It is raining today. One of those great spring rains that cleans the air and the ground wonderfully.
When I was a child rain meant it was time to get muddy. Go out, jump in the puddles, splash with friends. Get good and wet.
As a teen, rain meant that baseball games were cancelled and football practice was muddy and fun.
At the last church we served, rain was a rarity. We lived in a drought struck land, and half and inch of rain in a month was a true gift, esp. for the farmers.
My view of rain has changed over the years. Depending on the situation, the experience, the place where I was. Different thought patterns for the same gift, for the same rain.
And for me, that is how it is with my faith as well. Over the years, my faith, how I view God and what he is doing in my life and in world, has changed. From the innocent child-like faith, to the searching to find meaning, to the challenege to share it. As I grow, learn more, and experience more, my faith grows and changes as well. Not the foundation - not my view of Jesus - but rather how it impacts me and the people around me.
Over the past year or so I have been nicknamed "Pastor Opportunity." This nickname came because I would present different "opportunities" for people to share their gifts in and through the church. This has become a cornerstone for where my faith has led me as of late. Knowing that I have certain gifts, and others have different gifts. All are needed for us to grow as a church and as individuals. So, when I see gifts in people, I offer them the chance to share their gifts in new ways.
And, over time, gifts change. Just as my view of rain has changed over the years, my gifts, and the gifts I see in others, change. They adapt and grow as God empowers us in different ways.
So today, as the rain continues to come down, I am thinking of the different ways God has used me in the past, and praying about the ways he may use me in the future. For God keeps coming to us, blessing us with gifts and his never-ending love, and empowering us to find opportunities to share those gifts with others.