Wow. And another year flies by, even faster this time around than the last time I decided to start blogging followed by an immediate dismissal of said project due to lack of inspiration, time, or both. Regardless, this will be another attempt to write down the happenings both around and in me, for the purpose of looking back one day and seeing the road I’ve traveled, and what I’ve accomplished thus far.
But, in all of the introductory blogs back into the writing saddle, I must first recap what my life has looked like since the last time I wrote here, some fourteen months ago. Just like that, another year gone, another year older, another year wiser…as the saying goes, anyways.
During the last moments of 2009 I was riding high on the cloud of destiny. Change was in the wind, my international legs were both getting stronger and bolder, and I was deep in the thick of traveling, teaching, and accepting that life was about to get faster, more exciting, and my destiny was on the verge of full illumination.
Then, January rolled around, and I found myself without any trips on the calendar. None. Not one. The only real trip that was planned was to Holland, and that wasn’t until the fall. Not even Elisha’s Request was doing anything that called for me. I was trapped at my home church for the first few weeks. Gradually, a few weeks became a couple of months, then three, four, five…and before I knew it, I was brought to a point where I was convinced I had done some misdeed, and was pulled from the field and benched by God.
That has always been something that is somewhat of a weakness of mine. While others struggle with a certain sin, their heavy pasts, or maybe even apathy, my biggest struggle is with guilt. Guilt that something didn’t go exactly right, guilt that I say or do something that will change someone for the worse…even if someone stubs their toe on a table in another room, I have that brief moment of doubt, that if only I would have moved the table just a little out of the way it would have been averted. Irrational, yes; then again, all fear is irrational. At least, the fear we dwell on.
So, when I found myself doing the same things week in and week out, my initial reaction was chastisement. The thoughts were soft, at first; I swatted them away irritatingly whenever they chose to whisper. But, as time went on, they got much louder, and much more persistent.
What did I do wrong?
What am I not doing?
Why did I get left in the dust?
Is there a way back into God’s ultimate plan?
That last thought makes me laugh now; as if I even knew His plan then…as if I have a clue now. Regardless, this was my existence in the first seven months of the year. Things were slowly changing at my church; my job description was beginning to shift, I became the (temporary) full-time drummer, and the media department changed hands. However, in my head I was so preoccupied with ‘the life I lost’ that I didn’t even notice the ground shifting underneath me.
It wasn’t until my birthday rolled around that Jesus decided enough was enough and gave me a hard kick awake from a weeks-long coast. It wasn’t a great big emotional body slam, some dream given to me in the night or some prophet who knocked at my door. It was three little words. Words heard in just about every drama ever made, words that eluded me as to their effectiveness or even their merit, due to the oversaturation over time. But, they hit me one night just a couple of days before I turned 25, just as I could feel sleep carrying me away.
Life is short.
And with those three little words, I was no longer tired. In fact, I was no longer able to even consider sleep. Time had marched on unflinchingly, even while I ignorantly denied its application, for the larger part of the year. And before I knew it, I had gotten callus to the secondhand out of self-pity that I had somehow lost my purpose, lost my calling.
But my calling was never to travel and teach. My calling was to be instrumental in the furthering of the kingdom of heaven on this earth…with every step I took, with every moment that passes. To be used and utilized, everywhere, including the everywhere I was at that very moment. And, in that test of faith, I failed Him, I failed myself, and I failed my calling.
I couldn’t describe the feeling I had in my bedroom that night. I was so relieved; I was so ashamed. I was able to see what God had been trying to show me, through clearing my schedule of what I thought was His will…he was trying to realign my definition of ‘calling’ back to His. I couldn’t stop smiling as those thoughts dissipated, and I went to sleep full of peace.
Ironically, it wasn’t long after that that I began to travel again. Various churches around the area suddenly opened up, wanting me to play there. My trip to Holland (and, just before, Canada) was fast approaching, and the Christmas season garnered all sorts of opportunities to meet new people and make new connections. However, I am grateful that I was realigned before I went on the trips, otherwise I might not have been used as powerfully as I was, all through God’s voice ringing through my heart at the perfect times. I don’t claim to have words of knowledge, at least in the terms of a loud cry in a room full of people. However, I know I was given words, both in Canada and in Ede, and I know they didn’t come from me.
Still, even now, those words still press on my heart. Life is short. And, scientifically, life gets even shorter the longer we live it. I cannot afford to wait anymore, to sit idly by until I feel it is right to move. Sometimes God gives us the right time to move, and other times we move, and then God makes it right. Waiting is not an option when it comes to doing what we know needs to be done in order to establish the things of God in the world.
And so, I am making huge steps in becoming the man I know God wants me to be. I have joined a gym. I am about to finish a very rigid diet. I have put down my gaming controllers, and picked up cooking and reading more. I am opening up to those closest to me, not in the interest of self, but in the interest of keeping lines between me and my friends and family fresh and strong, so that God can play on the strings of my relationships with my friends and family without needing to hold Himself back for the fear of breaking them. I am learning to become a better brother; I am learning to be a better son. I am learning to be a man of action, and not of words and wishes.
And I am learning to carve my own path in the sand, and allow the fresh wind of the Holy Spirit to blow the sand to the next place.
This is not a destination for me, either…this is a journey, never ending until the day my time expires. But for now, I’ll just take this path, one second at a time.