Dispatches from the Front Lines

Ok, so this is my first attempt in the blogosphere, so go easy on me. I've heard the horror stories, and am well aware that there are people who love to pick apart each word and thought and criticize the author beyond the realm of reality.
I am more than happy to tell you that I don't have all of the answers, and it brings me great comfort to say, "I don't know." The Holy Trinity will not become a quartet when I die, so I will continue to make mistakes, as will you. Let's extend grace to each other, and learn from each other along the way.
This week, I am tired. Beyond tired. Fatigue does not come close to describing what I feel at the moment. Have you ever been there?
Today, I ran across these words from Thomas Merton and they drove a nail of conviction deep into my skull. Let's see if they have the same effect on you and your skull. Merton writes, "The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of innate violence. To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything is to succumb to violence. More than that, it is cooperation with violence. The frenzy of the activist neutralizes his work for peace. It destroys his/her own inner capacity for peace. It destroys the fruitfulness of his/her own work because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful."
Those words pierced me to my core. I have succumbed to a great deal of violence in recent weeks. Being involved in ministry can just wear you slap out, and that's where I am. My boundaries have caved in, but that is my fault. Too often, I fall into the prideful trap that I can help everybody. I can't turn away a plea for help - be it in person, over the phone, or through e-mail.
Suddenly, the impostor has me on the run from his hyenas of "busyness." Fatigue and fear set in, and the instinct of self preservation takes over until a wise friend or mentor reminds me of the words of Jesus. "Die and you will live." Self-preservation is not the gospel, is it? It is the antithesis of the gospel. We are to die.
Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 that we are to boast in our weaknesses so that the gospel of Christ is magnified and glorified. Because, what does it really say about God if we were worth saving? It would just say He has good taste, right? We are not worth saving - that's the blinding grace of His glory.
The fact is that I am comfortable boasting in some of my weaknesses. My addiction to sex and pornography is easy for me now. My inability to say no? That's not easy for me to boast in. My innate ability to screw up a 3 car parade? Not so easy. My tendencies to do things under my own strength, virtually ensuring their doom? Not so easy. My inability to ask for help? Not so easy. Again, I find myself in the far country fighting pigs for scraps of food. I need to come home to the Waiting Father - again.
Sanctification is a long road, my friends. We all have a long way to go. Want to ride along with me? I'd love the company. Hop in, and let's go home. The car is a bit of a mess, hope you don't mind...

2 Response to "Dispatches from the Front Lines"

  • Steve G Says:

    I would love to ride along...I am ready to go to war and I am ready to openly share my "Weakness" with others that they might also "live" and I mean truly live a life without all the lies and deceit.

    After 8 years in an absolute hell on earth I finally was able to break free of the "Fantasy" affair.

    It is such a lie by satan...my ego told me how wonderful this new person would be in my life, that life would be great, that my 3 kids would understand and even embrace it!! What a lie...

    I can remember saying "I love you" to this affair partner and then I would hear in the back of my mind "no you don't"...The Holy Spirit was speaking the truth. Praise be to God.

    I can remember the feeling of being so very alone with no where to turn. I could not go to church...you see when it all started I was an elder of a church and I had been asked to leave. I was told they were "removing my membership"...I never remembered filling out the form.

    I am not angry at the church, that was 10 years ago but I saw it again in my home church this past year when Pastor Ted Haggard was removed for sexual sin...we have a long way to go, a very long road.

    Yes, we will be tired. I imagine our armed forces over in Iraq are tired much of the time...it is war. But I will always know where to turn when I am tired...

    Isaiah 40:31
    But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

    I will always remember a very true saying "Relationships born in the dark do not do well in the light".

    Praise God for my wonderful wife of 21 years...I hurt her in so many ways and yet she stands by me and our family...She has shown myself and others what the words "In sickness and in health; In good times and bad" truly mean.

    We have much to do before we finish this race...start the car...


  • Clint C Says:

    SHOTGUN!