Alexandra the Great's Private Papers

November 25, 2007

A Good Conversation

Filed under: Blessedness,The Past — Alexandra The Great @ 9:05 pm

Forgetful that Sunday School was cancelled on account of the Thanksgiving holiday which takes too many people out of town, I arrived at church today forty-five minutes early.  At first I was disappointed but quickly I realized I had the opportunity of a conversation with the priest; and as there are few things I like so well as a good conversation, my disappointment quickly turned to delight. 

We spoke of the Episcopal church, not so much of its current disaster (check the news), but of its rich history that helped to draw each of us to her years ago.  That would be seven for me and 50 for him.  We spoke briefly of church Fathers, ancient hymns, and our downward slide that began some thirty years ago.  We spoke also of my evangelical background.  As a fundamentalist I wasn’t given feast days, fast days or liturgy; but I was given a solid respect for the Bible and the expectation that one had better know its contents better than all other things. 

Coming into a church so rooted in history as the Episcopal Church is, I enjoyed the awareness, that now I was not just an evangelical, I was an evangelical with a past.  As happens with many of us when we arrive at a new place, a different idea, or a better time I dismissed, rejected or forgot much of what went before.  It is too easy to forget that where and who we are today is only a reality because of our past.  Yesterday’s experiences shape who we are today just as yesterday’s choices impact today’s circumstances.  This morning’s pleasant conversation resulted not only in a greater appreciation of where I am now, but also in a remembrance and a renewed appreciation of where I was prior to this. 

It may be a cliche to say that God works in mysterious ways, but He does.  None of us knows the completed story God is writing for us.  We can only watch Him work in our lives directing our steps, making use of our failures when we ignore his direction, and restoring us when our lives have become an indisputable disaster.  While we should neither glorify nor resent our history, we must remember what God has done in and through our past to make us the people we are today and will be tomorrow. We must also give thanks because if our lives are indeed a work of grace, then whatever has happened, God will use it to bring about a good result to the glory of God.


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