This past Sunday, those of us who attend churches that use the Revised Common Lectionary heard once again the story of Abram hearing God and following, even though God was talking kind of crazy.
It's a curious thing, this hearing and following. "Your descendants will be more than the number of the stars, even though you and your wife are approaching 100 years old and you as yet have no children." It's a laughable proposition. Ask Sarah.
We know how the story goes. Abram, renamed Abraham, begins to wonder if there wasn't something he was missing, and so he tries some alternative means of fulfilling God's promise, tries to follow with some alternative paths that just seem to make more sense.
Abraham didn't get it: it's not the sanity of the call, it's the following that matters.
And it doesn't matter if your spouse or father or mother or sibling or friend or boss or church or anyone laughs. The laughter doesn't matter. The following does.
The second-guessing and substitution activities don't matter. The following does.
I seem to need recurring reminders of this. I kind of needed it especially this weekend. So, well played, RCL, well played.
Then, there's this group that I follow on Facebook, who intrigue me and yet I haven't really fully investigated them. They call themselves Realistic Living, and their Facebook page posts all kinds of pithy soundbites from contemporary (or at least 20th Century and forward) theologians. (Actually, they posted something from Sojourner Truth the other day, so I guess it's theologians from all over the timeline, but they tend toward 20th and 21st Century.)
Now, understand, I don't think God micromanages these things, and yet there are times when coincidences are welcome and if we see God in it . . . well God is everywhere . . .
So Realistic living posted this quote from Howard Thurman: "Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go
do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."
This seems to follow the following of Abraham quite nicely. Following, it seems, is what makes us come alive.
As one coming alive (over and over), I tell you I needed to hear these messages.
I write about them here because maybe you needed to hear them, too.