Last week was a plunge. It was a slap to the face. The water was surprisingly cold. And our body has two responses to a surprise: push through or freak out. In water, freaking out to drowning. Funny thing is, freaking out can lead to drowning on dry land too, just more on the metaphorical side. But thank God for the people he put in out lives.
So last week, I ended the post with Matthew 14:28-29a
Peter said to Him, “Lord if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” And He said, “Come!”
So last week was the call. It was God confirming and saying, “Hey, you’re supposed to be here. This is where I want you. Stop wondering.” And I just had to say, “Ok Lord. I really have no idea what I’m doing or really what you want of me. But here I am, so here we go.” That’s a scary thought, you know? To admit that you really don’t know what you really don’t know. And to say it to God. Honestly, I can admit things to others before I admit them to God. I guess I never wanted that level of accountability, of the creator of the universe holding me accountable for my actions. But, with a deep breath, I had to take a plunge. A plunge into an abyss of nothing that my eyes can see. A place where I cannot lean to my own understanding, because in this place I have none.
Reasonability is so overrated.
Honestly, God isn’t very reasonable. And its great. Here’s why I say that, agree with me if you will. He tells us to give of ourselves completely. To fight, and defeat, our human nature. He tells not to sin. Not even Paul did that successfully, and he wrote 2/3 of the New Testament. Crazy.
There was only one man who did what God told him to completely, and he was such a rebel. He took the blame of everyone on himself, just so God wouldn’t look at us as “not qualified.” That’s right, I’m talking about Jesus.
If you don’t agree, fine.
Anyway, so this week has been learning how to swim. What does that mean? We (the mobilizers/missions leaders) have been thrust into the responsibility of planning/mapping out our communities and meeting with about 16 people over the next two weeks. Plus additional things that’ll make your head spin. But don’t worry ’bout that.
There’s a theory that if you throw a baby into a pool, they will start swimming. I’ve heard this theory has been confirmed. But what sick, sadistic parent would do that their kid, seriously? Well, the North American Mission Board is not a caring parent, so thrown in the pool we were. So here is what swimming looks like, and it’s not pretty at first. And it doesn’t help to compare yourself to the Michael Phelps of building intentional relationships, church planting, and discipleship. I foolishly look at the pro’s and wonder, “I know that I just got started, but man, I’m not nearly that good.”
Well duh, Evan.
But I do it to myself. I hold myself to a high standard with a low timeline. Dangerous and stupid. Definitely not reasonable. But at the same time, it’s a good thing to do. I push myself into God’s strength because I know I can’t do it myself. So, it works in a sense.
Now what happens this week was an eye opener of responsibility. We traveled to San Marcos, which was a two hour train/bus ride, to help Reid map out the city. Reid Morrison is leading his team of 9 from Tennessee Tech. It was a crazy experience, but good. It opened our eyes to the difficulties of San Marcos. We also went to Oceanside on another day, which was an hour from USD. That was another interesting experience. Eyes opened again. I went into Linda Vista alone to meet with Jordan Valverde, who is planting a church there. He’s only been in Linda Vista for the last few months, so right now he is building missional communities. Meeting with him opened my eyes to one thing mainly: We have no idea what we are doing in Linda Vista. I mean, we know vaguely what we want to do. We want to build relationships with people and build missional communities. But the “how” is severely missing.
I’m not sweating it. It’ll turn out great. We will still plan and work hard. But, we all have concerns. We all have our doubts about our areas, and as each leader goes through their communities, you can see bits of stress appear. We know the burden of what we’re doing this summer. Of the potential it has this summer. And we have to rely on God.
Speaking of relying on God, we read 1 Kings 2-11:1-10. Yep. All of that was a lesson to learn. This is when David dies and charges Solomon with this simple call:
“I am about to go the way of all the earth,” he said. “So be strong, act like a man, 3 and observe what the Lord your God requires: Walk in obedience to him, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and regulations, as written in the Law of Moses. Do this so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go…
1 Kings 2:2-3
And then we see Solomon carry it out. He built a beautiful temple and palace. He restored the kingdom. He built had peace on every side. But Solomon messed up. We usually immediately think about his hundreds of wives and concubines. But actually, that wasn’t the slip-up. That was the consequence of the slip-up. Yep.
So what was the slip-up?!
Right. Solomon was so caught up in building up the temple and the kingdom that he completely ignored his relationship with God. And this was the wisest man who ever lived. And yet, his relationship with God slipped through his fingers like sand. Thats terrifying. Why? Because it shows that any person can slip up and drop their relationship with God. And that kills me. Because that means I have to be intentional with my relationship with God. It won’t just happen. Darn.
No lie, it does suck. It’s hard to be intentional. Trust me, I’m being trained in it right now. But intentionality is needed for a Christian lifestyle.
So swimming. Learning to swim doesn’t look pretty. There’s choking, spitting, gasping, flailing, and sometimes crying. It’s all apart of that process. And that process isn’t pleasant, but everyone
has to should go through. Lessons are learned daily, and until you learn that lesson, you really can’t move on.
Here’s to learning. And not drowning.