Monday, July 14, 2014

Preparers of the way

Everyone exists to prepare the way for someone. And everyone who lives has been waited for, even longed for, and the way for them has been prepared. There have been for everyone, for you, for me, preparers of the way.

First, there were our parents, who wanted us. That is too obvious, yet for many that is also not true. They may have been ‘an accident,’ an unwanted, but mercy intervened somehow, or fear, but for whatever reason, their lives were allowed to continue. They escaped being aborted. Yet, though their mother or father didn’t really want them, someone else did, and that person was waiting for them, preparing the way even before knowing why.

This is no speculation, nor even a solid guess, this is a certainty.
It is written all over the facts of life, on both sides,
and in the acts of God. Do we see it?

Everyone is preparing the way for someone, usually for many, and in general, and once we think about it, it’s obvious. But we also are preparers of the way for another individual, not all of us are, but some are. It is a type of call. We see this in holy and divine scripture. Every prophet, in fact, is qualified by this call to prepare the way for ‘One who is coming who is mightier than I.’

We know the name of the last of these special preparers of the way. It is the holy, honorable prophet and forerunner, John the Baptist, the one who said, ‘a man can lay claim only to what is given him from heaven.’ Ruthlessly honest.

We don’t have to be prophets to be preparers of the way,
but what if we are?

In most cases we are preparers of the way for others just as ordinary as ourselves. We think us and them so ordinary that we don’t give it much thought. Why make a big deal out of nothing?
But is it, are we, really nothing?

I don’t think so.

Again, back to the premise, whether you think it true or false, that we are wanted, which means that there is a preparer of the way for each one of us, and the more we listen up, the more we’ll hear,
and the more we hear, the more we will believe,
since faith comes by hearing.

One day, doing your ordinary job, whatever God called you to do, it could be working in a factory or behind your teacher’s desk at school, or sorting the vegetables if you happen to be a green grocer; you could be driving your cab or bus, working a booth at the farmer’s market, or cutting hair in a styling salon; you could be on an Alaskan fishing boat, or working the oil rigs, or any number of jobs that you think are just ordinary, even demeaning or boring; and suddenly, someone crosses your path, and something inside says, ‘that’s the one.’ Not talking romance, not talking fantasy, not talking at all.

Remember John? He baptised Jesus, and then let Him go. Only later, when he saw Jesus walking by, he pointed Him out to his disciples and said, ‘That’s the One. That’s the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.’

We’ve grown so used to this story and seeing this pattern of preparers of the way in relation to religion that it never occurs to us that the same pattern is happening all the time, around us, and to us. Sometimes we are the preparers of the way, sometimes we are the one who is prepared for. This pattern is part of the drive train of the universe, and we know Who the Force behind it all really is.

We prepare the way for one another.
‘He must become greater,
I must become less.’

This is the way it works, this is how to be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect, to undergo a contraction within us, so that another real person can be born into the world.

To make room for the ones that are sent to you.
Yes, ‘every valley shall be raised up,
every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
the rugged places a plain,’

this is the work of the preparers of the way.

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