This blog post has been mulling around in my head for several weeks; in fact, all the way through my recent series of Advent posts. Which is rather appropriate, really.
A few weeks ago I mentioned that Advent was a time of getting yourself ready for Jesus. Either preparing to celebrate his birth - or acknowledging his redeeming work in your life and preparing for what comes next. It was a timely reminder to keep myself focussed. To keep on my toes. And to stand by...
When thinking about "standing by", the phrase that readily springs to my mind is the opening words to Gerry Anderson's classic SF series, Stingray. The words of Commander Sam Shore ring in my ears...
"Stand By For Action!"
The show featured the work of the World Aquanaut Security Patrol, and in particular the adventures of Captain Troy Tempest and the crew of the submarine Stingray. I loved this show when I was growing up, and have encouraged my kids to enjoy it too.
But those classic words neatly summarise what God is telling me, in His own way, right now.
Because there's a lot of difference between lots of continual, frantic activity - and keeping yourself ready, standing by for action. I'm quite good at the former; perhaps too good. In fact, on occasion, I've done a little too much. However, I now understand that what I need to do is be more like Troy. Ready for action. Allowing yourself to stand ready is often more useful that just "keeping busy". I've got to remember not to fill up my diary with unending tasks, but to keep it open, and stand by, waiting on God...
And as for "waiting"... I have mentioned in this blog previously about the Hebrew word "קוה" (qavah), which is usually translated in scripture as "wait".
Literally the word means to "gather together" or "bind together", like multiple strands which are drawn together to form a strong rope. No one strand does all the work. The strength comes from combining with others.
Looking back today as part of our worship meeting this morning - looking at my busy 2014 diary - I was gobsmacked at all the different types of activities I had been involved in during the year. And God quietly told me that these were all different coloured strands in my life. Different ministries; working alongside a whole variety of different people. Strands that come together to form a rope... a beautiful, rainbow-coloured rope, ready for use.
With Jesus right in the centre.
I just have to make myself ready. Stand ready. Stay ready.
I am so fired up now for 2015. And I am standing ready... how can I be of use for Him in the New Year?
Stand By For Action!