…learning to let go…

It seems that God, in his divine way, has backed me into a good kind of corner, the kind that is teaching to let go. My friend and co-pastor, John Church, preached a great message out of Ecclesiastes 5 yesterday, and let me tell you, it was a rock in between the giant’s eye for me – in a good way, in a great way. This book is making me ask a lot of hard questions about my life, my reason for doing things, and what’s really important, and why they are important to me. If you haven’t kept up with the series, I suggest you do so, by clicking HERE. The very ugly reality about myself is I think there are a few things I do for very wrong reasons, some even for vanity sake. Isn’t that horrible, use God for my name… Sure, you want God to weed that junk out of you, but when he does, he has to spotlight it, and that just sucks, because you never really want to believe that stuff is in you.

When God does this, you have to come to grips with several things, like, “while God has invited you and me to play and to be involved in his redemptive plan on this earth he doesn’t need us for it to be accomplished – it is GOING to be accomplished whether you and I flake out or not.” Which, to be honest, if that is not a peace-giving reality, then it is only because we think his redemptive plan is so small that we could make it happen, and therefore do not understand the full depth of it. Because if we did, we would literally vaporize under the pressure of just thinking the success of it rested on us.

This past weekend, I almost produced an ulcer stressing over a ministry move – I’m not talking ministry move, like packing up my family to go plant a church in a foreign land, I’m talking about, simply being present during one project or another. Due to my schedule it was an either/or, not a both/and, but due to my over-inflated view of myself, I couldn’t let go of one for the other…until being in service yesterday… I’ll explain below.

For a non-traveling pastor/speaker, with four kids, a wife who is in school and someone who focuses on several things (which convinces me, I really focus on none, but that’s for another post), I have a pretty heavy travel schedule for the fall and winter:

  • October I’ll be in San Francisco for the NFS Global Forum
  • November I’ll be in Haiti with Eden RP and HELP to look at some land and talk vision
  • November I’ll be in Omaha Nebraska with Porterbrook to create intensives for the TRCPorterbrook
  • December I’ll be in NYC with LOVE146 and HELP to talk about partnerships in Haiti and beyond
  • December I’ll be in Peoria for Christmas, and will take the time to focus, read and listen
  • January – nothing yet
  • February, I’ll be in Portland at the Justice Conference.
The trip I was stressing out over was the November Haiti trip and the November Porterbrook trip. Now here is the deal, the Haiti trip already has the lead of both HELP and Eden going, and they don’t “need” me to make any decisions, they are amazing men and have great organizations, and they know what their organizations need more than I do. But I realize this could be a great partnership, and I wanted to be there, probably more for me, than the cause itself. The TRCPorterbrook initiative on the other hand, is new and on a need basis, I need to be at that more than the Haiti trip. See, here’s the deal, this post is kind of a sub-post to my last one, Slow Down. My big take away from John’s message yesterday was the idea of being too busy for worship. I don’t mean, being too busy to show up to a Sunday worship service. This is often how pastors allow themselves to be deceived that they are not ‘too busy for worship‘ because see, we’re pastors, we have to show for Sunday worship, therefore we are not too busy for worship. I’m talking about the heart posture of worship, in which EVERYTHING we do is an act of worship to bring glory to God. See, I think it works like this: We begin to do good things, maybe a lot of good things, and then you add so much to your plate, you really begin to edge out that time of prayer and reliance on God; you then begin to feel the weight of everything, because your reliance is yourself, not God; then the stuff you ‘do’ can no longer be worship to God, simply because you are relying on self; and I’m convinced, that which you rely on, you have to worship because when you accomplish something, you point the glory and praise to that which you were relying on to accomplish it.

But God loves us too much. He cares more about us, than the stuff we are doing, even if it is for him. And he will bring us to places in our life, in which the pressure (usually self-inflicted) is so heavy that you begin to realize that the thought of you being able to rely on self to accomplish the good tasks God has given you, is sillier than your 2 year old child thinking it can handle the financial responsibility for the whole family, much less herself. You begin to learn to let go, to cast all your burdens on him, and to realize, maybe what God is asking me to do, is not ‘DO’ he’s got this one, but begin to enter into a life of worship, and let go of the rest… Guess, what will happen, you will let go, and the world, doesn’t fall apart, and we are reminded, “thank God this world and all that needs to happen is dependent on God, not me…I just need to be obedient and full of worship, and he gets the glory, which really is what I want.


One thought on “…learning to let go…

  1. Dude…very well articulated! I’ve been thinking a lot about our upcoming Peru trip and realizing it’s been a while since I’ve been to Latin America, which is a place (or several..:^)) that is dear to my heart. Lately I’ve realized that our culture is typically considered the “richest” on Earth, but I beg to differ in certain aspects. Monetarily, yeah, we’re rich. Time, we’re a third world country. By extension, meaningful relationships, we’re poor a lot of times because we lack the time to cultivate. I love the rhythm of life in third world countries because you’re forced to slow down and relate (not skate through) the reality around you…I had a friend from Spain that was working on her doctorate up here at U.T. and she went down to Durango, kicking the wheels of spirituality and she stated that she “liked God in Mexico better”…which simply means that here ears were tuned in better because there wasn’t so much #%^$^f#%#)n white noise! I’ve got a book I’ve been reading off and on for a while now called A Geography of Time, which is a sociologists take as he travels the world and visits different cultures perspectives of the passage and duration of time…insightful!

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