Friday, March 20, 2015

Hi. My Name Is Ron And I Am Flawed

Life is not all sugar plum fairys and tip-toeing through the tulips with Jesus. We've all been around too long to expect that. I am a pastor and I love God with all of my heart. I am a human being and, as such, I am as flawed as the next guy. But I know it, and I'm working on it. All pastors that I'm aware of fit that description. The ones who drive me crazy are the ones who will not admit it.

I have an Anonymous "friend" who does not like me. That's alright. Sometimes I do not like me much either. But my "friend" seems to be upset that I did not publish a comment that I actually never received. So I did receive the following comment today. I decided to elevate it to actual "blog post" status instead of posting it as a comment. Why? I'm not really certain. I hope this makes "my friend" feel better. Personally I get my worth from Jesus and He likes me a lot. 

"Since you chose not to publish the last comment, I know you saw it. This is concerning. Things don't appear to be adding up mentally. There are people who can help you. If this is how you feel, you need help. Acting like a know-it-all ass of a pastor is not acceptable. Grow up. You are honestly the biggest disgrace to Christians. People at your church are starting to notice. Good luck."

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Just Deep Enough To Drown

Michael W. Smith (and about 1,000 other artists) sing a song called, "Breath."  It's message is simple.  "This is the air I breath.  Your Holy Presence, living in me."  That's a good way to live.  A good way to think.  God should be what we take in.  God should be what we let out.  He should be our all in all.

Yet sometimes life overwhelms.  You get tired and run out of things to pour out of your soul for others feast on.  Sometimes you just find yourself subdued.  You struggle to figure things out in your own life or in the lives of others and answers do not come easily.  In this life questions will always outnumber answers.  Then you start second guessing yourself.  "Have I obeyed God?"  "Do I really love Him like I say I do?"  "What did I do to make God stand-off-ish?"

After that comes an even more difficult stage.  After you examine yourself in a very "Job-esque" fashion, and you come to the conclusion that you do indeed obey, love, and pursue God, and He still doesn't answer your questions, grant your requests, or come near ... you find yourself questioning Him.  "WHY doesn't He respond?  After all, you have obeyed Him, loved Him, and pursued Him. He owes you that. Right?"  Silly.  He does not owe you anything.

That is dangerous.  Dumb too.  But it is even more dangerous and dumb to lie about it if that is where you find yourself.  God is God.  So He already knows what you are thinking.  You are busted right off the bat.  All you have to do is entertain the thoughts and ... bang ... guilty.  So you eat yourself alive over that.  Now your guilt is at least doubled.

And you find the chorus going around in your head, "This is the air I breath.  This is the air I breath.  Your Holy presence.  Living.  In me."  But it isn't feeling so true anymore.  You are not breathing in His Holy Presence.  He occupies some far-off place that you cannot reach no matter how hard you try.  You remember that He was close by ... recently.  Or at least a while ago.  Maybe a few years back.  But you KNOW He was there.  So you anchor yourself to that.  You tie yourself off to it so tightly that when the next big wave of your personal storm comes, instead of that "rock of a memory" holding you tightly you actually bash yourself against it.  You bleed from remembering the past and comparing it with the present.

Now your boat is sinking.  You are taking on water.  I mean, you know that you cannot sink.  "He" has a grasp on you that cannot be broken.  You believe that.  You really do.  But you cannot deny that there is water in the bottom of the boat.  With every wave it washes over you.  It never gets so deep that you cannot see the truth.  There is always daylight just above you.  Just out of reach.  And you know there is air up there.  Spiritual air.  You can see it.  You just cannot feel it.  You cannot breath it. And there you are.  Not deep enough to be lost.

Just deep enough to drown.