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It was a cool, clear Monday night in Philly. We gathered with our visiting group, Sugarloaf United Methodist, on the Art Museum steps (affectionately referred to as the ‘Rocky’ steps). They are a group of about 50 high school underclassmen and leaders that have traveled all the way from Atlanta, GA to serve with CSM for the week. At the end of each day, they gather together as a whole to debrief the entire day that was. This includes singing worship songs, discussing moments from their day, and sharing stories of things that touched them or challenged them. As the music played and the kids shared, I started to take in my surroundings.
One of the noticeable features in the city skyline is the Amtrak building. This building is rather triangular shaped and lights up at night. In the past week, we have seen the building light up in a random flashing pattern. We were told that it occasionally is lit in the shape of the Phillies’ symbol. On this night in particular, it was in the shape of a question mark. My mind immediately jumps to the Riddler from Batman for some reason. Why in the world would there be a question mark that size on the side of a building? I suppose they put it there to get people talking, but my interest was definitely peaked.
Just to the left of the question mark building was another one with a scrolling text along the top. I happened to glance up at the different messages as they went across the rooftop…
“… so you don’t have to wait on hold”
“Philadelphia welcomes the Society of Technical Communication”
… and then the time would flash after every message or so. In the midst of the worship, praise, and telling of God’s work in the day, God really put prayer and quiet time with Him on my heart.
Let’s focus on the question mark. Each and every one of us has questions in our lives. It can be something like ‘How are we going to make it to the end of the month?’ to ‘What am I going to have for dinner tonight?’ to ‘Why do I feel this way?’ These questions range in complexity and importance, but they are all questions regardless. Some of us don’t know why we have these questions in our lives, similarly to how I don’t know why the question mark is on the side of the building. We just acknowledge the fact that they’re there, and do our best to figure out why.
If we only knew the answers, life would be so much easier, right? Well, what if we knew the one who knows all the answers? This is where God comes in to the picture! He knows the answers to all our questions. Doesn’t it seem ridiculous to know who knows the answers but choose not to ask?
“Philadelphia welcomes the Society of Technical Communication”
Prayer is alive and well in Philadelphia. I am humbled by the fact that people at these ministry sites are so devoted to prayer. I’ve had people come up to us on the streets and just ask for prayer…without even giving their name. The beauty of our relationship with God is that it doesn’t have to be technical communication! We have access to God anytime, anywhere, and for any reason. Just as Philadelphia welcomes the society, we should welcome communication with God into our daily lives.
“… so you don’t have to wait on hold”
We serve a God who is merciful to us and answers prayer. If we seek, it shall be revealed to us. If we knock, the door will be opened. God will answer the prayers of our hearts according to His will. Our job is to give all our doubts and fears up to the One who holds the answers. How marvelous is it that God loves us so much that he would listen to each of us when we pray!
Just as the time flashed between these messages, the time in our lives is certainly not standing still. Even as you read this, time has passed from when you started. There is no better time to start seeking Christ’s guidance in our lives than the present! Take the time right now to give Him the giant question mark in your life.
-Tim, CSM Philly City Host Summer 2008