Greetings from Cardiff!
Yesterday we went to the Senate building to pray for the Welsh Parliament. The building is right at the docks, which historically have economic importance for Wales, being the place where so much Welsh coal was shipped to the rest of the world. The demand for coal declined and the docks became a derelict area. In 2005 the docks area underwent a transformation. And now it’s a great place for people to meet and have a meal. For our purposes, it was a great place to come and pray for revival in Wales—specifically, for a revival that will dwarf the previous revivals that started here.
In this beautiful setting in the capital of Wales, I found that for some reason I was having some trouble focusing and praying—the reason I’m here. So in desperation, with my mind wandering this morning I finally said, “Lord, please tell me what to pray!” Sometimes desperation leads to wonderful contrarian things:
- I want to be brilliant—a genius—at faith, even if people think I’m stupid about other things.
- I want wisdom to live out that faith.
- I want and need discernment of the schemes of the enemy.
All my life, the thing that was guaranteed to anger me was to be called stupid or treated like I’m stupid. And there have been plenty of people who have thought me stupid. When I lived in California as a child, the other children teased me and called me stupid because of my Texas accent. In New York as an adult, people occasionally mimicked me because my accent made me sound stupid to them. Their logic being that you might be a stupid redneck because you sound like Jeff Foxworthy. In Italy, people sometimes mistake my slow speech (Texas drawl in Italian) for a slow mind, and try to take advantage of me. So for me to pray for a faith so smart that people think I’m stupid is inspired by God because I would never ask to be taken for stupid. But God’s wisdom turns the wisdom of the world on its head. And one thing I am ready to embrace above all others is God’s wisdom.
Recently I wrote a blog post about God’s contrarian logic: https://europeanfaithmissions.wordpress.com/2012/06/18/contrarian-kingdom/. And in true contrarian, non-conformist fashion, I love the idea of asking for something that in my flesh I never wanted. But there it is: I want a faith so big that people in their flesh think I’m stupid. It’s turning the world’s logic on its head.
Come on, people of God! Let’s live a life that’s absolutely contrary to the world’s way!