January 7, 2012 will forever be seared in my mind. I had been plagued by numerous questions for well over a year – questions like “What is God’s plan for my life?” and “Did He already make it clear, and I just did not see it?” And there I was, on a slopped grassy knoll in the northern hills of Thailand on a missions exposure trip, still suffering from these questions. I could not get over them. Could it be because I didn’t understand God?
It happened again. Even as I sat down to write this blog post, that all too familiar, discouraging voice started shouting within me:
“Why did you sign up for this?”
“You don’t have anything good to write about”
“Other people are better writers”
“You always procrastinate like this, you’ll never finish it in time”
This is the voice that accompanies me all the time, especially when I’m working on something difficult and important. This voice has led me to avoid, delay or flat out refuse to do things God was calling me to do because I questioned whether or not I really had what it takes.
Reading an interview with Pastor Eugene Cho, in which he discussed his new book Overrated, I couldn’t help but feel frustrated. The interview called out the American Church, with Eugene saying that we were on pace to become “the most overrated generation in human history.” His reasoning? We have access to so much data, info, resources, modes of communication, but we end up doing so little.
Welcome to our Friday Faves! In case you missed it, here is a collection of content we found online this week that we thought you might enjoy. Although we won’t always endorse or agree with everything you see here, we would love to provoke your thoughts. Enjoy!
It’s all about relationships. Whether you are a professing Christian or an unbeliever, you cannot refute the solemn principle that your life is filled with a culmination of various relationships. These relationships can be healthy and constructive, or unhealthy and detrimental. The essence of these relationships hangs in a constant state of flux. The Bible’s entire essence stands firmly on the principle of relationships.
Tell me if this sounds familiar. You come home from a long day’s work and sit down for a nice meal with your family. As dinner winds down, you’re already scrolling through your DVR’s recorded shows list in your mind, planning for some hard-earned relaxation with the wife for when the kids go to sleep. Life is good. You notice there is a mountain of dishes left over from dinner. No worries. Last night you got ALL the kids ready for bed by yourself. And your wife usually tackles the dishes on her own. So, as long as you split kid duty down the middle tonight, then the dishes are obviously not your problem.
So my wife and I were arguing. I had just spilt a little coffee on the computer because I am clumsy and was stealing my wife’s coffee (who is not clumsy) as she was doing some work on the computer. In my preeminence as a husband, I took this as an opportunity to ask her to put a lid on drinks if they are near the computer (yep, I actually tried to pull that one off). Then it was ON.
A majority of people in our American church culture cannot relate to my testimony. I wasn’t raised in the church. I didn’t take my parents faith and “make it my own.” I didn’t attend bible studies, youth group, or Hume Lake summer camps. I placed my faith in Jesus Christ just over two-and-a-half years ago. My Paul-like experience of our Savior has transformed me from a misguided, angry, abusive atheist into a humble evangelist with a zeal for making much of the Messiah that has made the most of me.
I worry. And when I say worry, I mean I can be anxiety ridden with the best of them. I get sweaty pits, increased heart rate, and stomach aches that keep me up at night. I want to crawl down into a bunker and just hide it out. Those moments feel like storms, and I just want them to magically blow away. I want them to be over. Chances are you have been there too.
I was making decisions way outside my comfort zone, felt pretty incompetent to be honest, and wasn’t very certain I was making the right decisions. I was under immense pressure and that week I still had to teach, which I love to do, but was honestly the last thing I wanted to do. I really just wanted to crawl in a hole and die.