Months ago, I was in a local Starbucks and while standing in line I was visually perusing the nearby shelf of merchandise. A mug caught my eye and I decided quickly that this particular mug would be a nice addition to my collection. I filed that thought away and thought “I’ll think about it.” so as not to fall victim to the impulse buy.
It wasn’t until a few visits later that I decided to make my purchase and call that mug my own. The handle was large and comfy, the color of the mug was just right, and size of the mug was optimal, the base of the mug was rubberized, and the lid was easy to operate. An all-around winner, to be sure.
But then something happened. After getting it home and pouring coffee into it, I quickly learned that all was not well. The handle was still comfy, the base was still rubberized, the color was still appealing. The problem with this mug? It couldn’t keep my coffee hot to save its life (if it had one). It was freaky. It was almost as if it somehow repelled heat. Seriously. If you want your coffee cooled quickly to a tepid nastiness, this is the mug for you.
You got me, Starbucks. You drew me in with appearance but let me down with substance. And if you’ve ever read my blog in the past, you know I see a spiritual truth in here. To me, its fairly obvious.
In the condition of the Church at-large today, and perhaps even in the lives of the individuals that make up that Church, there’s an attraction to what looks new, or cool, or on-trend, or comfortable. But once you step in, you realize that not only does it not stoke the heat of our spiritual passion, it aids in cooling that fire. The longer we stay in a place based on comfort or outward appeal, the more likely we are to experience that cooling effect. The brutal truth: God didn’t create us to strive for our own comfort.
So, when it comes to spiritual community, worship practices, and how we grow in our faith, the question to ask is not “how does that look and how does that make me feel?” but rather “what will this do to the spiritual flame of my faith?”
Tell me what you think. Am I making something out of nothing? Is there a truth I’m missing? Am I mistaken here? What does your favorite mug look like?
I won’t lie to you. Ever. Seriously. I’ll always be honest even when its not comfortable. And yesterday held a few moments of discomfort for me. Its been raining pretty hard on a couple occasions recently and I noticed that a certain section of gutter was completely overflowing and dropping a long line of rain water, creating a trench near the foundation of our house.
So I knew something had to be done or eventually the gutter issue would become a foundation issue. The problem? This particular gutter was about 28 feet in the air. Have I mentioned my aversion to tall ladders? (Quick shout out to my friend Martin who had the very ladder I needed to get the job done.) So I hauled myself over to his house, borrowed this monstrosity of an extension ladder, leaned it against my house FULLY EXTENDED and stared at it.
Tip #1 when needing to clean your gutters: Staring does nothing. So I invited my wife to be my trusted Ladder Holder and I got to the task at hand. Deep breath. As I ascended she shared her advice, “Just don’t look down. Or left.” Got it. The problem was that I wanted to make sure that every rung of the ladder actually existed and that my size 13 shoes were landing squarely on each aforementioned rung. So with each step, I did what my wife thought it best NOT to do: I looked down. Three-fourths of the way up this thing I could feel the air thinning. I was at altitude now and my breathing reminded me of that. I was one or two rungs from being where I needed to be. And I stopped. For a split second (or several dozen), I thought to myself, “Nope. I can’t do it.” Even though my wife was planted on the ground, holding firmly to the ladder, in my mind the ladder was on fire, on one ice skate, barely gripping the ice that perched on the edge of a cliff. How did thin ice get to the edge of a cliff? How did the ladder get on fire? Where did the ice skate come from? Why would you ask me that when I’m surely about to die?
But then something happened. It was nothing. Nothing happened. Not the Nothing the Rock Biter warned Atreyu about in The Never Ending Story, but a nothing that showed me that everything was okay. So I took those last few steps up the ladder and found myself face to face with the clogged gutter.
