Dear Fast and Prayers,
This is your reminder that we are fasting and praying during Monday lunch for 1) marriages for those who long to me married, 2) the courage for men to walk upright and into relationship, and 3) the courage for women to see where we need to change and to change! As well, this is a reminder that we are taking August off from fasting and praying. A sabbath around this topic is good for everyone’s soul.
So, as Anne and I step out of fast.pray leadership (the women taking the lead are great), I was trying to think about what message I’d like to leave with everyone. Speed dating and Gideon came to mind.
Last weekend, for the first time, I went speed dating. $30. Slightly B-grade bar. Sticky tables. 17 men talking to 17 women for 6 minutes each. But there was a basic vulnerability in the whole thing–everybody was there because of a longing for connection. And, being an extrovert, I found it fun….lots of different conversations like with the guy who loves yoga and mentioned that he had an unusually well-balanced chakra. Huh?! Or the former Mormon missionary who had punted his religion. Or the guy who asked what kind of ‘faith based’ organization I worked for, and when I said, ‘Christian,’ it opened up a conversation about my fundamental desire for a Christian guy who takes his faith seriously. These men were actually on the whole really sweet, but as far as I could tell, the odds were slim to none that any one guy might be a real candidate..
When I got home, I ended up reading the story of Gideon in Judges 7. Do you remember where God whittles down Gideon’s troops from 32,000 to 300? Do you remember why? It was so that there was no way the Israelites could say, ‘My own hand has saved me’ (v.2). The human odds of anything happening (besides complete annihilation for Gideon and his guys) were basically zero. If something good were to happen, it would HAVE to be a God thing. I have a girlfriend who prays that if God brings her a husband, it would so knock her socks off that everyone around her would know–Wow, this is from God! You know, in the same vein as Sarah having Isaac, or Elizabeth having John, or the son of the widow of Nain being miraculously raised. I mean….like there’s no question whatsoever who the Gift Giver is!
If I’ve learned anything in the last 5 years, this has perhaps been it: Yes, God can beat the odds on my behalf, but ultimately, it’s not all about me. Yes, I cherish the freedom to spill out my genuine heart before the Lord and others. But at the end of the day, or of 5 years….or of my life, I want to have lived so that people can say, ‘Wow! God is amazing!’ I want others to delight in Him, my life having revealed that He is real and present…the sock-knocking-off-Source of whatever good has come.
I will be writing my own weekly blog starting this August, not so much about singleness as about a variety of topics, ranging from race relations to heart realities, from cultural questions to God’s glory. I want to offer a deeper discovery of the sock-knocking-off-Source who invites us into a colorful, 3-dimensional way of living, now and into eternity. It’s an experiment and I hope you’ll join me. www.connallygilliam.com.
But mostly, I hope that you’ll keep taking your heart before the Lord and asking him to show up, so that in addition to our knowing him more deeply and Him beating the odds on on our behalf, others–from friends you care about to even the sweet guys at the cheesy bar–might know that He really is good!
What greater thing could there be?
Blessings in the Journey, Connally