Oklahoma—where the wind comes sweeping down the plane….
…but what Rogers and Hammerstein don’t bother to tell you is that many times “the wind” comes in a twisting form; so here’s the place on the planet where occurs the highest number of tornadoes, but you can’t have a basement because the soil content is too poor.
Well isn’t that’s just fine.
The folks back in the 1880’s probably didn’t know that, or didn’t care, as the territory became one of the most famous official “land rush” events, where prospective homesteaders could become property owners on a first-come-first-served basis. To keep the land, the new owners had to not only stake out their claim, i.e., define their boundaries, but actually live on it and improve upon it, at which time they could receive the title from the United States government. There was definite work involved, and not a little conflict, I’m sure.
Throw in the occasional tornado, of course. And no basement.
Using my imagination, I see some similarities with the conquering Israelites in the Old Testament—
“Then Joshua asked them, ‘How long are you going to wait before taking possession of the remaining land the LORD, the God of your ancestors, has given to you?’”
Interestingly, not only was the land “given”, but portions of it were “assigned” to specific tribes. And I get the impression it was a bit more orderly than the American land rush model. (God’s tactics tend to be that way, orderly that is.)
I love this idea, since in particular we think of salvation as “it”, as having arrived at our destination, when in reality salvation is only the starting point. The gun’s been fired and now the race is on. Except in God’s scenario there’s plenty for everyone, and we all have an assigned spot.
“But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it.”
My spot, however, still needs to be improved upon, utilized as an important part of His kingdom, because in His eyes, it is. That’s where the big word sanctification comes in, which simply means becoming like Jesus as His student, learning to actually embrace the Identity now freely given to me. It also means identifying the gifts (some long buried or even feared) and redefining them, and re-refining (or re-thinking) them for His higher purpose.
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.”
The concept of assigned space also speaks to the idea of boundaries, something I think God is very concerned about as well. That whole “moving the ancient markers” was more than a bit frowned upon. Boundaries are just as important today. Except that many of us are not even aware that we don’t have any, and/or we tend to intrude into others’ areas where we don’t belong. OUCH!
And just because I have a particular talent or gift, or even have been assigned a ministry, doesn’t mean I can sit it out until Jesus comes back. Just like the homesteaders, I am expected to improve upon what I’ve been given. That includes the “measure of faith”, the time allotted to me on this planet, and the relationships within my influence.
So if there’s plenty for everyone, what’s the hurry?
“How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.”
The hurry is that time is short, and there is lots of land to fill up. So how many can you cram into your Conestoga wagon?
Joshua 18:3; 1 Corinthians 12:18; Romans 12:2; James 4:14 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.