Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Have you had any of those moments when you have looked around at your life and asked, "What am I doing here"? I have been having a lot of those recently as well as some very long one-sided conversations with God.
I am a dreamer with an artist's heart. I take long walks, meditate on the Word and like to spend time in isolation as I reflect on the application of God's Word to life in general. I write, love writing, feel refreshed in writing. I enjoy photography, reflecting God's creation through the paint brush of a lense. I enjoy sitting with my wife, dissecting the lyrics and music of various artists. I live for the precious moments of sitting with a person, listening to their challenges and sharing any wisdom God bestows on me to share with them. I love being a pastor, speaking and teaching on God's Word and conveying to the world the glory that is our God.
I love my children, spending time with them, playing games, even the xbox with my boys. I love cycling with my passionate daughter whose idea of a bike ride is an 86 km day. I love wrestling with them, watching them perform made up dances, or just cuddling because that's what they want to do.
I love going for walks with my wife, dreaming about our future and living in our present. I love sitting quietly, just sitting and being with each other. I enjoy working out the household problems together and I love falling asleep beside her. I love that she knows me better than anyone and still loves me.
These are all great moments but now I feel they have been stolen away. I wasn't sold by my brothers and sisters like Joseph but I sure can identify with him.
There are days when I feel enslaved to my circumstances and imprisoned by my work. I have gone from what I was, free to be what God wanted me to be, to what I am now, restricted by my environment. And I ask why to my God every day. But it is a silly question, because I know why; I just don't like it.
It is great to be a dreamer/artist but God called us to be more than that. He called us to be doers of the Word. He sent us out to be in the world with people. He sent us to the worse of the worst. He told us to go and make disciples. But the early Church did not go. They stayed. And because they did God had to allow a great persecution to scatter them according to his desire.
I can identify with that, having spent years in my ivory tower, not being or doing the will of my God. I was being what he designed me to be but I had limited myself. He wanted me to be more than what I was. Now I can also identify with Joseph, who was humbled by circumstance before becoming what God had designed him to be. But Joseph never stopped being who he was designed to be. He stayed true to the character given to him by his Creator, and whatever he put his hand to prospered.
I have been humbled by my circumstances, going from preaching God's Word to flipping burgers. From designing and running a Christian School to working hard to re-develop a dying business. From quiet moments along the river to quiet moments along my baker ovens. And all the time dealing with people who do not have a clue about the love and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. I serve the same sort of people Jesus did when he walked this planet and to whom he has called us. He is humbling me because of my destiny. He is reminding me what it is all about. He has moved me from the theory to the practical.
I wish I could say that my attitude was the same as Joseph's but I am a complainer. The Spirit has been showing me the weaknesses of my character and I don't like it. I have to be willing to accept what God is doing and stop wanting to go backwards. This is where I am now and I need to learn my lessons so we can keep moving forward. It isn't about me but what God is doing through it all. Do I trust him? I had better; he has my eternity in his hands. If I trust him with my eternity I need to trust him with today.
And in it all, our desire remains the same; to be like Jesus. So we live through him, no matter where we are, so teh world can see him.