Craig Williams, Pastor of Trabuco Presbyterian Church, wrote a reflective piece on his trip to Malawi earlier this summer. This is good grist for the spiritual mill for all of us who too easily believe that God's "burning bushes" always come in big ways.
I believe that God reveals himself most readily, not in the bright lights of the city or in the billboards of powerful advertising or in the events that consume our headlines and bylines and storyboards in media meccas - but at the side of the road. He is burning brightly in the backwater, out of the way places of the world and you and I are being asked to go and see and do what God asks of us. As long as we stay on our hurried and focused path, we may well miss the voice of God...
Our world has many Malawis, places where God is at work away from the bright lights and agendas of the movers and shakers of the world. It could be in your neighborhood, it could be half-way around the world from where you live. The key for you and me is that God is at work quietly, slowly, powerfully in places like this.
The reminder and call to me is to slow down the train of my life, pay attention, turn aside from my agenda to experience what God is doing, where his kingdom is on fire.
In many ways, this has also been my hope and intention this summer in my travels and sabbatical (for which Craig himself has been a kind of quasi-mentor). Today I leave Manila to drive through the Philippine countryside to where our conference will be held this week. Who knows what God wants to reveal to me along the road, but I'll be on the look out.
(Trabuco Presbyterian has recently joined our Y-Malawi Project as a new partner.)