"I have become a fool; you forced it on me. I ought to have been recommended by you, since I am in no way inferior to the "super-apostles," even though I am nothing." (2Co 12:11 HCSB)
It just gave God’s word to the seasonal theme of this time; not just the unemployment or the move to a different city or even the loss of someone that I truly loved but also the events that have carried me from that moment in October 2004 until now……bits and pieces of the work that He began way back in February 2004 until today that I thought were seasonal changes of my journey. As I sit here and stir the campfire in the dark echoes of the night, listening to the nocturnal creatures of its inky blackness, I have realized that there has been only one season since the end of the cold winter that began that February day. It has been a long journey and there are some who would say that I am no closer to the ‘goal’ than I was that October day in Chicago. Others would say I’ve become a ‘burden’ to the cause. Some will say I’m about as ‘godly’ as a addict or as ‘saved’ as a person drowning. Others, that quiet majority, have said that God is amazing in what He has done in my life, to this point, and the direction they perceive Him to be taking me on.
It has not been easy; this journey in the deepest heat of the summer past. It would seem for the majority of the trip so far, it has been through swamp and murky bogs….attacked by mosquitoes and pursued by bears. Always on the defensive, always working on wounds and new hurts and old recurring nightmares, grasping at peace and running to try and capture joy. Pursuing what I perceived God to be only to find that He was nothing like what I had thought. Seeking that direction to achieve the purpose He has set within my bones, that desire that seems to ebb and flow with the beating of my heart only to feel mislead by the directions and opinions of those who have come into my life. I have proclaimed the purpose He has called me to and been laughed at…..told to stop being foolish and do the ‘responsible’ thing. In several ways, by several people, for several different reasons.
I have been defensive in some of this season; fighting the perception of those both right and wrong, those who are lovers and haters and those who truly want what God is doing in my life, around me and through each of us. I have been offensive; fighting for the development of the purpose, seeking the ‘in’ to the ‘inner sanctuary’ though all the doors seem locked. I have argued, cajoled and calmly interjected. I have written, I have preached and I have volunteered. I have experienced the fullness of many opportunities and shied away from others. It has been a long, tiring and unrealized journey through this season.
And it boils down to what a friend said to me that I believe these verses speak from God’s own mouth. “I should…be…act…think…” has to be replaced with “God is” and that is enough. No longer, from the moment of my salvation can I expect myself to achieve, but (and he said this was from a seminar he went to) I have to consistently put myself in situations where if God doesn’t show, He’ll look foolish. In the absence of our own abilities and skills, where there is no rhythm or reason to the success of the struggle, the goal or the dream….in that the only thought that can be given is that God has done the work. We are merely the putty in His hands, shaped and fired to meet the requirements of the vessel for the Holy Spirit to fill.
I presented myself to the Church as a candidate of calling; there are those who have seen it and those who have not. There are those who, checking off the list of ‘requirements’ have forgotten the one sole requirement God has given to them…to disciple and further God’s cause in the call. The rejection of the Church has been a damaging wound to my life, but I have realized there was never a ‘Church-requirement’ of approval in the things that God has purposed me to do. Only my obedience and movement towards Him.
There are those who say I’m foolish to still dream, to still question whether or not God has called me to go into fulltime ministry……. If I am foolish for the impossibilities of God, then so be it.
So, now as the unemployment runs out and still no job on the horizon…..as the last of the money is poured into my gas tank for fueling the car…..and I face the coming New Year without apparent prospects, I wonder and trust in the provision of God for me and my family. I am awed by the questioning of my heart to pursue His big, audacious and hairy dreams for me or to sulk into a job to ‘just get by’ if I can.
As a pastor challenged his readers in an blog he wrote about “Daring to pray this prayer,” I can only bow my head in supplication and raise my hands in adoration…….and pray this prayer for 2011. For this is what God has taught me in the theme of this season…..He will have me where He wants me to be.
"Two things I ask from you; do not refuse me before I die: Remove falsehood and lies far from me; do not give me poverty or riches, feed me with my allotted portion of bread, lest I become satisfied and act deceptively and say, "Who is the LORD?" Or lest I become poor and steal and demean the name of my God." Proverbs 30:7-9.
It is my only resolution for 2011. What is yours?