I have been on an adventure that began a few years ago on this date, an adventure that was a great blessing and a great burden at the same time. It was an adventure that God invited me on and that I accepted, and yet I'm still trying to figure out why He asked me and why I came along.
It has been an adventure that I can't possibly describe, for it is largely spiritual, but I have learned from it quite profoundly some unexpected things.
- God provides for everything if we just let Him. We keep saying we trust in Him and we never really do.
- There is in the lives of the most holy of us what I would call the CSR Syndrome - the desire to build a Comfortable Substitute for Reality. This is tied in with our lack of trust in God (see the bullet point immediately above).
- While we must practice the Stewardship of Love, the pain of a broken heart is a way of taking a giant step closer to Jesus Christ. If you haven't had one, you miss a key element of the cross, the spear, the blood. There is no way to live an authentic life without your heart breaking a little every day.
- Today as we stopped for gas in Ina, Illinois, a chunky blonde in her mid-20's came up to me with tears in her eyes. "Excuse me, sir, but a lady inside just helped me by giving me $20. I have lost my debit card. I'm from Springfield, and I'm on my way to Fort Campbell with my two children to meet my husband. He's been deployed and he's just getting back. Is there a way you could give me a few dollars to help me put more gas in the tank? I'll mail it back to you. I can show you my military ID and my kids." I took a $20 bill from my wallet and handed it to her. "Don't worry about that. God bless you and God bless your husband." "Thank you," she said. She then, as I watched, walked into the car the next pump over and got into it with two nasty looking urban black men and drove away. No kids, no hint of any family. I just watched. See bullet point number three above.
- "Take no thought of harvest, only of proper sowing," as T. S. Eliot said. We have no idea what the seed will do. Paul sows, Apollos waters, but God gives the increase. The increase is beyond our control. The increase is a miracle. If we try to sow safely or if we waste our seed or if we cut off water to the plants that have sprouted from our seed, we prevent God from giving the increase.
- If we simply seek to do God's will - scary as that is, then and only then the peace begins to come.