Roswell Pres Blog

Shaped by God - Saturday, April 1 - Lenten Devotional 2017

 Don Ahnberg

Don Ahnberg

Shaped by God
Saturday, April 1

Don Ahnberg, transferred back from Houston to be a member of RPC in 2015

"Be still, and know that I am God!" - Psalm 46:10 (NRSV)
We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us. - Romans 12:6 (NRSV)

"Plan, execute, reap results. If results are positive, take personal credit. If not, find an excuse or assign blame." The dark humor of that is true with much of what we do, certainly speaking for myself at any rate.

In the constant chaos of our life's activities, and with our egos in the way, it is easy to believe the success of our actions is our own doing. However, as I look back in my life, I can clearly see many occurrences and two distinct components where God, and not I, has had the hand in shaping my life - I'll call them events of preparation, and events of opportunity. Preparation events included equipping me with skills and knowledge, or strengthening my abilities, so that I was competent to perform some important new role and opportunity to serve. Opportunity events (both positive and negative) included those which unexpectedly presented themselves, i.e. not planned by me, but led to a required action on my part.

There have been many occasions when competencies and opportunities converged and led me to take on a new role or task. And, when there is a "call" to action, I can also insert the words "so that" in each instance: competencies and opportunity converged "so that" I was energized to take on the task that was required of me. I believe without question that there was a Divine hand in that process in each of those events. All of the roles I have had at RPC - chair of Stewardship, roles on several search committees, assistant organist, chair of Building Commission - fit this pattern. And, let me quickly add, the Lord also provided others to make up for my many shortcomings.

Lent is a time of reflection for us, akin to the 40 days that Jesus spent in the desert in preparation for his ministry. Now is a good time for us to be still, reflect, take stock of our own differing gifts, and know that God has been and will always be present in and in control of our lives, providing us with unique skills and opportunities "so that" we may serve Him.

Heavenly Father, still our hearts and minds as we pray in this Lenten season, so that we may know your greatness and become responsive to opportunities you present us to capitalize on our gifts, so that we may further your kingdom. Amen.

You can sign-up now to receive information and updates about Lent 2017 at RPC, including these daily devotionals. To receive messages via text, text @rpclent to 81010 or sign-up online to receive text and/or email notifications. We will also be posting these daily devotionals to the RPC Facebook page. Hard copies are available at RPC.