I could see immediately that it was completely full of water. I was well within reach of the downspout, so I reached my hand into the soggy muck and pushed my finger into the mushy contents of my gutter. Immediately, I could hear a *whoooosh* and a torrent of 400 year old leaves, twigs and stale water were taken by gravity’s pull down to earth and out the other end of that downspout. And there was a deep joy in watching all that muck and water empty onto the ground, several thousand feet below me. As I stood there a while watching the gutter empty, I thought of something. Several somethings actually. Definitely not nothing.
First of all, I thought about the trek I had made to get to the issue. Each step up that ladder grew more and more uncomfortable. But each step also took me closer to the issue that wasn’t going to resolve itself. You know right now what the next rung of your ladder is. Don’t dare let anyone or anything stop you from taking it. Sure its uncomfortable. But its what’s next.
Next, there are times when its important to stop and notice the nothing. When I stood on the ground looking up at that fully extended ladder thinking I needed to get to the top, I had a feeling this would be my last day on earth. But then nothing happened. What is it in your mind that you’re giving waaaay too much strength to, simply by thinking about it as much as you do? Worry is an investment that never pays any dividends, yet we still keep pumping our resources into it. Worry is a broke system of crisis management that will never work. Worry is staring (and fretting) at a knot in a rope and thinking that’ll untie it. Worry says to God, “You’re not big enough, loving enough, wise enough, or strong enough so I have to carry this situation my own.” Worry is idolatry because places something or someone above God in my heart and mind. What do you need to do in order to stop and realize that the fear you’ve been letting keep you captive is a wet tissue masquerading as a brick wall?
Third–and please stick with me here–its very likely that the issue you’re facing right now doesn’t call for a rocket-science level of complex intellect in order to resolve it. It probably just needs you to be willing to push your finger through some mush. Of course its going to be gross; its mush. Of course you’d rather just sit there and let it stagnate. Of course looking away is easier. That’s why people live in denial. But what if you were willing to simply address the clogged gutter of your own spiritual stagnation? What if you decided you weren’t going to let that undeveloped habit or unmet goal sit there and taunt you any longer? What if today and every day you simply straightened your spine and stuck your finger through that soggy mess? Identify what it is for you and then get to poking.
Lastly, I thought about the next rain. I thought about how when those raindrops pelt my roof and make their way down the shingles and into the gutter, there’d be nothing to stop them from finding their way to the downspout and out of the gutter. I had a sense of satisfaction and dare I say peace in knowing that because I faced the task, found the clog, and cleared the way, that I didn’t have to worry about the foundation.
And let’s wrap up there. Let’s say I let that clogged gutter stay clogged. Let’s say I watched as the overflow of that rainwater continued to dig a trench at the foundation of our home. Eventually, the foundation would have given way for lack of support. All because I refused to climb a ladder, push some mush, and clear a gutter. I don’t think I’m overstating a truth here. If you don’t identify the clog in your own heart it’ll continue to eat away at your foundation. Whether its mental, emotional, physical, or spiritual; look for the signs and track it down. Do the work of unclogging that blockage and reap the benefits of peace knowing that things are again flowing as they should.
Listen, I’m not a licensed counselor. I’m just a guy who climbed a ladder and cleared a gutter. But if there’s something you plan on doing (stopping, starting, or changing) after reading this, I’d love to know about it. Send me an email or let me know in the comment section.
If you’d like to dig into some scripture that speaks about this more (not gutters per se), then take a look at these:
Okay, I’ve been sitting on this since Dec. 31st. I’ve never been one for New Year’s Resolutions. Goal setting? Sure. Progressive, forward-looking vision? Absolutely. Planning for success? Yep. New Year’s Resolution? Meh. Probably not. But as we wrapped up 2019, I sat down on that last day and wrote what at the moment seemed to flow effortlessly. A poem emerged.
And I haven’t done a single thing with it besides re-reading it periodically. Its just been mine. I read it to my wife once and her immediate response was: “So where are you going to post that?” My quick response: “I don’t know. Nowhere for now.” And I’ve held that position for nearly 4 months.
