If…

I was telling some brothers of mine earlier this week about how I had been playing the “What if?” game with myself.  It is a dangerous game to play if you let yourself play it for too long.  Then today I stumbled upon this video of Dennis Hopper reciting a poem called “If” by Ruyard Kipling and thought it was great.  A few of the lines in here kind of hit close to home with me right now in life.  Hope it does the same for you.

A Year of Reflection: Worry

One year ago my wife and I packed our car and made our way up highway 71 to Kansas City for the weekend.  We came up to visit Adam and Courtney Christensen and the people who make up Midtown Community Church.   I met Adam in 2006 when we took a seminary class together.  It wasn’t long before me and him connected for a number of different reasons…our common baldness not necessarily being one of them.

Any who – we came up to visit a year ago this weekend to see if God might be leading us to move back to KC and join the church here on mission.  It doesn’t seem like it has been a year because it has gone by so fast.  But calendars don’t lie, and it says its been a year.

On our way up to KC our car started to make a rather funny noise.  Turns out the in the middle of January our little Honda’s air conditioning compressor went out.  When we got to Adam’s house he took a look at the car and told me that he could fix it over the weekend.  To him it didn’t seem to be a big deal, but when it comes to me and cars, especially this car, I tended to worry quite a bit.  This car had given us a bit of trouble in months prior and I didn’t want it to give us anymore.

The weekend here was packed full!  We had dinners with people, lunches with others, meetings with staff, and some question-and-answer time with yet more people.  But anytime that we didn’t have something to do I was worrying about the car and bugging Adam about when we were gonna get started fixing it.

Worry.  Worry is what I did for a good portion of that weekend.  It was then that I realized that I had a problem.  After the weekend was over i couldn’t believe how much time was spent just fretting and worrying about that stupid car.

The reason that it is a problem is because the Gospel does not lead a person to worry.  It actually leads them away from worry.  If God takes care of the birds of the air and the flowers of the field, then we don’t need to worry about Him taking care of us.  And taking care of us includes being in control of our Honda Accord.

In the past year I am thankful to the grace of God and the gospel.  I am thankful for them because I worry so, so much less now.  Since we have moved back to KC our car has had problems 3 more times and each time my response was “Well God, I trust You to take care of it.”  And every other time something crazy has happened like our computer breaking, my bike getting stolen, our dog running away, etc. have all been handled the same way.

The gospel has worked on me a lot to change my mindset to being one that trusts God a whole lot more than it ever did before.  And that is why this past year has been good.

…do you ever wonder why?…

Has a time in your life ever come where you’ve sat down and asked God “Why?  Why now?  Why not now?  Why this?  Why that?  Why here?  Why there?”

My gut tells me that we’ve all asked those questions inadvertently or on purpose many times.  We want to know why God hasn’t answered a prayer yet.  We want to know why He hasn’t moved a stone.  We want to know why we still struggle with something so foolish.  We all have questions and sometimes the questions don’t go away.

If that is you – then let me introduce you to Josh Garrels – a singer/songwriter out of Portland, OR.  He has a song out that has garnered a moderate amount of attention called “Farther Along”.  It is pretty powerful.  It has been a long time since I’ve wanted to sit down and listen with a song on repeat.  This tune most assuredly fits in that category.  Go to this page if you want lyrics (and a free download), if not then just watch the video below and let the message in the music wash over you.

Enjoy!