As I already blogged, Friday I went on an all day hike with a friend in the mountains near Idaho Springs to see three beautiful lakes in preparation for the Men’s Advance for my church. (Note, “Advance” – real men don’t retreat) That was sorta my “pre-retreat,” er, Advance – for what God had in store for me this past weekend. It was a good time. It was a weekend spent with God.
The aspens were simply amazing and it was like God painted the entire place a masterpiece for us.
Everywhere I went, it was like God was there with me. Last year, when I went, it was wet and raining and depressing and I didn’t know anyone (it was literally my first week at the church) – and no one talked to me hardly, and while I went with a friend (thanks buddy) it just wasn’t the same. This year the weather was beautiful.
I found an empty outdoor auditorium. Pretty symbolic of my life right now. I miss being a pastor. While I know Kidology.org impacts and helps a lot of people, I spend the bulk of my time in front of a computer. Not as fulfilling compared to when I was in front of kids every Sunday. I have this idea of what I’d like to being doing and how I’d like to be serving God, but I have to release that and trust that God has a plan, and right now it is to do what I am doing now, and be where I am now, and simply wait to see what He has in store for me, on His schedule, not mine. Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do and I love serving those I serve, but I miss shepherding a group of children that I know by name every Sunday. And I long for the day when I will have that again. All in His time.
This weekend there were some things I needed to let go of. Plans, ideas, needs, hopes… things I’ve been clinging to… and just trust God’s timing and plans for me. It’s not like I didn’t already know all this – pastor’s know a lot of things in their heads… but it can take the heart awhile to catch up.
I am learning so much about resting and walking and being instead of doing and achieving and producing. God has been completely re-wiring me over the past several years. Moving to Colorado has been a huge part of this process. But I’m a slow learner. Am I alone in this struggle?
I have to constantly remind myself, even as I tell others… to be content. To focus on the blessings, the positive, the good things, the many ways that I am making a difference… even though I am not currently a children’s pastor… that that is not my identity… I know it in my head… but my heart needs reminders sometimes.
So I walked with God and released a lot of things that I have been longing for and wanting and hoping for and wishing for… and He gave me a spirit of contentment that just overwhelmed me.
I gave up trying to figure some things out. And a peace overcame me. It was incredible. I stood on the side of a very high hill that I had climbed without a path to get me there…
And I sang “I surrender all.” (Plus a bunch of my favorite Newsboys songs!) Later that night, after the “hot tub baptism service” was over (which I thought was a little goofy, God bless ’em anyway) I decided it wasn’t so goofy after all. I changed into my suit and went down to the hot tub and baptized myself, which is even goofier – since there was no one there to witness it! But since I was a pastor, I figured I could do it myself, I know what to say and all. And I just went in by myself, rededicated myself to the Lord, and dunked myself with no witnesses other than God Himself, and then floated for awhile listening to the men singing in chapel nearby. It was pretty powerful actually. Until some teenagers from a separate group came by and thought there was a dead man in the hot tub and freaked out. That brought my spiritual bliss to a pretty humorous ending. God does have a sense of humor! So I got out, went and got dry, and no one knew about my self-baptism until now. Now you know!
May God continue to use this goofy servant of His and I continue to seek his blessing and serve Him with contentment wherever He has me and whatever He has me doing for His glory.