I was and had been in a place of fairly deep reflection on where I’m at in my life. A 46 year old student ministry pastor, I found myself wondering if the well was drying up. I found myself doubting my own relatability to today’s students. I wrestled with thoughts of self-critique and for whatever reason found the shortcomings even more glaring than usual. It was a patch of time when I definitely was doing some question-asking about where I’ve been, what I’ve been doing, and the difference (or lack of) it had made. Not a pity party. Just a gut-level honest assessment of the past 25 years in full-time ministry to middle school students, high school students, and their families. And I’m not afraid to confess to you that I still carry a low-grade fever in this; a faint whisper that says its time for pasture.
To be clear, I’ve had great conversations with God about all this. I’m not a naive, green, worrisome noob who is wringing his hands over whether he’s got the legs to go the distance. I never did. But what I’ve found over the years is that when I spoke that prayer at the age of 16 years old: “God, I’m Yours. Wherever You want me to go, I’ll go. Whatever You want me to say, I’ll say. Whatever You want me to do, I’ll do.”….well….He took me up on it. The past 25 years has been ALL HIM. If you ever see anything good in me, do me a favor. Look to Jesus and then to my wife. I turn any credit happily over to my Savior and to the woman my Savior gave me.
Okay, that’s what Paul Harvey would have called “the rest of the story” (or part of it. After all, long blog posts are less likely read to the end).
But I wonder if there’s some help for someone else out there. So here I go, sharing my Dec. 31st, 2019 writing.
These thoughts--they spin inside my head,
So many are joyful but most that bring dread.
They're questions I'm asking or have been asked of me,
They toss me around like the stormy sea.
These things they are questions that turn into fear,
I push them away and again they are near.
"I thought you had faith.", one of them scoffs.
"You're not supposed to struggle.", another one mocks.
And the more I fight to quiet them down,
The more likely it seems that in them I'll drown.
These thoughts and these questions, these pressures I feel
Seem to come from a place that isn't yet healed.
A place where my worth is hanging on by a thread
Attached to whatever that last person said.
A place where I'm measured by what I can do
And the moment I fail, I'm useless to you.
A place where I'm always just inches away
From the rest I keep chasing day after day.
Its a place that's born out of a wound from the past,
It's something I've buried. That's why it still lasts.
It's a place fear tells me will never be at peace
Where your disappointment in me will only increase.
A place where I strive but no ground is gained,
Where the harder I try, the less I've attained.
So how can I escape this pressurized cage?
And how can I step off this performer's stage?
How do I return to where my calling is clear,
Where only one voice matters and its the only one I hear?
How can I see people with eyes of compassion,
And rekindle a faith that is proven by action?
God, bring my heart back to where it should be.
Where nothing and no one comes between You and me.
Where the noise of demands are put into place
As my heart rests its gaze on Your glorious face.
Where trials may come and perhaps even linger,
But even the worst of them are held under Your finger.
Where problems arise asking, "What are you going to do?"
Step #1, God, I'll give them to You.
Where the world may be shouting and pounding my door,
I'll have peace in the storm, for my Anchor is sure.
God, this is my desire, my resolve, and my prayer.
I'm walking with You as You're leading me there.
I've seen so much already but there's still more to see,
So let your love be seen clearly as You're living through me.
I’d sure like to wrap this up with a nice bow and end with some pithy sage advice that just really gives it that feel of Jerry Springer wrapping up another bloodied episode where he sits in front of that faux brick wall downstage left and gives his “final thoughts”. But that’s too lofty a goal. Instead, I’ll invite you to use this blog post in whatever way is most helpful to you. Read it again, pass it on to a friend who may need it, or keep clicking (with my thanks for reading to the end).
As for me, its more or less a prayer that papers the walls of my brain. I’m continually breathing out gratitude for God’s good faithfulness in my life while simply asking that His good pleasure would include using me however He chooses.
I suppose I’m one of a million or so writers that is finding their bearings in this pandemic situation the human race is facing. Until now I haven’t had the compulsion to write or to let anyone else know my thoughts on this, scattered and unformed as most of them are.
