John Steward of Jesus
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Following Him

You raise issues with which we should all struggle continuously. What would my Lord have me do today? How should I relate to my brothers? How should I relate to others around me? Should I stay here or go elsewhere? All of us can benefit from any wisdom or experience that any of us have to offer. In that spirit I will make some observations.

The final summary is that each of us should be doing nothing more, nothing, less, and precisely that, which, in our best heartfelt understanding and perception, we accept at the Lord's will for us at the moment of decision.

This is self-evident to believers, but we need to remind ourselves of it if we become preoccupied in asking questions such as, What if we all starve? What if we all get killed? What if there is no water available? What if the electricity gets shut off? etc. etc.

We must certainly reflect on such possibilities, learn from the experience of others, and be prudent. But finally we rely on our sovereign protector and provider, whose we are, and who understands all these things far better than all of our collective
understandings. We are available for whatever he desires. When you say "Help me out", I assume you are asking all of us to help you better
understand what is his will for you, and us.

Sometime his will for us individually seems to put us on a path which leads directly into a stone wall. Our challenge then is to remain committed to his will, even if it means bumping our heads against the wall. .Then we often discover that the wall has finger and toe holes, or a hidden door.

Sometimes we bump our heads and wonder as we sit by the wall with a headache what this is all about. Then we learn to trust and wait.

Some examples from my experience, for what they may be worth.

Some years ago we tried to get telephone service in our newly-adopted name. We seemed to reach a stone wall. Finally we accepted the reality of the wall and went without service for a month or so.

Then my sister decided she really wanted to be able to call us, so she had service installed in her name, which we are still using. The bills are sent to me. Everyone seems happy.

When we moved to our present dwelling, we reached a stone wall in trying to have electricity. When the previous account holder learned that the electric company wouldn't give service to someone without a ssn, she said she'd just leave it in her name, have the bills sent to us, and we could take care of it. Everyone seems happy.

When I had spent a couple involuntary vacations in the public hospitality house, I felt led to the conclusion that at present traveling by a self-propelled means of locomotion is not part of my calling and ministry.

When the man I was working for learned that I could no longer get to his place of work in a convenient way, he offered to provide transportation, for a reasonable fee. This worked well until I began making the ten mile trip by bicycle, which I did for many years. It gave me good exercise and happy memories of country scenery and fresh air.(There are some unpleasant memories too).

Several years ago I began to do painting work (houses and
garages, not on canvas) as my own service. Almost everything I do can be arranged with my bicycle and an eight-foot trailer which I ordered over the internet. The recumbent bicycle which I use and the trailer have become my symbol of identity in the neighborhood. People have looked for me as "the painter with the bicycle and trailer". Our provider has put me in a place where there are very few hills, and weather which permits year-round travel by bicycle.

I could elaborate further. But my only purpose is to give a testimony that, when we are willing to walk up to a stone wall when our maker so leads, we are often amazed at his creative ingenuity and deeply impressed with his love, concern, care and provision for us.

Some of this is related to your observation that many of the houses Jesus occupied to teach were of the wealthy. We must be humble enough to permit our Father to provide for us through others, be they wealthy, poor, or average.

If led to do so, we should be willing to ask for a donkey because doing the calling of the Lord requires it. This is not taking advantage of people. It is asking them to join with us in facilitating the work of our Lord who wants all of us to be used to bring blessings to all. Those around us soon sense whether we are motivated by self-interest or the common good.

I was thinking of going down other lanes of thought, but time is the reason for stopping here. Hoping some of this is helpful. May the dialog continue, and be a means of mutual edification.