There are a good few images that come to mind as I prepare for my trip to Redding. My time away has been likened to a rocket - like I'm going to be spiritually propelled forward. Someone else saw clothes, new robes to wear. Me, I've picked an image that rather more reflects my rather changeable emotions - doors. I've done some of the prophetic activations before with some of the gang from Hope church, and normally the door I picture is large, ajar and welcoming and typically takes me into a garden with Jesus. It's a pretty great place to hang out, I always like it there.
Today's door looks a little different. It's like those you see going into restaurant kitchens, which can swing both ways. For some reason I have this nervousness that, although I can push the door and go through, it might swing back and hit me. I'm not sure there's any deep theological reason for this... I think I'm just nervous! The only good thing about being able to visualise this is that it's made me stop and think about where Jesus is in the midst of this picture. Thankfully it doesn't take much to realise he's waiting in the kitchen, ready to hold the door open for me. Of course, if I follow this picture through, there are questions I can ask of Jesus - why am I picturing a restaurant, a kitchen? The answer - I'm to be Jesus' sous-chef! Wow, now there's a word to get hold of. I just looked up a dictionary definition - it's the second in command under the chef... yeah, it doesn't take much to work out who is the chef in this kitchen ;) The impression I get is of an apprenticeship - that if I'm willing to put in the work and the discipline, Jesus is going to teach me a huge amount Himself. Although I am going to be attending teaching sessions from a number of great and glorious people, I think the biggest times of learning are going to be in the quietness, when it's just me and Him. I'd really like that - to be like Samuel, to say 'speak Lord, for your servant is listening'.
I've been struggling to know what to expect of my time away, so this picture really helps. I genuinely don't need to worry about it, He really does have it sorted. I loved what Paul Manwaring kept saying when he spoke at Champion Life Church recently - 'He wastes nothing, He gets you ready'. I don't know what He's getting me ready for. It's been clear that He's already been doing something, He's not waited till now to get started. And I am so ready. Well, truthfully, I'm not. Because I haven't got a clue about what's through the door. I know Who is through there. Just as well. Don't think I could muster the courage to walk through if I didn't.