The Covid-19 crisis around the globe that seems to leave no one out is quite literally the perfect storm in so many ways. I’ve never been in the presence of a tornado but I imagine that what we’re all facing is not unlike standing at your window, looking out at an F-5 tornado in the distance as it slowly but most assuredly creeps in your direction. No one knows which path it will take but we do know that where it falls, it either ends life or changes it forever. And suddenly the haves and the have-nots stand on far more level ground than they had before. No one is left out; either directly or indirectly. We are all in for a life-altering journey.
And just like we have a viral tornado wreaking havoc in upper respiratory systems everywhere, we have a media-driven informational tornado that seems to serve as a magnifying glass and in the name of public service only points out the swirling debris along with the damage it causes while diminishing the sense of hope the average human might otherwise have.
When information leads to intimidation, it becomes critical that we establish our footing while fortifying our filters. I’m watching throngs of people being wiped out not by a virus but by a wave of panic. We are being tested and as such we can pass or we can fail. As the name of this website points out, I love thinking. But when thinking thoughts become sinking thoughts…well…time to change course in my thinking.
Can you relate? Have you found yourself wrestling your own mind to the ground, trying to keep reins on where your thoughts are leading you? Have you experienced the sensation of being tossed like a cork in the tempest?
I believe this battle is not merely a scientific, medical or physical one. I believe it is just as much a mental, emotional, and spiritual battle as well.
We stand in the epicenter of the potential complete breakdown and reestablishment of our culture. And friends, I don’t believe I am given to hyperbole. If that statement in any way takes your breath, let me be quick to state some facts.
Here are things I hold the closest to my heart as I type these words:
Jesus Christ is the Son of God and He alone is Lord of my life.
“Just one life, ’twill soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.”
No person on earth matters to me as much as my wife does. If my physical health were lost to this pandemic or for any other reason, my last thoughts on earth would be of her.
I can see that my children know Jesus and He knows them. Because of that knowledge, unspeakable peace fills my heart.
There have been and will continue to be mindbogglingly inspirational things that have and will emerge from this trial. The full beauty of the God-given image in humans has yet to be seen.
I declare again today that my life is not my own. I’ve been bought with a price. Therefore I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live but Jesus who lives in me.
I’m sure I could sit here for hours more and pound out more of the things that help me establish my footing, but I think that’ll suffice for now. I share all this for a couple of reasons.
First, I need to allow the Holy Spirit of God to minister to me; heart, mind, spirit, and body even as the latest waves of fear-laden information roll in. And He is.
Secondly, I believe that it is in times of trial, testing, and trauma that we all have the opportunity to trade up. Is what you’ve invested your faith in delivering the dividends you thought it would? Is it proving itself worthy of your full trust, the most precious commodity humans have? If you’re reading this and you can’t say confidently that you’re experiencing the kind of peace I’ve shared about, I’m inviting you to reach out to me. There’s contact information on the tab at the top of this page. I truly welcome a conversation. I’m no salesman. I’m no schmoozer. I’m terrible at persuasion. None of those are my thing. I’d simply love to talk with you.
Lastly, I’m writing this because I believe that we all need a re-calibration. While this may not be an ELE (Extinction Level Event), this most certainly will go down in history as one of the most pivotal events any of us have ever experienced.
So here’s my plan. Take from it what you want or laugh at it to yourself.
I will NOT live in fear. I will take every reasonable precaution in order to protect my family and myself. But I will not be paralyzed because I know that my hope is sure.
I will PRAY perhaps like no other time in life. It is in conversation with the Almighty that all other threats lose their potency.
I will SHARE what I have. In a day of grabbiness, panic purchases, and hoarding, I will live a “you first” life. God helping me, I will become far more generous than before.
I will SERVE those around me. Quarantined, I will seek to serve those in my house and as I am able, I will serve those in my community.
