yet another reason that i love my job: yesterday i was able to attend the Leading From A Healthy Soul one day conference.

Mark Buchanan, who wrote one of my favorite books, The Rest of God, opened the conference by talking about the story of Abram, Sarai and Hagar from Genesis 16. let me tell you about it...

God promises Abram that he will have a son and heirs as countless as the stars in the sky. Sarai doesn't get pregnant. Abram and Sarai get old. Sarai takes matters into her own hands. Abram doesn't object strongly enough. Enter Hagar, Sarai's maidservant, who is handed over from Sarai to Abram {which apparently worked back then}. Hagar gets pregnant, then treats Sarai with contempt. Sarai, no longer impressed with her solution, blames Abram, whose own solution is that Sarai can treat Hagar however she wants. Sarai treats Hagar like crap. Hagar runs away.

now you're caught up. this is where it gets good.

Hagar is out in the desert, when an angel appears and asks her two questions:
"Hagar, Sarai's servant, where have you come from, and where are you going?"
{v. 8}
* * * * *

at this point, Mr. Buchanan compared the angel's questions to that timeless classic, Monty Python's The Holy Grail. The old man standing at the bridge asking three questions to allow people to pass.

what is your name?
what is your quest?
what is your favorite color?

these questions deal with the core of who we are.

what is your name? / who are you? identity
what is your quest?/ where are you going? destiny
what is your favorite color? (obviously not asked by the angel) passion

* * * * *

back to the story. Hagar, only able to answer the first of the angel's questions, is sent back to the sucky situation. then, as if the return isn't bad enough, he has more good news, this time about the baby she is carrying,
This son of yours will be a wild man, as untamed as a wild donkey! He will raise his fist against everyone, and everyone will be against him. Yes, he will live in open hostility against all his relatives." {v. 12}
i'm not a mother, but i cannot imagine anyone getting too excited about this. you can pretty much feel the foreshadowing of parent/teacher conferences and other discipline issues settling around you with these words.

but despite this, Hagar focused on something different, which i'll write about tomorrow... {stay tuned!}

for now, i want to leave you with the angel's two questions, the same questions Mark asked those attending the conference. let them sink into your soul and don't rush the answers.

who are you?

where are you going?


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