When God and doing the dishes collide…

8.00 am. The light trickles in through my curtains and pierces my eyes like flaming arrows. My legs ache. Breath tastes great. I’m late again and I desperately hope I’ve made a mistake and its Saturday, lie in day.

I wrote last time about being an ordinary radical, following jesus radically and obediently in the local everyday. Man it’s so much harder than it seems when writing about it. Its follows the same idea as taking up running…

I remember a time a few years ago I realised I was not quite as fit as I wanted to be and so decided that running was the new regime that would bring peace and affirmation to my mind. I diligently wrote out a weekly plan of when I went running, purchased some new shoes and even bought a special ipod holder for runners. On the first day with excitement, hands trembling I opened the front door and embarked on the first of my three runs that week. After two minutes of feeling like the next london marathon champion I soon became uncomfortable, achey (and out of breath) and realised this whole running malarky is a heck of a lot harder than talking and thinking about it!

It’s the same with the christian walk I guess, following Jesus in the hard times and in the daily routine of life. It’s been a hard start to this whole ordinary radicalism but I’ve noticed some differences, not world changing differences, but differences.

Trying to be someone who loves people is so difficult yet in having the ambition to do so it’s been amazing to see where that ordinary deed has led, like talking to a friend about Jesus, just by giving someone some time and respect. Just by doing odd jobs around the house (or trying to) out of love seems to be a blessing. Its so easy to dismiss these small occurences and still dream of something more radical (and i still very much do) but yet these small acts open up the doors and bless Gods people. How radical is selfless love in a rather self centered society.

The one thing I’m really struggling with is loving God, it seems silly because I know deep down within the chasms of my soul my life’s aim is to love and follow God. I sing it passionately and try my best to follow his ways, yet seem to miss out on this whole relational side of loving God. But it’s not as if I don’t love God at all, it’s just I seem to forget about loving him in the ordinary, sometimes! When I sit and stop, usually in the stillness of my bedroom my mind naturally drifts to the latest football scores, girls or the more deeper pondering on my future. How I long to instead drift constantly back to God 24-7. I’ve been blessed to be a part of the bible in a year and this has really helped put God at the centre of my thoughts more regularly and given me a real deeper love for God. Its moments like this where the gift of prayer, direct communion with God appears to be so precious… Lets try to people of prayer.

I once heard in a lecture that one monks aim was to know the spirit of the Lords’ presence in every aspect of his life, when he was praying, doing the dishes  and when he worked. Just the sense of knowing the presence of God with you makes such a big difference in the way we approach things, we often stop and look through the eyes of Jesus and see what God’s spirit is doing. I want to be like that and this is the new challenge of my ordinary radicalism. Radically Love God in the ordinary rhythms of life. The great thing is when loving God he loves us back, in fact he loved us first (1 John 4:19). This adventure isn’t about a massive guilt trip, instead its about embarking on a relationship with the creator of the world and the giver of life.

How I long to gain anywhere near that, and yet with the help of God and a determined heart I feel as if I am continuing on my adventure down this path, step by step…

“If our god is with us then what can stand against”

Smiffy

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Post conference syndrome

This summer I was blessed to be apart of the New Wine and Soul Survivor conferences situated in the royal bath and west showground. After two weeks of leading worship and playing in the band for the two to four year olds at new wine and a weeks adventure of punting at soul survivor I look back with fondness.

In these three weeks I encountered God in many amazing ways, from the privilege of seeing the spirit move powerfully whilst leading team worship, in the ordinary conversations of the food court, in the talks of the many gifted preaches and of course in the many moments of sung worship we involved ourselves in.

It’s at times like these when I feel unstoppable, surrendering my life to the one I love whilst screaming “If our God is for us, then who could ever stop us; and if our God is with us then what can stand against” from the bottom of my lungs. I dream dreams of a changed life, a changed nation and a changed world. I see the lost and homeless on the rich streets of winchester with new found compassion. I hear the urgency of our calling as Christians to impact the world around us in a broken society and give my soul to the cause with hands trembling and in an attitude of worship my face pressed to the ground.

It’s when I get home where the challenge really gets flung in my face. With a thirsty soul and a song in my heart it’s home where I realised the true surrender of my words. This is where the battle begins…

I don’t really know what I expected when I came home, as if people would randomly knock on my door and ask me about Jesus or if people at the bus stop would fancy striking a conversation up about faith and religion any time soon. Maybe I thought it would be easier to pluck the courage up to spend some time with the homeless or to challenge my football team on what they think about faith, religion and Jesus.

It’s just so hard to really make a difference sometimes, or to even know where to start. I found myself praying the other day “God what can I do? What do you want me to do? Where are the lost who I was so passionate about at the conferences?”

For the last week I was sat at home wishing I was at Momentum (another christian conference) and even more at our church youth week away with so many people I love and cherish so much. But it was in this quiet that I really started to try and deal with this post conference syndrome… I’ve always been someone who’s dreamed of radical discipleship (in a sense following God with every part of me) waiting for some Dave Smith labelled mission to come from the heavens and beckon me. Yet the more I’ve thought about it the more I’ve come to think that radical discipleship is following God where I am right now. Instead of looking for the radical and joining in with it, being radical in the ordinary.

What does this mean? Well I’m still on the journey (and feel like I’ve only just started) but have come up with a few ideas. Like looking at my own personal life and realising what things I put before God (football, relationships, slefishness etc) and putting  God first (flippin’ alot easier said than done hey!), trying to seek God every day and being aware of his spirit, being a person who is known for loving people and being generous, stepping out in witness more with my friends, meeting with people to pray for revival, volunteering at the homeless shelter…. etc..

In conclusion for me the journey has been taking the energy, prophecy and spirit of the conferences in to my own life right now. I think Jesus sums up this goal so well when asked what was the greatest commandment was… To love God and love people with everything we have.

Right now. Right here. Hard or what?!

I guess thats my mission this year. To be an ordinary radical. I hope you join me on this crazy journey with my thoughts in this random blog and will be an inspiration as much as I pray I may inspire you.

Big love

Smiffy

(if you’ve got this far thanks for reading. You’ve made it!)

Hello world!

Hey I’m Dave Smith, commonly known as Smiffy. Here are my short ponderings on life, faith and all of the above. Thanks for taking the time to check it out.

Peace

Smiffy