The last month has been a fantastic blur of colorful experiences in Ireland and Scotland while touring my new film Thin Places: Stories of Celtic Community and Extraordinary Faith. While the scenery was wonderful and the weather reasonably nice (although I did lead worship outdoors in the rain several times!), the true beauty of the trip was getting to draw a bit closer to the people who live there. Sitting with old and new friends over tea and good conversation was simply a delight! I fell in love with Irish sarcasm and old stories. :-)
Only a crazy person would go to another country and tell people about their history-- and I felt a bit silly as an American telling the Celts who they are and what they carry. My Irish friends were a bit shocked when I took them to museums they'd never been to and hills where the angels still camped, telling them that the Celtic Church is often considered the closest to the first century church that we have on record. No one teaches Celtic church history in schools, so they were dumbfounded and I felt a bit shy. After we had a good, hard laugh at ourselves, we were amazed at what God was revealing. They marveled at their history, and I marveled how God was revealing a message for today from the ancient past. We listened and learned from each other.
If we approach life as eternal students, God can use the stuff from every day life to build our wings. Maybe the story that will change your life is inside the person next to you. Or perhaps the next book you pick up will give you the needed “next steps” for your journey. There's always a chance that God may send you around the world to listen, learn, and even tell a story that touches others (– He's funny about things like that!). The stories we hear change us... the stories we tell change the world.
I challenge you to become a good listener, cultivate great conversations (and good tea), and discover the gold in those around you that will build your wings for the next flight. And learn to tell good stories... this world needs more bold, crazy people who partner with the Holy Spirit and craft captivating tales.
Prayer: Lord, teach me to listen with a pure heart. Show me how to cultivate good conversation, not because I need to be heard, but so that I can be a safe place for others. And from that place we can all learn to fly with You.