I did a crazy thing today. I got a train from Taunton to Epsom. Nothing crazy about that, you might well say.
Tell you what, I'll go back about 24 hours. I was staying at the Holiday Inn in Taunton on a cricket tour with friends. I'd been reading a book called "Red Moon Rising" about the birth and growth of the 24-7 Prayer movement. I was reading about an awesome God doing awesome things and people doing crazy things for God.
As I read, my heart was racing. All I could think about was getting involved, about doing something. Forgetting whatever else I was doing, forgetting the world's agenda, their values and priorities. Reading this book it seemed much more of an adventure to go wild for God and get involved in building up His kingdom.
But I thought I could continue my weekend away and still do this. Not so. On the Friday morning in the health club I was in the jacuzzi relaxing and it came to my attention the name of the health club - "Spirit Health and Leisure". The logo was straight opposite where I was sitting and for some reason I could only read the words "Spirit" and "Health" together. It felt like God was trying to tell me something.
That evening I read more of the book. I was by now getting very excited and was struggling to put the book down. The amazing protection, power and awesomeness of God and His clear plan in this 'accidental' movement was truly incredible. So I put some worship music on in my hotel room and worshipped. I simply had to.
The thing is, as I was worshipping, I had a sense that God was telling me to leave this all behind and go home. To leave the cricket tour, pay for a train ticket home and travel back therefore missing out on playing two games of cricket and having to pay out more money.
The problem was, this was one of those annoying awkward feelings you get when you hear something from God and know its from Him. The feeling of attempted denial and trying to change God's mind before the realisation. There's no getting away from it. This was God testing my obedience. I had no idea why specifically I had to go back, just the knowledge that I did.
So I made arrangements to go. I got players to play on the games I was supposed to and made my excuses. People asked me why, I just said "I have to go, and I can't explain any better than that".
So I got on the train home from Taunton on Saturday. By now it had dawned on me that it might have something to do with prayer and spending a lot of quality time with God, praying about my future. In fact, more than that, I started to feel a great sense of destiny and calling.
The more I read about 24-7 the more I realised that I had to get involved. Prayer has always been one of my biggest passions and I've always suspected it might involve 24-7. But now it was feeling very real. God was also telling me to be patient till the right time - this year may be too soon, God has things to do first. But one thing I know now, is that God wants me involved in the 24-7 prayer movement.
Of course, this all starts in my own church. We're starting a new service and there's new opportunities. I want to be more involved with the prayer life of my church and now have fresh motivation and vision for what that should be. I'm going to talk about this with my pastor.
One thing is for sure, my life has no changed. My past is being put further and further in my past and I'm moving into a new life, and that includes moving house. My past needs to be put to the past. My future is beginning now - its the present.
My present and future life will be one not decided or even defined by the people and culture around me or by the circumstances that befall me - as they have been in the past - but by Jesus.
Forget your modern-day consumer culture. God has shown me the folly and pointlessness of it all, and how much this world needs Him and His agenda, and from now on that's my agenda.
Its amazing how revolutionary a train journey can be...