Saturday, February 17, 2007

turns in the road .. How well do we turn? And whose turn is it?

We all get to those points where things are happening around us, opportunities are opening up, choices are to be made, developments are .. well, developing. 2007 has started off with a ton of potential change, and involvement in some really really cool stuff in youth ministry world. I hinted at it a few posts ago - local, regional, provincial, national, there's some great stuff going down in yoof world, and I get the privilege to be part of what God's doing. I also have to SERIOUSLY work out how much time and energy there is to go around in my 37 year old, 2 young kids, full-time local youth pastor world. Playing superman is a bit easier for a 22 year old single guy .. but I am so glad not to be that guy any more .. he was a bit of an idiot to be honest, and I get better and better with each year that passes.

As I (again) watch a few young adult types weighing up how to discern what God's will is for their life, and worry about the way we as human beings get so caught up with "doing the right thing" or "making the right choice" or "doing what God wants", this is a perfect opportunity for me to see how well I stack up. Here's a few "stupid why things" I notice when we "try" to discern God's will for big life/ministry choices.

1. Why do we turn on the heat and suddenly expect God to practically write the answers in the sky? Have we been missing all that he has been prompting in the previous months? It's like our prayers are prayed as if history begins today with a blank sheet. duh.

2. Why does it always have to be one or the other? Could God be giving YOU the choice and assuring your true destiny of relationship with him whichever one you choose?

3. Why do we put so little weight on the counsel of others? They know things about us that we are blind to.

4. Why are we so impatient?

I think I'm pretty good on that stuff .. but I have so much to learn on my walk with God. God's doing Kingdom stuff .. a lot. It's what he does. It's so cool that we can check out what he's doing and join in. It's so cool that I get the opportunity to be on 9 ministry teams right now. Did I say 9? What am I thinking? How can I be on 9 active teams in youth ministry, and be a good husband and father, and be considering a few other "projects" and teams to join?

And I wonder why I am seeing classic signs of stress and burn out right now .. I'm not proud of my teeth-grinding, insomnia, short temper with Joel and Ollie, desire to hit things, insurmountable unread emails, dropped tasks all around, no sense of rest, pitiful devotional life, ignoring this blog and all my friends' blogs, not engaging in my hobbies, using the computer late, waking with tasks on my mind, wishing I could get to x,y and z, wanting to connect with this and that person, finding the only time I really engage with God is in the shower .. beep beep beep beep .. warning warning.

God is speaking to me all the time about the choices I have to make, through the work, through the youth I hang out with, through Liz, through the kids, through the Bible, through the computer that crashed it's hard drive again, through friends, through creation, through the internet, through the cell-phone, through the guy that phones my up on saturday night at 9.11pm and makes me cry .. partly because I failed to speak to him with the respect he deserved .. and partly because he is drifting from God, he doesn't believe it, and I care about him deeply.

Somehow the only time I meaningfully interact with God is those 5 mins in the shower. That is simply wrong. God you're speaking, and I'm starting to listen. Sorry it took me a while, it's 11pm on a Saturday night, and 5.5 hours sleep last night was not enough. Please be there in my sleep and wake me up with YOUR plans on my mind tomorrow, NOT mine. Amen.


Micah said...

Hey, I stumbled across the term "One Life Part One: Christ is not a condiment" via Nathe's Imeem site. I enjoyed hearing the soundtrack to this. Thinking it was some Christian movie that had come out, I googled it and found your blog.

Gotta say... I'm impressed. I'm a missionary's son who has grown up in Africa, so I've been priviledge to see a lot of multi-ethnic, multi-denomination, multi-lots of things. But this sounds VERY cool, and I applaud the obedience to the leading of the Lord that I can totally see is going on.

That said, I had to chuckle reading your list of questions. How many times have I seen people (definitely myself included!) do these "stupid why things". Very true words, that.

Be encouraged! Your efforts are not unappreciated!


Anonymous said...

Don't worry Tom, the shower is a great place to meet God. When William was little and VERY demanding (for those of you who don't know, he's disabled and was diagnosed as such at 10 months - then things started to make sense!)I used to see it as a little sanctuary in the day: this is one place where I won't be disturbed and can focus on You, Jesus.

Having said that, it does sound like you're getting a little bit close to that time 10 years ago (was it?) at Woodlands when we were supposed to be looking after the year team. Why not dump the kids with a frindly babysitter for a day and you and Liz can bugger off somewhere up in the mountains and just ENJOY. [Can I put 'bugger' in a blog? Apologies if I offend.)

Phil T from Woodlands