From the Pastor’s Desk: Rev. Jason Cheung

Dear brothers and sisters of RCAC,

Twitter, Instagram, Facebook – whatever social media we use, the media also chooses for us.  Algorithms fueled by our history present a future to us that is so much better than “our now.”  Whatever I like or whatever I dwell on, whatever quote I retweet, or photo I share, I’m not just expressing my preferences, but creating a forever-profile for corporations to target me with restaurant deals, goods and services.  And yet – knowing this – I still do what I do, and go ahead and like that Gif of a dog surprised by itself while walking by a mirror for the first time.  (I don’t regret this, of course)

Yes, we can carefully choose our content, but we’re also programmatically fed content.  And this is a very real possibility: We encounter only the things an algorithm has determined we will like and enjoy.  But what if there is so much more than what other people/computers say?

Now picture this:  A toddler having just learned to walk a few months ago, steps for the first time into a large uncut grassy field, brimming with dandelions and grasshoppers and baby butterflies.  And she is running, laughing, seeing fluttering canvases of colour through the gentle glare of the morning sun.  The child is elated, giggling and chasing every fresh beauty that meets her senses.  Her curiosity is awakened.  Her heart is erupting in joy, and she cannot yet even spell “joy.”

What can we learn from such a child, who seems a natural in the kingdom of heaven?

I do wonder, sometimes, how our senses to the Spirit have grown dull as it has?  Is it because we are unfamiliar with his prompts?  Unaware of his presence?  Perhaps we have curated our own expectations for God to meet us exactly when and where we want him to meet us.

But, what if God meets us whenever he chooses, and however he chooses?

Scripture is full of stories where God meets people unexpectedly.  Paul on his way to Damascus, knocked down by the light from heaven – the LORD met him.  The Samaritan woman at the well – Jesus met her.  Jonah while running away from LORD.  Job met by God through his sufferings.  Adam and Eve try to hide from God, and yet God searches and finds them.

God is always after us, always speaking, always revealing, always awakening our fickle hearts to his glory and his salvation.  But are we attentive?

One of the things I have missed most – because of COVID – is travelling to new places.  Exploring.  Discovering.  Meeting a place and people I have never met before.  I recall walks through the streets of New York, hikes atop mountains in Switzerland, and that hidden trail between houses to a quiet beach in Oahu.  The thrill is what lies around the next corner, past those trees, over that hill, through that corridor.  The morning commute to work, or other daily rhythms have their place.  But also, new and unfamiliar roads that beckon us to see what’s next, what is ahead, and most importantly – where God is leading.

In what surprising way is the Spirit reaching you?
What of God’s wisdom and will, do you sense as his call to you?
What beauty in this world makes your child-like heart arise in joy?
Go and see what’s around the corner.

Your servant in Christ,
Rev. Jason Cheung