When the extraordinary becomes ordinary
“The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when the reaper will be overtaken by the plowman and the planter by the one treading grapes." Amos 9:13 NIV
Sometimes running a charity or charitable project can feel like experiencing the seasons come and go. The cycle of time-limited funding, one-off applications, fund-raising activities, and turnover of staff, volunteers and trustees can feel as hard wired into the life of a charity, as the seasons are hired wired into creation.
But how true is that about the seasons? We have seen many recent examples of extraordinary extreme weather events that are less and less extra-ordinary, and becoming more the norm. We still have Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter, but what these seasons mean in practice is starting to change.
It seems that even the weather isn’t convinced that because things have always been this way, that’s how they must always be.
Last time I shared the thought that who you are does not depend on where you are. A limiting mistake we can make is allowing ourselves to be defined - and confined - by our current situation. As pastor Rick Warren puts it: “We are products of our history but not prisoners of our history.”: Or in the words of Elevation Worship: “If I’m not dead, God’s not done.”
So what can we do with that thought - and what does it have to do with the weather?
Well a useful exercise can be to look back over our lives - do our own timeline - and ask ourselves at various points on it where we were, who we were with, what we were doing, and more specifically what difference we were making. What’s changed over the course of that timeline? Who were we then and who are we now? And who are we becoming?
For those of us who have been around a little longer we can add another perspective to the stages of our timeline. What were the seasons like?
Because here’s the point. As God is at work in the transformation of the changing seasons - visible even in our short lifetimes - he is committed to ongoing transformation in and through us.
What’s coming over the horizon on your timeline? You’re still here. And God’s not done.
Geoff Ashton is Director of C21coaching and co-founder of 4Spaces Coaching