The Sweeper

The Sweeper

 

God gave me a vision as clear as day while I was sitting at my desk reading His word today. I think in sharing it, it will help you see too just how passionate He is for us to reach our ultimate glory goal, to meet The Mark. He brought to my mind, an Olympic curling team. “Odd”, I had thought, but He knows me best and it was an excellent visual to help me understand how much He truly cares that I do this life well. He has me in a season of preparation I believe. For what, I’m not sure just yet but…that shouldn’t matter. I’m choosing to trust Him through it and in the meantime allow Him to show me things in my simple minded ability to understand.

 

The interesting thing about the sport of curling is that if you read the description through spiritual lenses you can see just why God showed me this sport specifically. I had to do some research because, though I had a general idea of what curling was, I knew there must be a reason for the very specific sport He brought to mind. His amazing love for me/us is overwhelming!

 

The key components in the sport are the stone, the brush used by a sweeper, the delivery stick, a playing field called the sheet, and a goal called the house. The ultimate goal of the game is to get the stone down the sheet and to land in the house as accurately and as smoothly as possible. The sheet is covered with drops of water that cause the stones to deviate from a straight path. In curling, the universal rules are explained that an intentional push of the stone is made by the delivery stick and the desired direction the stone travels is to wherever the person holding the stick decides to push it. Silly us! Are we ever really in control? The brush is used by the Sweeper (or Jesus in my vision) to diligently sweep in front of the stone to smooth the traveling surface and this job is described as CRITICAL. Sweeping changes the path of the stone after it’s thrown down the sheet. As the sweeper works fervently to do his/her job, the ice warms and melts and friction is reduced, which hinders the stone from deviating from the desired path and in turn allows it to move straighter… towards the final mark…where it counts, where all the hard work performed ahead of arriving at the mark is finally justified and clear. The Sweeper needs to be skilled and have an accurate knowledge of whether or not it’s the right time to sweep as that intuitive action will lay the terrain of the foundation upon which the stone travels to it’s final destination.

 

Have you ever watched an Olympic curling game? The Sweeper is in a deadlocked, hyper focus, not on the mark at the end, but on the stone that he/she’s leading down the sheet. The face of the sweeper is so intense as you can see their only and immediate goal is to help that stone land on the mark, not just before the mark, not beyond the mark, but dead center. That’s where the most points come from. That’s how you win the game. The stone would never make it to the mark without the Sweeper. See, God doesn’t need to keep His eye on the mark, He’s already been there, He put it there and He knows how to get us there without even focusing on it. It’s not the mark that will move, stray, hide, or run away. The mark will always be where he set it from the very beginning. It’s immovable just as His love for us is. Instead, His focus stays on us and how to best get us to the goal.

 

If it’s left up to the stone to try and navigate the playing field without the Sweeper, it would keep getting stuck on the ice that formed in front of it. With intense sweeping, the ice is melted and those jagged edges are smoothed away. Our God is a mountain mover! He never stops working on our behalf! The stone would go too far left or too far right or it might completely stop and not be able to move again without the help of the Sweeper. Our God goes before us on our journey, confident of the mark and how to get us there, and as we keep our eyes on Him, He’s keeping His eyes ALWAYS on us. We may detour (we will at times), but He stays one step ahead of us, sweeping, sweeping, sweeping to make our paths straight, getting us to the House in His perfect timing. Now, that’s not to say that our Christian walks will be trouble free but it does mean that we can be confident that as long as the Sweeper is there and we are working together with Him as a team that we will always meet the mark, reach the House. The mark may seem far away right now, but none of us really know how far our marks are. It’s those daily choices that, if we stay on His team, eventually will have us dead center when we draw our last breath, even if we are struggling on a daily basis to get there right now. Isn’t that exciting? Reassuring? Hope filled stuff folks!

 

Team is a keyword here. We are a team with Jesus. It’s not just Him over there and us over here. No. We are wearing the same color, Crimson. We are striving for the same goal, we are not opponents unless we decide ourselves to stop being part of His team and go play against Him. What a perfect example of sportsman like behavior He is though, am I right? Because even when we do chose to leave His team, He is still willing to take us back when we realize the error of our ways, that we left the winning team. He never left. We did/do. He didn’t say, “eh, forget her! She did me wrong. I’m done”, and then stomp off the ice throwing his equipment. Nope. He just patiently waits, never dropping the brush (the most important piece of equipment in the game of curling). He’s still sweeping, working on the path to keep it clean for us. He is interceding to the Father for us on our behalf while we are out there acting a fool. Putting walls of grace and mercy up so we are bumping into Him everywhere we go. He is sending help and angels to go and protect us while we are making efforts to score for the other team. Why? Because He sees what we’d be missing out on and He hates the idea of not getting to celebrate the victory with us.

 

He wants so badly for us to reach the goal that’s set before us. So much so that He’s willing to go before us and prepare the way. It’s not a guessing game. He’s prepared a room for us in His House. The path has been set, the destination is there in the future and we have the instruction booklet, the GPS, the Sweeper and His Helper to guide us there. It’s not as if we have to be wandering around in the dark unsure if we will ever actually reach some uncertain place. NO! It’s certainly there. And the exciting part is there’s potential and blessing in pursuing His path. A goal to be achieved gives us purpose in the act of achieving it. If we didn’t know what we were working towards or weren’t even sure if there was anything out there to work towards then we’d feel hopeless, (imagining all those who don’t know Him, we have a lot of work to do brothers and sisters) but in God we are given an unmeasurable amount of hope because we already know that there is so much more out there than we could ever imagine on the other side of this earthly journey. God is not just waiting at the end for us, He’s also running right next to us, bringing us cups of water, walking with us when we can’t run, carrying us when we can’t walk, pushing us from behind as our rear guard and He’s even on the sidelines shouting, “You’ve got this!” “Keep going!” “Don’t give up!” “You’re almost there!” “I know you’re tired!” “I know it hurts!” “ I know you think you can’t go any further, endure anymore disappointment and pain, I know! You will overcome because I am IN you! All that I have is yours and there’s so much more you can’t even see or begin to imagine if you would just…keep…going!”

 

How about you? Would you allow God to come in and sweep you off your feet? Would you allow Jesus to invade your space and sweep away all the cobwebs?  It’s up to you, He won’t force himself upon you, but He’s always there waiting to guide you to your eternal Home, His house. Join His team, get off the bench and get in the game. Your sheet is full of faith building opportunities, let Him help you make the mark. We can’t do it without the Sweeper! 😉

 

Leah Parkin

Nov 9, 2018