Sunday, January 1, 2012


What do you think about when you hear the word "exile"? Does it bring up a long ago thing that doesn't really happen now a days? When the Hebrew people were sent off into exile in Babylon? Does it have anything at all to do with today? I'm going to have to say a big YES to that!

I was reading Matthew 2:13-15. It's about the escape to Egypt that Joseph took Mary and Jesus, cuz King Herod went crazy after the three wise men didn't come back and tell him where to find the Christ child, so he decided to kill off all the male children under the age of two. Now this escape was a voluntary leaving on their part, from their home country. They could have stayed, I'm glad they didn't. Joseph was good at obeying those angel in his dreams!

I looked up exile and this is what I found: To expel or banish from his country. Prolonged separation from ones country or home. Banished is To compel to depart; send, drive, or put away. Oh my!!! This is where I'm living and have been living for awhile exile. 

Now we don't know a lot about what happened in Jesus' story while they were in Egypt, except that Jesus grew up. So being in exile doesn't have to be seen as all bad, I mean the thought behind being compelled to depart - that's pretty hurtful, but growing up isn't so bad and it's down right necessary.

While we were at seminary, I was being compelled to depart from my job. I was being ignored, the work I was doing reminded me of the hamster on the wheel that goes no where. All of my decisions were questioned and in meetings, I just stopped talking or offering my thoughts cuz I was seen as ineffective. I was being banished, yet they wanted it to look like it was my decision. Unlike Joseph, who got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt, I stuck it out... 

It is exhausting to be in the place where you are separated from what you know God is calling you to be about doing. It's like watching people drowning, while being entrapped on the other side of a thick pane of glass, knowing you have the skill and knowledge to save them, but not being given the opportunity to do so.

However, there is also growth if we would but seek it. There is also rest, cuz Lord knows, nobody wants you to do anything. The growth comes when you hit walls, don't get included in plans, and when people hurt you in ways that you didn't think was even possible. That's when we stop looking to them and to ourselves to solve any of it and we look up!

It's a surrendering of ourselves, our thoughts, our plans and sometimes our dreams. 
It's growth. 
When we do look up, we might see that God has something different for us to look at, other than our plight of misery. He might show us a herd of deer that we run up on while running our long run on a Saturday. He might show us the redness of a cardinal against the bleakness of the winter or that crazy squirrel that loves to fly from one tree to another. But as long as we are looking down at our own dire straights, we are not growing in our exile.  


1 comment:

Preacher man said...

good stuff and a good reminder to keep looking up!