Friday, July 5, 2013

An Epic Fail?

There's something wrong with me. I love fail videos.

Thanks to the popularity they gained through America's Funniest Home Videos, fail movies are now abundant on the web. Do a search for the word "fail" and dozens of clips and photos will pop up.

I know it's terrible, but there's something about seeing some idiot messing up that makes me feel better about myself. Not a godly character trait, I know.

Let share a story with you about how I learned to trust God regardless of the outcome.....

I thought to myself: Why am I in this little town anyway? Thanks a lot God, everything’s falling apart.

Just a few months earlier I felt God’s leading to pull up my roots and relocate 100 miles away to be part of a church on the east coast of Florida. Now it was all a terrible mistake. I must have misread the Lord’s leading. What a mess. What an epic fail!

I had been given a job offer, and although I sensed God was orchestrating it—I was afraid of all the unknowns. Now, the Lord doesn't always work gently with me, especially if I am slow to respond. I don't always hear the sweet strum of harp music as He takes my hand and waltzes me into another chapter of my life. Sometimes, especially when I’m stubborn, He just nudges me into action. This felt like one of those times.

I’ve been told a mother eagle often pulls the soft lining out of her nest when the fledglings are ready to fly. The nest gets so uncomfortable for the young eagles that they stand on the edge. It is here they begin to see all the food scurrying about on the ground. It is here the wind catches their new feathers and the pull of the sky becomes irresistible. They begin to spread their wings and eventually they can’t help but leave the irritating pokes of twigs and sticks in the nest and take flight—discovering their true destiny. This career opportunity for me seemed similar.

I did end up moving and before long, I was settling into my new job.

Within a few weeks however, it became painfully evident that this role was not significant enough to warrant a move across the state. I often found myself sitting on the beach contemplating my life and future. Things continued to go south quickly. 

A month later my new boss told me he was resigning and closing his business. I felt deserted. I had not been in town long enough to feel established so I really had no reason to stay. 

Now here I was sitting on the end of the moonlit pier, my legs hanging over the edge. I could hear the whistles of the dolphins and the lapping waves. In front of me all I could see was the black carpet of the Atlantic Ocean meeting a blanket of stars. The anger in my heart seemed to add to the darkness enveloping me.

Can I ever trust myself again to hear from God? Do I have no sense of discernment?

I can look back now and see God’s hand in all of this. He obviously spoke clearly to me in order that something wonderful could be done in my life. Of course at the time I was scared that I had followed some emotion rather than hearing God’s voice.

I’m sure the disciples felt the same way when they were in the boat fighting the waves and wind. They may have been saying “What were we thinking?” However, they would soon realize had they not been in the storm, Jesus could not have displayed his power. Peter would never have experienced walking on water. Many more sick might never have been healed had they stayed on the other side of the lake.

God needed me out of my comfort zone too, in order to make some major life changes easier to swallow. He was weaning me from my nest in baby steps. Whispering and watching me move toward him. Then calling a bit more and watching me inch toward the edge of the nest. Finally watching me jump and flap my wings only to take away my wind. I was falling, spiraling out of control—wondering why I ever left the safety of my nest.

I never hit the ground. God wouldn't let me. His love and protection lifted me up so I could soar. 
You may feel at times like a decision you made failed. Maybe it did, it takes failures to find success. Or maybe you only perceived it as a mistake when its actually God's perfectly planned course for you. Trust him either way...he's got you.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A Poem

by Tez Brooks

Today my son carried his grandpa’s casket
Sliding it into the hearse, he stands there
Blankly staring.
I watch him.
What’s he thinking?
Does he realize he never really knew this man?
Is he contemplating life after death?
His own soul’s condition?
What a fine man my son has become.
But what a sad duty today
To bury a man he never knew

Who fault is it, the lack of relationship?
Only three hours apart but neither man initiated.
A missed opportunity.

Yet he is here today
Loving me enough to come.
To be with me during this hard day.
His presence endears me to him.
I’m thankful for my son.
Showing his support and love
At inconvenient times.

I watch my handsome son
Dressed in black
Silently staring from the back of the crowd
Proud of him
I want to touch him, hold him
Never let go.
Life is short
And I’m next in line
God help me
To make the most of what’s left

One day maybe his son will carry me
I want to have known him
It starts today
In this cemetery
A mound of dirt at our feet
I place my arm around my son
No missed opportunities
Not for us.

I love you Son.