.
I am the first to admit that there are people who would have heeded the calling, grown up spiritually and gotten here much quicker than I did. Hence I believe God picks specific people for certain jobs and He instructs them for as long as it takes to bring them to the place He wants them. I also believe He gives specific gifts to people to fit the purpose of His calling and what He wants to achieve.
Someone wrote, “We do best what we do joyfully. And when we find what we truly love, we develop the gifts that allow us to indulge in this love more consistently.” I’d like to change that around a little. I believe that God gives us the gifts that will bring us Joy and at the same time accomplish His purpose. As we head in the direction of His calling, He helps us develop those gifts so that we are able to indulge in them more consistently, hence increasing our joy.
Inside all of us God places an urgent sense of mission or something compellingly we feel which if followed will make life the sheer adventure that He always intended for us. That is what I felt when I was 16 but couldn’t put a name to it because even though I had accepted Christ as my saviour I had no training in His Word and no idea what to expect out of a life with Him. It has taken years to comprehend Christ in me the hope of glory and allow Him to work through me.
27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:27-28
I graduated from high school, left my little one horse town and moved to the city where thoughts of Australia and the Aboriginal people faded into the background of my new found life. In fact I spent many years wandering through my personal adventures with little regard for the calling God had put on my heart.
I was married, learned a trade as a graphic artist, trained horses, was an area director for a large horse organization and in the end of that era, divorced losing everything.
After that I spent some time in Montana working on a ranch, herding cattle and working for an outfitter, taking dudes into the wilderness for their own adventures, fly fishing at the top of the mountains. I moved back to So California and went back to school to learn computers so I could work at a new trade.
In school I found Creative Writing and discovered that writing was my gift. Over the years I had written a few articles for the paper, newsletters, ads and pages of dark feelings when going through my divorce. In the Creative Writing classes I found the joy of writing stories that just seemingly came out of my mind all on their own. I would actually read them later and be surprised that I had come up with the stories and characters. I still feel that way but now I know that someone other than me is directing my writing, my ideas and stories. It is the same spirit who directed all the books in the Bible and the vast number of writers that have gone before me like Tolkien, Lewis, Andrew, Bounds, Murray, Tozer, Alcorn and so many more. In all the stories, books and blogs that I have written to date and will write in the future, God is inspiring my words and I am not running the show. If you ever read any of my stories you will know God has a sense of humor because some of them are pretty funny.
When it came time to write a thesis for English lit I started thinking about Australia and the Aboriginal people again. God never let me forget my first calling or deny it existed. I remembered the books I’d read as a teenager about the Aboriginals and my interest was renewed, my desire to go to their land was kindled anew. I did the research on them and wrote the thesis and got an A+ and raves from everyone but how could I do anything beyond that? I was barely scraping by, living with my mom. I’d come back from Montana to care for her so I sure couldn’t entertain ideas of flying off to another country much less afford the ticket. I pushed the feeling aside and kept concentrating on my schooling to learn computers and internet with the goal of web design as the outcome.
But God will make a way where there is no way and nothing is impossible with Him. One of my favorite songs speaks of things that God has done in my life proving Him over and over.
“Nothing is impossible with God, overshadowed by the Holy Spirit, nothing is impossible with God bearing in your life the good news. The angel of the Lord has appeared proclaiming to the people the good news. Be still and do not be afraid. Proclaim to the world God is here. We question and we say how can this be. How can life ever conquer evil in a world full of violence and sin? We are simply mortal people. Greater is he who is within then the one who lives in this world. Stand up and do not be afraid. Proclaim to the world the good news. For nothing is impossible with God overshadowed by the Holy Spirit, nothing is impossible with God bearing with your life the good news.”
Another story for another blog but God made a way for me to come to Australia by meeting an Australian man online while in school learning a new trade. We married and moved to Australia and I was close to meeting with my calling. It took a few more years of God training me up in His ways to get me here in the red center of Australia where I work in communities with the Aboriginal people of my teenage dreams in America. God is so good and I am living proof that nothing is impossible with Him. More blogs will reveal how He did it.
“And he took them, and went aside privately into a desert place.” (Luke 9:10).