Standing on the Brink

Naomi Frizzell is Director of Communications for The Lausanne Movement and also serves as the Managing Editor for   
March represents a transition for the Cape Town 2010 blog.  This month and through the rest of the year, we’ll feature many different Lausanne voices – sharing their thoughts, ideas, encouragement and challenges.  I invite you to take a few minutes to read the blog regularly and share your thoughts on what’s being discussed.
This month, I’m hosting the blog and am eager to hear your thoughts on what God is doing in your life, how you’re dealing with the challenges before you and how you’re embracing the opportunities to live out your daily life in Jesus Christ.
So, (deep breath), here we go . . .
Did you ever have that sense that you’re on the brink of something, sort of dangling your toes over the edge expectantly (and hoping no one puts their hand on your back and pushes you)?  I have that sense right now.
I must admit I have a little Acrophobia, not to the extreme end of things where I get dizzy and pass out, but just that whole “Whoa, that’s a lonnnggg way down there and I really hope I don’t slip off this ledge” kind of thing.
I’m in that place right now.
It’s 19 months until Cape Town 2010.  One of my co-workers helpfully (or not) pointed us to a countdown clock with a cheerful note that it’s “603 days till Cape Town 2010!”  Well, it’s now even less than that.
There is a lot to get done between now and Cape Town 2010, meetings to attend, trips to take, phone calls to make, participants to be chosen, documents to complete, website pages to design, emails to send, infrastructure to put in place . . . and the days are slipping by.
One co-worker said jokingly today he would be a whole lot more comfortable with “Cape Town 2012” rather than Cape Town 2010.  Well, we’re obviously not going to change the dates.  So, how does everything get done between now and then, and how do we focus on what’s really important – deepening our own personal commitment to being fully alive in Christ and spurring others around us to be fully alive in Christ so together we can reach others with the Good News?
I’m convinced one of the major ways to do it, is through prayer.
Some my earliest memories of church involve kneeling on the cold linoleum floor, leaning my elbows on an (ugly) green, vinyl-cushioned pew in a Nazarene Church during a Wednesday night prayer meeting.
(One of my other earliest memories is getting sick in one of those pews . . . we won’t go there but suffice it to say if I ever come to your home for a meal, please don’t feed me creamed corn!)
For an hour, we’d kneel together as a Church, as Trudy and Helen and many others led us in prayer.  I don’t remember exactly what we prayed for but I do remember the very specific prayers for missionaries in Papua-New Guinea and elsewhere and for the needs of people in our church.
Not only did we lift up people, but we prayed expectantly and urgently.  We loved one another, we loved God and we believed God heard us, loved us and would answer our prayers, according to His will.  And He did.
When did I move away from that urgency and how can I recapture that expectant kind of praying?
Lately it seems, God has been dropping strong hints (not a theological term, I know) that I need to get back to that hard linoleum floor.
If you know me personally, you know I like to tackle a challenge by “planning my work and working my plan” – going on the Internet for information, talking to experts and reading books.  So now I’m reading and re-reading books about Hudson Taylor, George Mueller and others, and books about the importance of corporate prayer in the church.
But, I’m also finding more ways, and more time to pray.  It’s great to read and plan, but it’s more important to actually do.  Even though the days are short between now and Cape Town 2010 and the list of things to do seems to grow every day, I’m finding I’m “Too Busy Not to Pray”.
Is it making a difference?  I hope – and pray – so!
I’m learning a lot about myself, a lot about God and seeing those around me from a different perspective – not as problems to solve, obstacles to overcome or tasks to check off the list.  Rather God’s reminding me that He sent His Son for people not tasks.  People I need to love, people I need to invest in, people I need to learn from, people I need to point to a closer walk with Christ.
I’m still on the brink of something, my toes wiggling in the wind, but this time it’s not a hand on my back ready to push me that I feel.  Rather it’s a strong Hand reaching out to take my hand and urging me to jump – into the wild unknown.
Want to join me?

Naomi Frizzell is the Lausanne Movement's Chief Communications Officer.