Sunday, March 16, 2008

I heart NLC

I love New Life Church. This is one phenomenal group of men and women, and I need them. Perhaps the biggest reason that I need them is how screwed up they are, and therefore, how screwed up New Life Church is. Funny isn’t it? We all see that there is something wrong in this world and we experience that in our relationships. We all have broken relationships don’t we? That’s why we love stories of reconciliation, because no matter how overwhelming a situation might be, there is a place inside of us where we want that relationship to be redeemed. That is why I love this church so much. For the most part, we seem made up of people who are OK being where they are at, but not OK staying there. So, we have the brief opportunity during the college years, or, for some as fortunate as me, even longer, to pursue God together.

This will rock your world…are you ready? I am divorced. Wow! How excitingly scandalous…but not really. My heart was broken by a woman who didn’t know who she was or what she wanted. She left me for a man who became “her best friend,” a man who made up for my inadequacies. I loved then hated then despised then resented then missed then resented then despised then forgave her. I don’t talk to her, nor do I ever think I really will talk to her again…frankly, it wouldn’t even be all that appropriate right now. I have no desire to be in a relationship with her ever again. Yet, there is still a part of me that longs for reconciliation. Not because of who she is or who she was, but because it’s just good. How much hurt God must feel for all of the broken relationships out there.

This has got to be a part of me really finding this “becoming free.” I’m not even talking about making reconciliation happen…that is God’s work, not mine. I need to find myself in a good enough place where I can continue to make myself vulnerable to those whom God would have me love as He loved me. How in the crap can I do that? I need to begin by coming to my Father to find my comfort. An introspective friend shared this verse with me about 30 minutes ago:

“But now, this is what the LORD says-he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you. I have summoned you by name; you are mine.”

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

"Dawg, just be free."

Taking the time to think about yourself can be a trying experience it seems for most men. Frankly, I think some of that is good. The amount of diversion and perversion that can happen in the male mind is quite amazing, so developing a habit of keeping busy with worthwhile tasks is a good discipline. In fact, discipline is a good discipline. Titus 2.6 is really it in context sometime. "Encourage young men to be self-controlled." Period. How great! That really is half the battle for young men nowadays. Which is actually quite interesting. We are saturated with the idea, probably developed from the need for men to be providing for their family, that weakness is not for men, thereby eliminating most emotions. Today, young men have little that they have to do, yet deep emotional introspection is often not kosher. Now, World of Warcraft is the solution to all their problems...

So, I am learning to really be free to be who God created me to be. I am understanding my personality in the context of my call, and I am excited about the limitless world that God is calling me to serve Him in. Yet, I have to learn to go from excited to devoted. Devotion is a willingness to to be committed to something in the deep heart of one's will. That takes learning to be zealous for God's chosen path for me even when I am not excited. Ultimately, I just want to begin to understand myself, see into the depths of my ups and downs, and learn to be OK with all of it because of the stability of being provided for by the vine of Christ.

Colors, smells, sounds. I see, feel, and hear them all more clearly. I want to walk with myself as I walk with God and find the freedom for which Christ has set me free (Galatians 5.1). My new life let's figure out what it means.