One of the Gifts of living in Rural Ontario is living a life without much traffic, however we still drive at least forty-five minutes or so to get to a Regional Council Meeting, medical appointment, hospital visits, etc. I’d rather drive far and listen to something nourishing my spirit than getting stuck in traffic and deal with drivers who are always in a rush causing traffic and accidents.
Today was one of those days. Even though I am on a break this week from my daily responsibilities at the two churches I serve, I knew that attending the Regional Council meeting in Almonte would do me good on many levels. Listening to quality soul nourishing sermons and lectures from the Festival of Homiletics on the drive; being with colleagues who I had not seen in person since the beginning of October; having a me time and just being outside on a day that boots were not required to walk. Winters are harsh and the snow has arrived already, but today was a good day for shoes. The arrived snow is slowly melting and disappearing.
I left home about an hour before the time of the meeting and plugged in my flash drive in the audio system of the car full of sermons and lectures from different Festival of Homiletics that I have attended since 2013. Sometimes, I wish I could be a sponge and just repeat these beautiful eloquent words I hear from these amazing scholars, theologians, preachers, and leaders, but I am not a sponge; and although I have a good memory it is very short. On my drive, as I listened to Barbara Lundblad, I thought to myself, “These amazing preachers speak with such eloquent words that I am astounded”. A part of my negative-self kicked in and said, “You can never be like them, you do not even speak Armenian perfectly, let alone English”. Then another gentle voice in me said, “But You Are Enough”. I continued my journey to Almonte United Church with a trust in God, because it is Grace that has brought me this far and the persuasive Love of God will continue to lead my path, bless my God-given gifts and help me make a difference on this journey called Life.
It was wonderful to be with colleagues in person and via ZOOM Connection and know that we are all in this together. We are all tired human beings attempting to work together to make this world a better place. After a good morning session, as we were about to have lunch, the president of the Region asked if someone would say Grace, and of course like students in a class who hide their faces when the teacher has a question, I was looking down when I heard someone say, “Let Takouhi say Grace.” Soon after, he followed by, “I do not want to put you on the spot, but you are so good with words”. After a shocking reaction from me, I said, “Ok, I will do an Armenian Prayer for you then.” So, I recited one of the prayers that we say in our family quite frequently when my sisters and I are together – 1 Corinthians 10:31 (NIV) “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” Concluding it in English with “Whatever we do O God, let us do it for your glory. Amen.”
As we were getting our lunch, the same colleague who had suggested for me to say grace came up to me and apologized once again that he did not mean to put me on the spot, but he said, “You need to know that I was having a conversation with Christine the other day and she shared with me how much she appreciates your prayers and thoughts that you post online and they expressed how eloquent you are with your words…” in a split second his words reminded me of my own conversation on the way to Almonte. “Eloquent” the connecting word of the day. So, I shared with him the thoughts I have had in the car and how his words were nothing less than The Spirit speaking to me. What a gift, what a testimony that we are ALL connected.
Well friends, I am sharing this story not for any self-promotion, but to be reminded once again that You, Me, We are ENOUGH for God, as we are. I have learned, when we doubt ourselves, we are doubting God who has created us, equipped us and called us to do the work of God (The Mission of God) to transform this world with our actions and some words.
I think in my fifty-two years of this journey called life, God has reminded me of this more than a hundred times, but I have also heard the world around me always ask me, us to be perfect, to be better than others and turning life into a competition of sort. Prophet Isaiah reminds us in 43:7 what God says, “They are my people–I created each of them to bring honor to me.” Remember, you are created in the Image of God, Equipped by the Love of God and Strengthened by the Spirit of God.
This is a perfect time of the year to look around to Mother Nature and see that most of the trees are bare and they seem to be “useless”; but there is beauty that touches our souls and reminds us once again, “You ARE Enough”.
May you live each moment through the Grace that never ends. Trust The Spirit who accompanies us always and says, “I have called you, You are Mine, You are Equipped – Be the Best that YOU can be”. Amen.