Cheryl (pseudonym) and I glanced at the wall clock in the Sunday School room. Fifteen minutes to go until the parents would return and retrieve their charges. In toddler time, that can feel like fifteen hours. We had completed our story time, our snack, our singing and free play. The craft was done and the toys were put away. What next?
That’s when we started a routine of marching around the table with our clappers and jingle bells singing the classics – I’m in the Lord’s Army, Onward Christian Soldiers, and Arky-Arky. The more verses the better! At first it was just the two of us marching, but soon we had a following!
That got me thinking about our personal marching orders from God. What if we asked God each morning what he had in mind for us?
You might think that in this time of isolation and shut down, God cannot use us in a meaningful way, especially those of us in a certain age bracket who no longer have a toddler room to volunteer at, a gym to workout in, or a school to teach in. Here in the Midwest, darkness is falling earlier and earlier, the branches are bare, the sky a pallid gray. What on earth are our marching orders from above?
Maybe what we perceive as small and insignificant is actually of critical import in God’s economy. Maybe his marching orders are as simple as smiling at a neighbor from across the street, or texting encouragement to that widow or divorced person who lives alone.
Maybe it’s just asking God who to pray for. You may be surprised at who comes to mind if you pause long enough.
Your marching order may also be to take a nap, fold laundry, make a bed, walk a dog – all done with gratitude that you have a bed to make, a washing machine to load, and a slobbery dog to cuddle, feed and walk.
Soon a tune with a steady beat may come to mind and don’t be surprised if you find yourself marching in your living room, wishing you had jingle bells – soldiering on through bleak pandemic days.
And if you quiet your heart, you may also hear God whisper,
Onward, child of mine. Onward.