WARNING! LONG, RAMBLING TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE AHEAD!
10 years into a new century already? I remember thinking about this day when we entered this era. Looking back on the last 10 years is mind boggling. Hard to believe some things were 10 years ago, and other things seem more like a millenia ago - "10 years?! That couldn't have been just 10 years!"
10 years ago I was a homeschooling mother of a 10, 8, & 6 year old, had been married for 11 years & was the ripe 'ole age of 29. We had been out of Bible College and back at our home church for 6 years. J had just stepped down from leading worship at every service while working 60 hrs. a week selling Hondas, and we were heading into a downward spiral with God, our friends, our relationship, & life in general. I am so thankful our God is the God who redeems, who rebuilds, who refreshes, and who holds us close to His heart.
2000 was one of the longest years of my life. I came to the end of myself in many ways (I think there are still ends to come to), and so did J. God began to show us the grace of His soveriegnty. We began a journey to relearn what the Gospel of Jesus really is. We began to be set free from having to 'do' because of man-imposed requirements and expectations, and to 'do' from the outflow of what was happening in us and who Jesus is.
I just finished reading through the book of John again & the thing that stuck out to me most was that Jesus did nothing, said nothing, went nowhere without the leading of His Father. He made no apologies for doing or saying or going because it wasn't His choice, His will, or His way. This is what God has been working in us for a decade... What can I say? We're slow.
We were so hungry for this new found grace. We ate up every podcast, sermon, book, or article that explained further, helped us go deeper, and gave our hearts' cry validity. Mark Driscoll, Matt Chandler, Tim Keller, Alistar Begg, Rick McKinley, Donald Miller, Jon Eldredge, AW Tozer, CS Lewis, Voddie Baucham, Greg Harris, and many others nutured what the Holy Spirit was doing in us.
Even though soverignty was more validated than it ever had been in our lives, we still had questions of "why?", for us, it was taking so long to step into the calling we knew existed. Men we hardly knew saw it on our lives, but those who were closest to us seemed not only to ignore it, but squelch it. Why was God allowing it? Did we have more to learn? Were we still becoming those who could hear The Father's voice?
I heard, just 3 years ago, about a study done by a man named Richard Rohr. I don't agree with everything I have read, but this made my spirit leap when I heard it. It was on a man's life journey and the things necessary for a man to fully become what he is called to be. He graphed it, which I can't show you here, and at certain points along the graph were divergences. Something significant needed to happen in order for the journey to continue upward toward the positive life. One of those things happens around the age of 25 (the age J was when we were returning from Bible college), and again around the age of 30 (about the age he was in 2000). I wish we had known this then. Friar Rohr showed this:
· Men must have the affirmation and guidance of wise mentors.
· Men have a need and a responsibility to mentor future generations.We already knew it by the time we were shown the study. J had desperately longed for someone to not only see his potential but to nuture it and give him a path of opportunity to grow in it. He also desired to have young men to disciple - to follow him as he followed Christ; to see them come into their callings; to see them become disciplers.
Hindsight is always clearer than foresight, right? We know now that not having those things lit a fire beneath our spiritual butts. We became passionate & intetional in seeking out wise men who would give affirmation and guidance to J., and encouraging others to not wait for it to happen. And, J. began to seek out those men with hungry hearts to be discipled - to ask the tough questions, & to encourage and support as they began their upward journey. Being believed in does something to our needy human hearts. Hindsight doesn't bring comfort to the past, but it does offer peace. With peace we can move forward.
Our current place in this journey, 10 years along, has more leaning on knowing God so fully and completely that there is no need of further understanding. But, golly, it's hard to let go of our humaness.
"If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here! How will in be known that Your people and I have found favor in You sight except that You go with us?" Ex.33:15&16 I'll say even more - How will Your Name be exalted in the earth, How will Your people and I ever go beyond, How will The Father be glorified if You do not go with, before and behind us? I believe 2010 is the beginning of an epoch - The beginning of a new period marked by radical changes and new developments beyond what is humanly possible; the telling of which will draw the hearers "further up and further in".
Want to come?