"Be happy, young man, while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you to [the] judgement. So then banish anxiety from your heart and cast off the troubles of your body, for youth and vigor are meaningless." -Ecclesiastes 11:9-10
So, after a few weeks of transitioning and moving and flying over the Atlantic, The Prayer Series is back! And, on it's new day: MONDAY!
I'm writing to you this morning from downtown Kensington, London. We're staying here for a few weeks until we find permanent residence in Oxford. We arrived in London early Saturday morning, we, the family of five, three pixie girls (ages one, three and five) and two bleary-eyed adults.
The trip was the culmination of a year-long odyssey of prayer, more prayer, planning, trusting--sometimes without cause or sense (or so it seemed)--and, did I mention prayer? I'll be studying for the PhD in Theology at King's College London under the supervision of theologian and apologist Alister McGrath. Needless to say, we're living in a world of newness, a world of dreams, really.
Go After It
I think dreams are made of trust and joy. Solomon reminds us to be happy, to follow the desires of our hearts. But in order to follow our hearts, we must possess the strength of heart to trust that God will help us, that he will go before us, that he will "establish our ways (Proverbs 16:9)." Without him holding us up, we're nothing and we gain nothing.
In Ecclesiastes 11:9 the Teacher challenges us to go after joy, for joy does not come from sitting on the couch. It comes from doing. We can't "do" when we're worried about this or that, if the visas will come or if the house will sell, as was our case in our big move.
But if we set our hearts on him, as Paul instructs us in Colossians 3, then our dreams will stem from God himself. And when they come from God, we find ourselves invigorated to follow our hearts. We find a joy that overcomes obstacles. And believe me, obstacles will arise daily. But opposition is to be expected when the heart of God ignites your action.
Lord, search my heart. Know me, mold me, challenge me. Help my weakness and my anxiety. Forgive my lack of trust and lack of movement. What will you have me do today? Show me a new part of you today. Show me, so I can run after you anew; invigorated and desirous of who you are.
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Timothy Willard loves to sit with his wife by the bonfire and make up stories about Tom the Backyard-Badger for his three lovely daughters. When he's not carving up the Appalachian Mountains on his Salsa El Mariachi, you can find him busy writing a book, collaborating on a book, or reading a book written by someone dead and gone. Timothy studied beauty in the works of C.S. Lewis under theologian Alister McGrath. The author of five books, including Veneer: Living Deeply in a Surface Society (Zondervan), Timothy is currently finishing The Life-Changing Adventure of Chasing Beauty (Eerdmans, 2019), preparing his doctoral thesis for publication, and trying to find a publisher for his first novel The Tempest and the Bloom. He lives somewhere in the south Charlotte woods.