Thursday, April 30, 2009

Hurry Up & Wait!


I am not sure what God would deem as my biggest weakness. But I am quite certain that patience would make the top ten list. Can you blame me? We live in a world of information that travels at light speed. What did we ever do back when we actually had to wait days, weeks, or even months to get word of some major event on the other side of the world?

I would argue that every new generation comes with an even greater sense of entitlement that the one before it. In some ways that is the way the world works. The old complain about the new wanting some respect for having lived through an age where no microwave oven was available. I am already telling stories of hardship to my kids and I was only born in 1975. Imagine that! A Gen X’er complaining of hard times? But I digress.

As I shared in a previous post, I have been going through a growth mode lately doing what I can to understand God’s Will for my life. I have been dealing with the appropriate measure of expectation vs. disappointment and trying to find a holy balance. On one hand I find it depressing to have zero expectation of myself, people, or even God. On the other hand I am realizing that much of our expectation…much of our sense of entitlement…comes from a very fleshy place.

So I’ve petitioned, I’ve text’d, emailed, and cried out to God for answers. “How do I practically apply this revelation to my life? Oh and by the way, can I get the answer by noon…cause I have this thing!”

Nothing. Nada. Silence. No YouTube video that hits me, no word from a trusted friend and Christian, no hushed whisper inserted into my thoughts, no Scripture that just pops off the page…nothing. This goes on for days and weeks. Frustration builds…patience is tested. Then just a few mornings ago on my way to work a song is stuck in my head. I say a song but more accurately a lyric from a song repeated over and over and over and over.

“Strength will rise as we wait upon The Lord as we wait upon The Lord as we wait…”

Wash, rinse, repeat for a thirty minute commute. I finally pay attention and my eyes bulge. The light bulb finally went off. I am supposed to WAIT.

As much fun as that sounds and I’m talking the same level as lemon juice on a paper-cut kind of fun, I was glad to get an answer. And now, I am even happier to know that he is using this experience to teach me patience…to teach me dependence…to realize who I am in the cog of existence. After all...am I on my timing or His? The implications are limitless.

If you too are in a desert place, frustrated with life, purpose, meaning, the next step…not understanding The Plan. I invite you to wait with me.
Can you wait on the Lord as an act of obedience to Him being “content in all things” as you do?

I bid you well on your journey!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Celebration Time!

My parents baptized me as an infant in the Methodist church many years ago. I came to understand and receive Christ in my early twenties. This is known as a believer's baptism. I felt the call to do this as an act of obedience to whom I serve! If I am to publicly proclaim Christ as my Savior...why not make it even more "public"?


video

Monday, April 13, 2009

Expectation

Often my walk with Christ comes to a point I like to call “Growth Mode”. For everyone of these I’ve been through I falsely believe…surely I’m almost done and surely I’ve finally graduated.

Those of you that have been walking with Christ for a long time now are likely laughing. And I’ve been doing this thing called Christianity long enough to know wishful thinking versus reality. This is wishful thinking. And so long as I can stand outside of myself even for a brief moment, I become aware of how great that is. For the teacher to stop teaching would be depressing, right? And in full view of eternity…what are these temporal growth pains anyway?

What I have done many times in the past but hopefully not going to keep doing is hibernating during these moments. Concluding, perhaps falsely that I have to get through this next lesson before being worthy of leading, teaching, encouraging others. After all…how can we be such hypocrites as to encourage others whilst we still struggle? Or at least that is the line of lies I’ve bought into most often.

So this time I am going to share what’s going on. And this time it really is not overly painful or overly personal. It’s about disappointments. Ever experienced such a thing? Disappointment. For me it can be the “Aw shucks” variety that quickly fades once distracted or it can become the full force, overgrown, pity-party, defeated resignation.

Name a topic or a person. It’s likely I’ve experienced disappointment in them or it. Most recently as my entire family took ill with a wretched stomach bug I found myself frustrated with God Himself. Questioning why He was allowing this despite of my constant requests otherwise. Now if you are like me…you do this ever so cautiously with images of Job’s testing in the back of your mind begging NOT to endure the real fallen state of this world. And so priority one in my life gets out of whack! What happens after that? You guessed it. Everything else falls out of line, rather quickly.

Waiting on the Lord for an answer to my most recent gripes and disappointments, I ran across a YouTube video about Expectation. The gist? Expect nothing and everything becomes a blessing. Expect everything and live a life of disappointments. Of course there are caveats to this that make it more complex than simple but you get the general idea.

Often when I finally get an eye-opening message like this that I have been waiting on, I then think all is solved. And so I went on believing it so. Oops…disappointed again! How was that possible? Perhaps it's because knowing a concept and putting forth practical application are two different animals? I have not come through the other side of this yet. I still don’t have the kind of maturity it takes to go through every moment of life having zero expectation from God, you, myself, my wife, my co-workers, my children, my…

But I know now that much of this comes from the old man (the flesh). I need to let the new man take his place that Christ should live in me. Here's to practical application! Enjoy the journey.