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Unfinished Business

By Mike Mccauley on
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Sep 07 in Musings
unfinished slaves statue
Michelangelo, Unfinished Slaves (Atlas) 1508 in the corridor of The Accademia Galley (Florence, Italy) near his David statue.    
What’s the deal? Everywhere I turn in my life, there are building projects going on.
If you haven’t noticed, half of Hollywood is under construction. When I go back to Seattle to visit, I enter the land of re-routed streets and more construction cranes (by 50%) than anywhere else in the country. Even my own neighborhood here in LA is now a work zone, with a large demolition and rebuild going on at the top of our hill. Dirt, equipment, trucks, workers and loud noises are everywhere. Who would have thought that my office patio next to the roar of the 101 freeway would become the quiet place in my existence?  It is one of my go-to places to pray and muse.

“Under construction.”  That’s the sign dominating the landscape in Hollywood, Seattle and Silver Lake. But is it also true of us?  Do we see ourselves as mostly finished products, slowly hardening as we settle on our answers to life’s questions?  Or is God still shaping us, building and forming us into his image?  If I go with the first image, I’m close to petrified and I’ll become increasingly frustrated with things happening in the church, culture and world.  But if I go with the second image, I’m still a work in process and the messiness of our world presents new opportunities for living out the kingdom of God.  Interestingly, it is not simply age that will push us in one direction or the other. There’s a humility involved that acknowledges our need for the Holy Spirit to keep teaching and stretching us. We can embrace that whether we are 16 or 85. God is not done with us.

In the 17th century a man later called “Brother Lawrence” decided to make his life an experiment of living every moment in God’s presence.  He worked in a kitchen, and humbly (and humorously) called himself “the lord of all pots and pans.”   A little book of his notes on this experiment were put together and titled “Practicing the Presence of God.”  In it, Brother Lawrence says: “Sometimes I imagine myself as a stone before a sculptor from which he will carve a beautiful statue.”  In process. Thank God.
See you soon,
            Pastor Dan

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