Thursday, November 12, 2009

What A Mess I Am

This week has been incredibly rough on me. It's beaten me, bruised me, and thrown me in about a thousand different directions. And the saddest part of it all is the fact that I pretty much did it to myself. Granted, the car breaking down was not my fault, but all the emotional stuff is definitely all me.

The problem is, and this is my conclusion from this week: I care and love people in such a way that I forget to temper that love and care. Which leads to me taking on everyone's problems, and it leads to my emotions tricking me into feeling something that I don't have a reason to feel.
The other part of my conclusion is the fact that I have been keeping myself way too busy, and the saddest part about that for me is the fact that I don't know where or when it was that I went from where I was, to where I am.

I had an extremely good and long talk with a friend last night. We talked about the very conclusions I have now reached. We discussed my issues with circumstances, and why it was that I wanted to do something about it. We discussed why it is that I feel an incredible burden for people. But most of all, the conversation opened my eyes to a way I had been living. So, I guess this note is just to share and express this two part conclusion.

To address the first half of my conclusion:

The truth is that I love. I love with every fiber in my being, and I love with wild hopeless abandon. This love often leads to much pain, because when you choose to love someone, they affect how you feel. That is why relationships are so dangerous and so fulfilling and so painful. And why do I love? I love because Dad does. I love because my King does. I love because my Lover does. Because He taught me what love is, and He taught me how to love. He loves with such a scandalous, desperate, unimaginable love that I can't help but try to imitate Him. There is nothing wrong with love.

My problem then, comes from the fact that I forget to keep that love in check. Unlike my Father, I sometimes forget that love can feel overbearing and feel like too much. I forget that loving, even with good intentions, can create painful situations that could have otherwise been avoided. It is something that I've never really learned to do. I didn't even know it was really an issue until... well until last night really. It was like having to learn to walk again. I don't really understand why God has me in a major that asks me to be sufficient in something that is my greatest weakness... interpersonal communication. Sure, I can talk to a group of people just fine in a speech setting, but when it comes to intimate interactions I just fail to get it. It's almost like I suffer from some sort of social dysfunction. For example, the fact that what I'm writing right now, may not make sense to the reader is a haunting and likely probability. It usually takes a couple of tries to really express what I mean by something. It's incredibly frustrating, and I am very thankful to my friends because they somehow are able to put up with my strange and often idiotic idiosyncrasies.

To address the second half of my conclusion:

I am an incredibly restless person. Some of that comes from the fact that I have a lot of nervous energy, but it is not limited to that in the least. I think my problem in this area of my life is that I've always tried to keep myself busy. If I'm busy I don't have to worry about my problems, I don't have to face the conflicts, I keep myself out of a lot of trouble, and I get some pseudo feeling of success. In truth though, being busy accomplishes none of these goals. In fact, it has the opposite effect. It makes me worry more about my problems, it forces me to face conflict (because there is more of it), I do stupid and sinful things to escape the business, and I certainly don't feel successful. Oftentimes, I feel like a complete failure.
So why do I do it? I guess, it's because it is what I've always done. It is what I have always known. It is what I grew up around.

What is the solution? My friend suggested something. He told me, "you need to contemplate." I'm still trying to wrap my mind around what he meant by that. But from what I gathered from what he was saying is that I really need to get into the habit of simply "being". To sit in the stillness before Elohim, with nothing but myself. To be completely and totally there.

In Rob Bell's video "Everything is Spiritual" Elohim calls Moses onto the mountain to commune with Him. Bell explains what is really being said, which boils down to "Come to the top of the mountain, and BE on top of the mountain." It's this understanding that when we come before God, when we "rest" we are never truly resting, because our minds are in a million different places. What we need to do, calls we need to make, homework that needs to be completed, etc. And we never take the time to simply enjoy creation, to enjoy life, to enjoy silence. Just no more than two hours ago I was starting to once again worry about all the different things I needed to do. I needed to go grocery shopping, I needed to pack, I need to get back in time for the Jazz Band Concert, I needed to clean clothes, and the list just went on and on... now I need to get my car fixed, HA! But then my wife, my wonderfully understanding and perceiving wife, did something she does so well. She lovingly showed me how I was being a complete and total trad. Just one more reason why I love her.

So all that to say, developing a habit of "being" is so much harder than developing a habit of "doing" but it is such a better way of living that it's worth the blood sweat and tears.

I guess, the heart of this note. It's purpose, it's drive, is the fact that I want to encourage you. To let you know, you aren't the only one struggling just to live, just to be. As my friend encouraged me, so I encourage you. Just take time to BE, and listen what the Rabbi has to say.

He has so much He wants to tell us. I'm just on the the tip of the very edge of all the things that God wants to show me, all the wonder, all the awe-inspiring things. Not just concepts, but ways to view creation, ways to live. There is so much Truth hiding within the simplicity of what Jesus shared with His beloved children, and they so blatantly ignored Him. I do not want to do the same.

"Be of courage, and pursue Him with all you are. For He is pursuing you."

"Jesus is a disease that can never be cured."
~ Brennen Manning (that may be a misquote... *shrug*)

Grace and Peace

Monday, November 2, 2009

Team Hoyt = God and Us

First of all, if you don't know anything about Team Hoyt here is a link to give you some basic information.

I have to say, that this has got to be one of the most touching stories I have heard in a while. I learned about it in church yesterday. The speaker was talking about not letting Satan or Ourselves get in the way of following Jesus, and I really appreciated what he had to say. In fact, he even showed the same video that I have posted in this article. But I just wanted to take some time to make a small comparison.

So often, we want to do things our own way, in our own time, with our own strength; however, the truth is, we cannot help ourselves. In many ways we are just like Rick Hoyt, the son who was a quadriplegic. We cannot do anything with our own strength (in a Spiritual sense) or take our own paths, but we must let God push us there. Allow him to direct us, to drive for us, to run for us.

Recently, I was struggling with what to do for the teens as I am running out of ideas on what to teach them, and a novel thought occurred to me... or rather God spoke to me through the thought, and that was to simply "be". Instead of trying everything I can to "do" He wanted me to "be". I know it's a common phrase, but it applies to this concept. "We need to be human 'beings' not human 'doings'." I just love the thought though. I'm not trying to say that we should be just a bunch of couch potatoes and not actually get up and do something. On the contrary, even James states that "Faith without works is dead". What I'm saying is that instead of allowing ourselves to worry about tomorrow, about what we are going to do even within the next hour, focus on the "here and now" and just be.

I think that too often we forget to be still and recognize God in His... Godness.

So, I think it's a fair example to picture ourselves as Rick, and Rick's dad, as our Heavenly Father, running that race for us, carrying us to the finish line because we couldn't do it ourselves.

Anyway, that's just a few jumbled thoughts put together.