The only proof you’re going to get is what looks like the absence of proof: Jonah-evidence. Matthew 12:39 (MSG)
Well Worn Paths – Signs Series – Part 6
There was once a time when no one knew how to get from Sydney to Newcastle. Then, people figured it out. They started a journey, charted a course, tested the way, drew a map. When I was ten years old, the drive from Sydney to Newcastle took four, long hours of congested traffic and restless, busting for the toilet, kids. By the time I was twenty-four, it took two hours up a three lane freeway where I could cruise control most of the journey. The signposts are there; they show me the way. But the history of “getting from Sydney to Newcastle” tells me that the way had to be discovered, then pioneered, then tried, tested, questioned, charted, mapped, questioned again, dug up, repaved, remapped, and so on. I dare say that more changes will be made to the trip in due time.
Life is like that. By now, at this point in the history of humanity, we know a few things. We have a few signposts in place. There are some well worn paths we’ve journeyed. There are signs pointing the way we've always gone.
But there are ways yet to discover, and there are improvements to be made to our well worn paths. So we must live into the questions, and not follow the “signs” blindly, doing what we’ve aways done, believed how we’ve always believed, relying on old information. Trust the leading of Spirit who is always speaking to us, and chart new ways when the old ones are too long and slow and no longer work.
Because that in and of itself, our openness to transform and change and repent, is the sign that God is at work among us. It’s all the proof we need that we are aware, awake and alive to the pulsating energy that got this whole thing started, that ongoing creative force of love that holds us all in its grip. It’s how we know that love has the run of the house of our lives.
Check for signs. Ask for them. But be open to change. Be prepared to chart a new course. Take a leap of faith. There could be a better way, yet.
Learn to willingly go into the belly of the whale, to allow healing to dig out all the pain and suffering, to follow Christ up the hill of crucifixion, because we know that in the crucible of darkness and dying to self and pride and the well worn ways of the past (the sign of Jonah), new life blooms. The shores of our purpose are waiting for us. (I just don’t want to smell like vomit when I get there *wink* Jonah 2:10).
When people demand a sign from you, to prove yourself, don’t give in. Don’t play that game of ranking and earning and deserving. On the deepest and highest level possible, our value is common and shared and priceless. There is no earning or proving to do. That’s why Jesus asked those he healed to keep it a secret. It was never about proof or signs of his power: it was always about transforming the individual. To say that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love is to say that the thing we’ve been seeking for all along, the sign we’ve been searching for, has always been ours: divine love and belonging. (Romans 8:38).
Perhaps we are always dying in order to live. Death. Burial. Resurrection.
Paul wrote to his friends in Corinth and said, “We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.” (2 Cor 4:10-12).
That’s the sign.
Written by Lizzy Milani