One phrase that I hold dear to my heart is from St Aiden... as recounted by David Adam in his book Flame in my heart:
You cannot bring out what you have not let be poured inI have been meditating on this phrase for a while now... at one point I actually considered getting it tattooed on my right forearm. Its such a beautiful and meaningful phrase for me.
Its a truth that affects all our lives... we can not give of what we do not have. I can not program a drum machine. I don't have the knowledge... or creative bent to be able to do anything more that either simple beats or completely random, abstract, arrhythmic stuff.
Its like the tape above... or at least as I imagine how the tape was. Tapes, like all forms of recordable media, are blank. Its what we put on them that makes them of value. Its the recorded work that gives the media its purpose.
I'm a bit of a bedroom DJ... I grew up making tapes... then moved onto CDRs and mini-discs... before I became obsessive about playlists... and started doing mixes on the laptop. I've DJ'd live once or twice and loved the process of creating a track list... preparing so that I would have a great set... with some extra material in case I felt led to go off on a tangent.
I can't bring out what I don't have... if its not in the crate... or on iTunes... then I can't bring it out.
St Aiden had this in mind, in a manner of speaking, when he spoke of this. We are like tapes... we need something recorded on us to be of value... we need experience... we need knowledge... we need understanding... before we can guide others... be an example to others... live for others.
We need to be filled with a living... breathing... experience of God.
At S*N*A*C on Sunday, I hope to host a time of sharing... Testimony is the most powerful tool we have. I don't want to be told your watch is strong... I want to see this value demonstrated on the wrist of someone like Bear Grylls. Same with faith. Some of the best sermons have come from people standing up and speaking on where they are on their journey... what the Lord is doing for them.
However... we need to continually replace that which we bring out. Just as I need new tunes to keep my set fresh... we need to continually refresh our knowledge and experience. We need to be open to the pouring in... and not rely on what we received many years ago.
A car without petrol (gasoline to my American friends) will run itself into the ground - for it to keep on going... it needs to be filled up as appropriate. A car will not run forever on one fill up.
Think about it. You can only bring out that which you have received in the first place. Don't run yourself into the ground... feed your soul!
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