Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Big Deep Breath...

The first time I ever rode a "real" rollercoaster was just a few years ago. I have always been fascinated with them (mesmerized, more like it), but I just could not make myself step on one. One day, just a couple years ago, I finally did. I screamed like a little boy the whole way, literally flooded with raw excitement, fear, exhilaration, emotion and joy. When it was all over, I wanted to go again...right away. But first, I took a big deep breath...because I hadn't breathed through the whole thing (atleast it felt that way).


Now that the excitement of the last few weeks are subsiding for a bit, my mind has started to really process it all. Not unlike the first time I rode Top Gun (just this summer). I always thought that I would process each and every turn, loop, drop and twist as it came, but that's not what happened at all. It was all a blur until later. After making the decision to get on the thing and feeling confident that I would walk off of it in just few minutes I pulled the harness over my body and locked it in place and then just held on. The ride happened and I walked away...elated (and dizzy).


The rollercoaster took off and I held on for the ride. It started months ago when I realized during a choir practice that we were starting to practice for some "Christmas thing". Christmas was "months" away, I just sang along. As the months turned to weeks, I realized that it was coming.


I have been flooded with waves of emotion. One moment confident that this is where God has led me and I need to follow him without hesitation. The next moment weighed down by doubt, remembering all those years that we looked down our noses at those that put so much effort into celebrating Christ's birth when his whole life and existence was about his death! What am I doing?!? The next moment being moved to tears by the music and words of the songs I am singing. The next moment thinking about all those people that have been so much a part of my life for so long and how they would look at me now, standing here making such a big deal about Christ's birth...joining in with the rest of the world.

What brought it home for me was a song we sang this weekend called "Unto Me". It's an adaptation of a traditional Christmas song, but it brings in the chorus of the song "Blessed Assurance" and takes the message of Christ's birth and makes it mine, proclaiming
"...this is my story, this is my song...praising my savior, all my life long".
The demons and baggage from my past are clinging on to me like an old dryer sheet hangs on to your clothes in the winter time. I'm going to shake it, but I'm still working on it.


Tuesday, December 13, 2005

1 Corinthians 10:23

"Everything is permissible"—but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible"—but not everything is constructive.

My "poor man's version" of this passage is "Just because you CAN do something doesn't mean you SHOULD do it." I know there is a lot more to this passage and that I am pulling it out all by itself, but I think it's a good "life saying". Basically, use your common sense and THINK before you act. That's a tough one for me.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Amazed, and brought to my knees...again

When will I ever learn? I'm starting to wonder how God will ever mold me when I'm filled with concrete...

I want to share this story, but I'm going to be vague with the details because it's just plain embarrassing.

OK, so I'm in deep again. I have worked myself into a situation that I just don't have any answers for and I know I'm running out of time. The weight of this is about to break me. Yesterday I was walking around in a fog, it was all I could do to go on with the the busy Sunday in front of me without falling down and losing it. My mind was very occupied with this problem. All day, I was praying to God, but often my heart was not in it because I felt I have disappointed him again...why should he help me out AGAIN? But, I pitifully asked again and again.

Yesterday afternoon I had a 3 hour practice for the upcoming Christmas concert at my new Church. I welcomed the opportunity to try to forget this and get it of my mind for a bit. However, during the practice my mind would occasionally wander back into the pit and my spirits would descend....

A couple hours into the practice I had to be out in the pews waiting for something on stage and my mind wandered again...actually it just collapsed and so did I into a pew and just laid down for a bit trying to squelch this depression. I went to God again, "I'm out of options, I need you to figure this out for me...please". I was just laying there and on my phone I get a text message from my wife, three words... "[they] just called". The very people I was trying to forget about for one day just called! Now what? They called on Sunday...this can't be good.

I was wrong...again.

When the practice was over I called my wife and she gave me the number and the name to call. I called. The man that answers tells me that he has some options for me and the he wants to help me through this....

As I'm driving, I just about pulled off the road as I told him that he was my new "hero". I have since talked to this new "hero" a couple times and we are going to work this out and I believe things will be much better than before.

He did it again. Why do I doubt? Why do I allow myself to get all worked up and allow it to negatively affect my life? HE IS ALWAYS IN CONTROL!

"But you are a shield around me, O LORD; you bestow glory on me and lift
up my head. To the LORD I cry aloud, and he answers me from his holy
hill...I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me."

Psalms 3:3-5

Lord, forgive me for being stupid and not trusting in you.
"...Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." 2 Corinthians 3:7-18