It’s 7:37 at Starbucks. The music isn’t very nice, and it’s freezing cold in here, but the coffee’s good, and I need to hear what You have to say about some things…
Father, I have never been more certain that I have no idea what I’m doing — at anything. I don’t know how to be a good husband, son, friend, brother… My spirit’s drying up. You’ve been trying to point that out to me. I know, I’m stubborn. By the way, is that a sinful side-effect of something good You wove into me? I’d sure like to know what’s up with my pride.
Anyways, I need some advice, Daddy. This life You’ve given me — this whole concept of life that You’ve written — it’s so fragile… and beautiful. But really fragile. I’m 24 Lord. A good third of my life is probably passed. And, as is usually the case when my focus gets off You and on me, I feel so torn.
I drive past dozens of hopeless people on the way to work every day. I read suicidal posts from almost hopelessly insecure teenagers. I see people spending a year’s income on a car they don’t want, just because they can’t see outside of their culture. The 20th century was the bloodiest ever. There’s war on every side. The American Church is bleeding.
The cost of the coffee I’m drinking could feed three starving Sudanees brothers in Christ for a day or more….
And I’m so afraid of being ashamed in heaven. I don’t want to have tears for Jesus to wipe away from my eyes. (Is that wrong?)
And here’s what I just don’t understand: I think You’ve been trying to show me that that’s stubborn and prideful. It’s impatient. It’s a good impatience though, isn’t it? I want You to make all things new right now! Today! I want Your purposes in my life accomplished to their climax right now!
God! How can I feel good about spending 50 hours a week writing a property tax database system? How can I be fully alive without a circle of brothers? How can my wife be fully alive without a circle of sisters? Is it healthy to be so poured out with nothing pouring in? Is this fire in my bones a call to full-time ministry? Isn’t it more manly and soldier-like to be all things to all men? Doesn’t Your Holy Spirit in me make me a superman? Would You could you call us to a place in life where we are anything less than thriving? I think the answer is no. But if that’s true, then why does it feel so uncomfortable to wrestle with this stuff? And why is the thought of letting someone down so painful to me?
You made clear to me last year that You don’t need me for anything. You don’t need me for the purposes You have planned in my wife, my church fellowship, or my family. So why do I feel so burdened? What’s the balance? Is it possible that I’m trying so hard to help that I’m in the way?
If that’s the case, then what’s next? Isn’t it selfish to want to go spend 4 more years learning when there’s already so much waiting to explode out of me? Is it prideful to try to avoid it?
My vision hasn’t been clear in so long Lord.
What are the steps to go from here to fully alive?