I'm just a soul whose intentions are good,
Oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood.
(Bennie Benjamin, Gloria Caldwell and Sol Marcus)
The chorus to the above song has been bouncing around in my brain for most of the weekend, but I think I've worked out why today. I've had quite a thoughtful Easter break, taking in what has been imparted to me in the various meetings over the last few days. I've stayed away from the 'net, trying to avoid distractions, getting my head together. So what have I concluded so far, to take me into the week ahead?
1. That I am a Salvationist. An obvious comment, you might say... However, I'm not just a Christian that worships at The Salvation Army, but a person called into The Salvation Army for a reason. I've met a fellow Christian this week who used to come to the Army but now goes to the local baptist church. That's great for him, but after some thought (trying to put myself into his shoes) I just can't consider worshipping anywhere other than in an Army setting. Why should that be? Is the Army way of doing things 'the only way'. No - but it's the only way for me. The only way I can explain it is by this chorus:
"Chosen to be a Soldier, Chosen by God.
Chosen to be a Soldier, Washed in His Blood.
Chosen to be a Soldier, Lost ones to save.
Chosen to be a Soldier In the Army brave."
2. That God is calling me to something deeper. I suppose if you take the first point and the reasoning behind it as true, it must therefore lead to point two. However, where he is leading me, I still don't know for sure. Yet. Yes, I've been to DFL, spoken to officers about this, sat and prayed about forms and covenants. I've met some folks who have an 'assurance' that they know where they are being led. There's some plenty of good advice being thrown at me by friends and colleagues, some of it contradictory. I've identified in me some very strong good intentions to take a next step, however I'm not finding the decision as to which direction to go an easy one to take. I know that 'good intentions' alone aren't good enough... I remember that 'the road to hell is paved with good intentions' (late sixteenth century quotation).
Here's some more quotations about 'good intentions'
"Let your intentions be good - embodied in good thoughts, cheerful words, and unselfish deeds - and the world will be to you a bright and happy place in which to work and play and serve." - Grenville Kleiser
"The evil that is in the world almost always comes of ignorance, and good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence if they lack understanding." - Albert Camus
"Hell isn`t merely paved with good intentions, it is walled and roofed with them" - Aldous Huxley
"Good intentions aren`t good enough!" - George W. Bush
"Life is short and if you`re looking for extension, you had best do well. `Cause there`s good deeds and then there`s good intentions. They are as far apart as Heaven and Hell."- Ben Harper
... more later ...