October 16th – November 25th, 2003

Well the adventure, it would seem, begins today. As usual, not even close to the adventure I imagined… and boy, can I imagine a lot.

I’m thinking, “foreign missions”, and God, you’re planning un-ending obscure labor.

I’m expecting a surge of new ministry and relationships, but God, you bring me the same old insecurities and selfishness to deal with.

I want to surrender to victim hood today.

I want to give up like my Dad did. “People will always let you down, THERFORE…” my dad finishes that thought with something like: “…so don’t let ‘em in. It’s illogical to continually give them a chance to do it again. If you do, you’re not only getting hurt, but you’re stupid and weak as well.”

Jesus finishes that same thought with: “…do not fear. Trust in God, trust also in me.”

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Yesterday was a good day. Every day is a good day – it’s just so difficult for me to recognize it. God – you have given me a blessed life. God I want to write these things down as an offering…a praise to you. I want to make it “official”, in front of Satan and his minions, in front of all creation: YOU get the credit. You are the source of all and I look to you for sustenance and every good thing.

Here are the things that make life good; things that God has given me out of his bountiful and swelling grace:

My wife actually loves me.

My daughters are beautiful and engaging

God’s Spirit is palpable on a daily basis

God spoke to me directly as I walked to work last Saturday (take a group out of the country!?)

In doing what you made me to do – I get to make a difference in the world

There are a lot of people who love me – even some who admire me

I have plenty of food and a beautiful home

I have free time

I get to play music almost every day –oh my God. How many people can say that?

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I’m such a shit.

“You took away the idol of my guilt.” I feel guilty about how selfish this guilt feels! That is so not you, God! I’m such a mess of impulses and thoughts and emotions. A soup, a stew of so many different things inside this bag of skin.

I feel dirty after the Mexico trip. For two reasons:

  1. I was part of something that is so large and institutional and world-wide…so expansive that you can’t really perceive it…like the curvature of the earth. It was this “System”, this Consume and Expel process that is so un-equitable. I’ve been aware of it for…all my life? Regardless, I perceived it in a new way. It was in my mouth. I could feel it scorching my nostrils. It burned my eyes and clung to my skin. That was a new experience. I sat on the beach with others who either did not perceive it – or did not care – or have moved beyond it somehow,  I don’t know which, but the point is:
  2. I judged those people…I’m still judging them. I judged Mitch and Jane last night about how they raise their kids. I judge Brenda about how she keeps the house. I judge Jennifer on how she handles her insecurities. I judged every person on every plane I was on last week. I judge everyone I care about. God, do I judge you?

So how do I “manage” all this? How do I become the man of compassion I feel you sculpting me into – without becoming the shrill and judgmental finger pointer?

I want to live more simply, God. I need to find a way to make that happen. I feel you telling me that you will take care of it. Like I learned from Moses: my surrender will lead the way.

God break me. Take me. Cut me open.

“I Will ask for only what is worship to you.”

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