After speaking on Sunday about John the Baptist and being prepared, the irony was not lost on me at how unprepared I have felt this week. I wasn't prepared for the emotional turmoil of the children starting at a new school or of leaving our family home. I wasn't prepared for stress of some quite complex logistics and more than one or two things going slightly wrong. Could I physically have been any more prepared? Probably not. Should I have adjusted my expectations of the smoothness of transition given the many things happening and the amount of people involved in making it happen? Maybe.
Being prepared gives the best possible chances of things going smoothly but the reality is that however much we prepare there will always be some things that don't quite happen as we expect. It is in the space between being prepared and the unexpected occurrences that faith sits. Faith in the knowledge that we are held by the God who formed the world and breathed life into it. Knowing that we are conpletely loved by him and that he is present with us in it and through it all.
I wonder what those spaces are for you? What part does faith play in the areas of life where you feel out of control? Not faith in a God who swoops in and fixes it all but in the God who calms all fears by his loving presence.
On Sunday we reflected on being prepared in a different way. We talked about preparing the way for people to encounter Jesus. We mentioned four types of preparation, which were prayer, helping others with life's challenges, knowing the good news for ourselves and sharing words of hope and invitation.
I wonder who prepared the way for you to encounter Jesus? You might want to take a moment to reflect on your journey of faith. How might you prepare the way for someone else to encounter Jesus?
Know that in all of this, while it is our responsibility to prepare the way, it is ultimately God who does the rest. We work tirelessly for the gospel but then we leave it all in his hands, resting in the knowledge that he is God and not us.
Have a fabulous week whatever you are doing.