God has been stirring things up in my life.
First, I stumbled across that new movie, Facing the Giants (http://www.facingthegiants.com), produced by a church in Georgia and offering a great, simple message of trusting God. My boss and I are feeling led to draw together a few other believers and pray intently for the leadership of our health care organization. And during the past week I've had a couple of great coffee shop meetings with other men of faith--one-on-one dynamics, getting more acquainted.
This has all been refreshing, because it gives me a renewed sense of community and individual passion for God. I have come to realize how I have allowed my occasional disdain for the institution of the church, and my still-open wounds from pastoral ministry, to hinder my relationship with God and with other believers.
Now I know that I cannot go on just flirting with the Christian faith. God has been nudging me more and more to pray, to read the Word, to study books about the Word. He’s admonished me to let go of impure thoughts and speech. He is challenging my temper and how I handle stress. He’s been leading me to reach out to a couple of other men to whom I feel drawn.
Part of what also has hindered my path has been my desire to be like others and have what they have, in a material or status sense. The truth is that I am who I am! I’ve spent a lot of energy wanting to keep up with everyone else, but I cannot. For whatever reason, God will not let me. He has called me to simplicity, for reasons I do not fully understand.
The more I resist God, the more I suffer and the fainter his voice becomes. I am striving to let go of the agony that gazes into my lack, and rejoice and reinforce the joy of looking to Christ to fulfill all of my needs.
And so I travel through unchartered territory, along a narrow road that lays in stark opposition to the broad swaths carved out by society. Yet I cannot imagine taking any other path, for the wider streets seem to dead-end in cul de sacs devoid of lasting meaning.
The time has come to pray. The season has arrived to reach out and be known. I am trying to handle my problems and dreams on my own. Within the incubator of my human weaknesses, God longs to express his strength.
And the story continues!