For an audience of one…

Posted by on Jul 12, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

After a busy little spell, and with a very full semester looming, I took some time off to pray and to reflect on what lies ahead. As is usually my practice on such days, I found a quiet spot by the beach, the soothing rhythm of the waves a wonderful backdrop to my thinking. At one stage I went for a walk along the beach – true, I am still limping somewhat, but it was good to feel the breeze and to watch wave after wave make its way towards the shore, and though my pace was slower than usual, my pedometer approved of my progress. For most of the time I was the sole occupant of the beach – incredible given that it is the school holidays, but then this is Perth, and as soon as the temperature drops below 25C people start shivering and declare it ‘no day for the beach’.

As I stood alone on the sand watching the waves roll in, it struck me that mine were the only eyes to see each particular wave. It was as though God had orchestrated them entirely for my benefit. True, I am sure each served a purpose beyond my entertainment, but it felt as though this incredible display was for an audience of one – me. And when I left, how many waves continued to roll in observed by no human eyes?

It got me thinking about how much that goes on in the world is unnoticed – unnoticed by anyone, except God.

It is why Jesus reassures us that while the sparrows fall is not noted by us, it is not ignored by God. And the hairs on our head – whose number defies our calculation – are known to God (Matt 10:29-31). I am not sure why. Does it matter? Apparently yes – for nothing is irrelevant to God. It is probably why Jesus said that we will ultimately give account for every word we speak (Matt 12:36). Why? Can you remember every word you have spoken? Yet each word expresses something about us and is therefore of interest to God. Everything matters.

I am rather glad that we live in this kind of a world… a world where so much seems to pass unnoticed, and yet is held in the memory and heart of God. There are no unforgotten waves, or words or wounds. God holds them all, and will ultimately set all things right.

So roll on a new semester. I have my fair share of hopes for it – but God can be trusted for the outcome. And given that God is so faithfully God – often for an audience of one – or even none – I pray that God will give me (and you) the strength to faithfully do what we are called to do, regardless of the audience size. And actually, because God sees all, we never perform for an audience of less than one…

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