One of the few quiet spots I know of around Jinja, is at the source of the Nile. It is a bit spendy to get into, but the beautiful scenery is so worth it. The "source" is where Lake Victoria, the world's second largest lake, empties into the Nile River, the world's longest river. It is quite a special and beautiful area.
I wanted to sit under a tree, tucked out of sight, so I could freely talk with God and have plenty of undisturbed quiet. However, the first tree I chose was suitable for only so long. A few minutes after I settled under it, I realized it was at the edge of a golf course. And, so awhile later when a group of golfers began heading my way, I decided to vacate my tree of choice, preferring not to be beaned by a stray golf ball.
I moved to another nearby tree, this time one actually considered in the park area and out of the golf course. But, I soon discovered it was one of those "dripping" trees. There is a type of tree here that releases droplets of water - when it is not raining. I persevered, but when a big drop "splatted" on my Bible study notes, I went again searching for a more suitable location.
Finally, I settled on a bench, with a view of the river. And, that is where I spent most of my afternoon.
The view of the Nile River from my bench.
I had gone with the high hopes of receiving some profound vision for the new year, but instead I received a plain and practical message for 2011 - in "how to walk."
Spending some time in Ephesians, God impressed on me how I needed to "practically" walk in His ways in the coming year, in order to pass though 2011 with a purpose.
Here are some of my notes:
- Walk with and in a purpose - Ephesians 1:11-12
- Walk in God's good works, which He has prepared beforehand for me. - Ephesians 2:10
- Walk as a member of Christ's body. Ephesians 2:14-16, 4:3-7
- Walk in love. In Christ's surpassing love. Ephesians 3:17-19. And, in love toward others. Ephesians 5:2, 4:31-32, and 6:1-3
- Walk in a manner worthy of Christ's calling. Ephesians 4:1-3
- Walk in newness of life. Ephesians 4:21-24
- Walk in light. Ephesians 5:8-10
- Walk wisely. Ephesians 5:15-17
- Walk in God's armor. Ephesians 6:10-18
- Walk in prayer. Ephesians 6:18
God revealed how I can practically "walk" in each of the above ways, but they are more personal, so I won't share them here.
Just recently God reminded me that growth in the Christian life comes slowly and steadily, not by leaps and bounds. (Reminds me of the parable of the tortoise and the hare.) Naturally, I am not a very patient person, which is probably why I have half-read books and half-finished projects. Often when I don't see quick results or progress, I become discouraged or distracted and give up.
But through various messages over the recent days, God has been showing me that each day presents me with choices - some small, some large, but often ones that lead to other more consequential ones.
Realistically, the Christian walk can only be accomplished one step and one day at a time. God gives His manna, or grace, in quantity enough only for the present day, not enough also for tomorrow or next week. I believe past discouragement in my faith has come as I looked too far down the road, to see how much further I had to go and grow. And, I quickly became disheartened and I gave up.
I want this year to be a year of purpose - daily purposing to walk with and please God in every area and in every relationship. And, of course, it must be in God's strength and power, not in my own weak and fallible "strength."
"Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen." - Ephesians 3:20-21
Another view of the Nile.
Me near "the source," which is somewhere behind the island in the background.