And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work.
–2 Corinthians 9:8
Earlier this evening I returned home from church, where I had attended a final rehearsal with our children and youth for next Sunday’s Dinner Theater event. As you might expect from a final rehearsal, it was utter chaos. Girls doing as much talking in small groups, as they did reciting their lines … boys making the kind of dopey jokes that boys love … half the cast dressed in costumes and half in street clothes … last minute changes being made to the script … the angel choir armed with shepherd’s crooks and attitude … issues with the AV system … and of course the presence of your rostered leaders, cutting up in ways we thought was charming, but which in truth was probably just irritating
Yes, it was a hot mess … and I loved it. The vitality of our kids in the room, and their willingness do give up a series of Sunday nights so as to provide some light-hearted entertainment to members at next week’s dinner theater, was a joy to behold. Our play will not be perfect in any way, shape or form, and yet it will be well received by those who attend, and will serve as an evening of healthy family fun in the middle of a busy Christmas season.
And what a great God-moment message we are offered in this zany, chaotic event. Because as often as not, the world can be kind of crazy, filled with the unexpected, the unintended, and the downright disruptive. The world does not always behave as it is supposed to, and rarely do things play out exactly as we plan or predict. But God arrives anyway. Right in the middle of the chaos, God arrives to bestow grace and joy and a sense of community. Sometimes we over think things … and over-plan things … and over-manage things. (OK, I won’t speak for you … sometimes I over think and over-plan and over-manage.) And as often as not, things do not proceed according to plan. And God shows up anyway. Because God’s power is such that it is not limited by what we can or cannot do. God’s extravagant joy cannot be collected in a bottle for stingy distribution, but bursts the bottle and sloshes over whatever God desires. In short, God’s abundance spirit is never limited or harnessed by anything we try to do.
So in your prayers this week, don’t bother with language which suggests that you are looking for ways to manage or predict or control the Spirit of God in your life. Maybe try praying for courage to ride the wave of God’s reckless love, and a few hand holds to survive the journey of radical grace. Maybe pray for the nerve to try enjoying the ride of blessing God has in store.