four conduit pipes

By Carolyn Sowinski
January 27, 2015

I recently read the phrase “Conduit or Container” in a Bible Study of Genesis: Broken and Blessed by Jessica LaGrone. This phrase has stayed in my brain for quite a while as I ponder its meaning in my life.

In her discussion about Abraham and Sarah, Ms LaGrone writes: “Here is God’s chosen method to change the world. He will bless this family so that through them blessings will flow out to the rest of the world. This family will be God’s instrument of blessing, His conduit of grace. “

Just as electricity flows through wires in a conduit, God’s grace also needs a conduit through which it flows to people. A container receives but doesn’t release, so what remains becomes stagnant and lifeless. I would argue that each of us needs to be a container–for a short while–during which we absorb grace and prepare to share it. I have experienced times where I feel that I am not growing spiritually and I now realize that I waited too long to release what I have so freely been given–or I wasn’t aware that I had anything to give.

I attended a retreat a week ago. While there were so many wonderful aspects of these 2 days, I valued the time where I could take in the spirit, the emotion, the stillness. Then after the retreat, I felt refreshed and able to again be a conduit of God’s grace to others. I needed time to recharge my batteries.

What different ways do we re-charge, re-energize, fill-up our tank? And as a follow-up question, how do we share that grace? Here some suggestions–some things in these lists I try to do regularly.

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TO BE THE CONTAINER:


Worship
Reading
Vacations
Crafts
Retreats
Music
Sabbaticals
Talking with a mentor or counselor
Meditations


My favorite meditation is from Psalm 46:10

Be still and know that I am God.

For this meditation I repeat the line twice while breathing and exhaling deeply. Then I remove the last word and repeat twice. Continue the process of removing the last word until the final word: Be…

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TO BE THE CONDUIT:


Music
Prayer
Service in the community in its various forms
Lay Leadership during worship, Bible studies, or church committees
Vocation and Avocation
Providing the listening ear to friends and neighbors
Sunday School or Vacation Bible school leadership

The questions I ask: Am I comfortable being an avenue for sharing God’s grace? Do I just show up and do the work expected of me? Do I take time to talk about God’s grace? To be honest, I hesitate to look carefully at my answer to the last question. It’s uncomfortable for me. But God doesn’t promise us lives where we are always comfortable emotionally or spiritually. God challenges us and sometimes makes us uncomfortable.

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Did you notice that “Music” is in both lists? Sunday church choir fulfills both elements of grace: First we learn the music and the words–becoming the container of the composers’ creation. Then during worship the choir becomes the conduit–sharing the composer’s creation with the congregation, absorbing the words and sounds. What a great way to experience both forms of grace–coming in and going out. Maybe this is why music fills my soul.

Do you recognize when you need to re-energize? Or when you move from being the container to being the conduit? Do we live our lives so that this process is a natural part of our day or week, subconsciously moving from one to the other and back again?

Gifts of Hope provides our volunteers, our Beneficiary Organizations, and our donors ways to be conduits of God’s grace–providing service and/or funds–being God’s hands and feet on this earth.