I will catch up with what’s happening in the forums at some stage. Promise.
Meantime, I want to write about something that’s been on my mind for a few days since the Connect Weekend in Rostrevor (it was fantastic, by the way).
Every Sunday Spiderman strip has a throwaway row at the top that editors can leave out. Nearly every US comic strip is the same, except for Calvin and Hobbes (my hero or something) where Bill Watterson fought to have the whole thing printed – it’s just one of the rules. That’s why the old Peanuts Sunday cartoons so often had a picture illustrating the strip at the start – like when Linus carved a sailing ship out of soap and Lucy used it to wash her hands… the first picture was a bust of Linus carved in soap.
Anyway, the most frequent one I saw was the reference to Peter’s Uncle Ben saying “With great power comes great responsibility”.
Move away from Spiderman, and it doesn’t cease to be true. In fact, it’s even more true when you’re dealing with God.
God gives us so much power. The power to pray, the power to tell others (in however unscary a way that we choose!), the power inherent in the gifts of the Spirit and so on.
And with that comes responsibility. The responsibility to follow God with all your heart, the responsibility to use the gifts he has given you, the responsibility, as a beggar, to show other beggars where to find bread (it’s a great metaphor. I know it’s used too much, but it’s still a great metaphor).
And that’s a real challenge. For people like me, and most of the readers I expect, it’s so easy to say “God’s given us gifts!” “I like praying in tongues!” etc etc and not do anything with them, just using them for ourselves.
Without inventing things to do (is doing the wrong “good” things worse than not doing the right things?), we’re supposed to turn round and ask God “Thank you for these amazing gifts. What can I do with them for you?” And then obey.