Archive for October 2010

Drifting

October 13, 2010

I am drifting in a wooden dory down the Cache la Poudre river, well I’m not sure it is the Poudre, but it sure looks like it. I look around and there are no oars such as a normally outfitted dory might have, I can put my hands or maybe my body in the water to try to guide myself, but to little avail, the current is so swift it just pulls me right along wherever it will and there are rocks, big ones. I begin to see that some rather unpleasant things lie ahead, as I am rocking past a house sized boulder, I remember there is a place on the Poudre (Poudre Falls) where the canyon narrows and there is a fantastic and lethal series of roaring cataracts with a forty or fifty foot drop at the end, I am certain that none but the most experienced kayakers (or the insane) have ever attempted it or survived. Yes, the canyon walls are growing closer together I bid goodbye to the wild rapids of the upper canyon as I look forward to almost certain death, I brace myself. It crosses my mind that perhaps when the river is very narrow that I might jump out of the dory, then a quiet part of my mind says “No, I think you are meant to ride this out” the rest of my mind begins to panic. Somehow I stay put, then I realize that when the river is narrow enough to jump the walls are too steep for even a small handhold. So I must ride it out. The thunder of the falling water shakes me, my very innards are trembling to the rhythm of masses of water crashing to the bottom of the falls. Over I go, I experience a curious pleasure in the moment of falling weightlessness, then wham, I hit hard and hundreds of gallons of water pound my head, then shortly after, it happens again, then about the time I think that I might not be able to take another, the longest drop of all, but somehow beyond all hope after the hard impact and drenching, I am afloat and my fragile boat is OK. I quickly set about bailing for the gunnels are awash, the canyon is still very narrow and I am being swept along at great speed I have made good progress against the water inside and for a moment I can rest. Suddenly I see a boulder as big as a mid-size car rise up before me and I watch in wonder as my little dory slips past without a scratch. I was sure that the current was leading me on a collision course with that boat breaker. So finally I ask the Lord about it, I am so dense that it did not occur to me to ask, until now. The Lord quietly says “Who did you think was piloting your boat? How did you expect to get through the trials and pitfalls of your life without strength and experience at the oars?” then as in the Old Testament when Elisha prayed to open the eyes of his servant, I suddenly saw Him standing in the waist of the dory with the oars in His hands, and even as I watched He negotiated a fresh hazard.
He said, “David, you have never completely understood My love for you. You have had glimpses, flashes of light in the darkness, but you have not come to a solid understanding. It is through the negotiation of these impossible hazards, these trials, that you will begin to see how much I love and care for you. For you see I did not spare you from the cataracts, yet you were safe through it all.”
The memory of the terrible pounding of the water was quite fresh in my mind, so I let doubt sneak in the side door for a second. Then He said, “I will never leave you or forsake you,” and my doubt ran away screaming.
I may not always know what is ahead for my little boat, I certainly don’t know how to deal with the big problems which lie in my path, and today there are more than ever. But now after this vision, this dream, I remember watching Him as He guided my dory. I can fall back on His presence to bolster me and guide me through the rocks and shoals.

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Provision

October 8, 2010

Years ago when I was a delivery man I noticed something unusual, Whenever I got into a bad situation in my delivery truck somehow it always worked out OK, I mean sometimes I was hurtling towards a wall at 75 mph and thinking how I wasn’t going to make it this time and whoosh, then I was past the danger and fine, I went through countless mishaps, day in, and day out, I was even hit by other vehicles with nary a scratch to show for it, in those days before airbags. You know it became a sort of example to me of God’s protection, why I ended up OK when the car that hit me was totaled, I don’t know, but I knew God was in it.

I quit driving as a job after about 5 years of it and I found that my nerves had been drawn so tight that I jumped up out of a deep sleep, whenever I heard something unusual late at night, like a car out on the street with it’s motor running, or a cat yowling.
Sometimes I felt, if I had to drive very far or to an unknown neighborhood, that I was daring fate to get me, that the fatal accident which I had managed to dodge was going to catch up with me. That was an uncomfortable feeling, I assure you. But as I said before, I knew God was in it. Yet the problem was I didn’t understand how and I didn’t really trust Him. He was protecting me every day, yet I couldn’t relax and rest in His provision.
You might see God’s hand every day in your experience, dear reader. Does it puzzle you? Would you like to know more about Him?
People often have a sense of God when they are young, perhaps it is because there are fewer worries vying for their attention, and they haven’t learned to shut out His voice. It is a mystery, but a happy one, for if you have heard God or sensed Him, you are likely to seriously seek Him even if you wait ‘til later in life. For the person who experienced God as a child there is an unanswered question which needs to be asked before death stills his curiosity.
Now Preachers have gotten into the habit of quoting statistics these days, and they often quote that if a person doesn’t “get saved” by the time they are 20 they are not likely to ever “get saved” at all. Of course the Preachers are much more likely to say something like that when they are raising funds for a new Sunday School wing, than at other times. Frankly I think it’s a load of baloney. If you earnestly seek God, no matter how old you are, I would say that you have a %100 chance of finding Him. How’s that for a statistic, I know this because I discovered that Jesus truly cares for us, He makes Himself available for us to talk to Him, and yes, if we will listen He will speak to us.

So if you have been nagged by a sense that maybe you should be listening to God, you are not crazy you just have a few questions that need to be resolved. Find a quiet place sit down comfortably and tell Him how you feel, don’t hold back He knows it all anyway, He would just like to hear your side of the story. Then listen, sometimes writing down what you hear is helpful. He will give you guidance,  He may gently correct some of your bad behavior and He will tell you something astonishing, He will tell you that He loves you.

I Don’t Have To Shoot You

October 1, 2010

I am a person like you are, I have my quirks and shortcomings, I eat too much of the foods I like, and I will talk too much about myself if you will let me. I am a person who lost his way in a labyrinth of self pity for a time, drunkenly sobbing about my missed opportunities. I am a person who woke up to the reality that no one in this world wanted to help me, spoiled brat that I am. I am hungry at times, I thirst at times, I need sleep and don’t always get enough. In short I am a person who is a lot like you in many ways, and I don’t have to shoot you.

I am also a person who had to deal with rage issues, for a while I wanted so badly to hurt the people who hurt me. I realized that hurting them was not a good solution, in fact it was not a solution at all. Then I climbed out of the deep hole which I had dug for myself, into the bright sunlight of Jesus’ presence. My experience has taught me that if you are headed the wrong way Spiritually I probably won’t be able to talk you out of it. I am not offended by your misdirection and it would be misguided of me to interfere with your (mis)adventure. Some time ago it used to be considered OK to kill someone for not being orthodox in the faith, but I don’t have to do that to you. I remember enough about my journey to understand that you are probably hurting yourself worse than anything I could do to you. I know that one day you will come to a cliff and you will have to decide whether to jump off or not.

I don’t have to shoot you, but you may be in danger of doing it to yourself someday.

If you decide not to jump off that cliff, and you want to talk, give me a call, drop me an e-mail, knock on my door, stop me on the street. I have been in a similar hole, I have stood on a similar cliff. and I backed away from the brink. When I turned away from death I discovered that life had been waiting for me all the time. When you are ready, we’ll talk about it.