Believe it or not, we’re just 19 months away from the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon, and the foiled attack that ended in that field in PA.
Those of you who were alive and aware are immediately flooded with emotion, sensation, memories, and the like that bring back that “I remember where I was when…” feeling. It’s sobering.
In the hours and days that followed those Tuesday morning attacks, even in the midst of our anger, confusion, and righteous indignation, there was a “this is a new America” wind in the air. It wasn’t about our newly discovered vulnerabilities but rather our newly discovered or rediscovered commitment to unity. Every type of human life was lost on that day and no one cared in the slightest what the victims’ political views, socioeconomic status, or sexual orientation was. None of that mattered. America was attacked and we stood united as a resolute nation. It was even more striking in those days that the “United States” was abbreviated by and wonderfully defined by “US”.
But fast forward to today and I don’t think we’ve ever been so preoccupied by ourselves as we currently are. Further, we have never been so eager to draw lines as we seem to be right now. Not merely draw lines but build walls between ourselves and anyone else who holds a different opinion, view, or conviction about any particular topic at all.
Not only that, but we have allowed ourselves to stoop to the indignity of calling each other “haters” and “______phobes” when we do not see eye to eye on an issue. Rather than an arm-linked respect for those who see things differently, we instead isolate and insulate ourselves from the others; from which we lob disparaging remarks or commentary for the sake of proving a point and/or standing our ground.
It’s a sad state we’re in.
Now, lest you think I’m in some ivory tower looking down my judgmental nose at the masses, you can think again. I’m simply one human who finds himself in the midst of a mess of a nation that for the most part seems quite content or even ambivalent at its condition. On the contrary, we’re seeming to revel in our division. I used to blame the faceless trolls that glide from comment section to comment section, sowing seeds of dissension and disagreement but at the heart, its far more widespread than that. When we don’t actively rail against division, we by default contribute to it.
Now, let me also say that lines, boundaries, standards, and even taking sides have their place. In the Old Testament, we can hear the voice of Joshua echoing to us today, “Choose you this day whom you will serve….as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15) Jesus Himself seemed to acknowledge and support the idea that there actually ARE sides to choose. And how about that time He said, “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (Matt. 10:34). And don’t forget that when the Son of Man returns “and all His holy angels with Him, then he will divide the nations as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats…” (Read all about it in Matt. 25:31-46).
So I’m not saying we sweep important issues (the 2020 Superbowl Halftime show does NOT qualify) under the rug and just hug it out. But I am dreaming of a day when we can return to a civilized discourse that seeks to understand the view of the others who seem to stand on the opposite side of the line we find ourselves on. What if we could dignify each other by simply seeking a better grasp on the view before we spew out our own views? Or better yet, what if we simply pointed people to truth AND love as we seek only to serve them in humility? What a concept, right? (Please don’t think that is an original sentiment with me. This is Jesus–through and through.)
Yes, I think division has its place. I think battle lines are actually biblical. But I know just as certainly that we all have a spiritual enemy who’s only desire is destruction by division. So long as he can get us to build walls, he will be in the luxurious position of “shooting fish in a barrel.”
Who do I need to build a bridge to today? What comments have I made that need to be retracted, along with an apology that they were made in the first place? What hill(s) am I willing to die on? And just as critically, what hills am I NOT willing to die on? Jesus chose one. and thank God He did.
So, let’s be people of passion. But let’s be people of truth AND love. Let’s be the very reflection of Jesus to those around us, regardless of their stance on __________. Let’s find a way under God to treat those around us with the respect and dignity we would want (and usually demand) for ourselves.
Tension is something most people naturally avoid. And that’s only because they’re sane. I mean who would willingly, intentionally create or even feel comfortable in that kind of uneasy atmosphere? Most people live in a world where we dodge, avoid, acquiesce, sweep things under the run, compromise convictions, and even lie to keep ourselves from the tension that any level of confrontation brings.
When I was younger, I’d say I was a pretty good candidate for being the poster child of people pleasers. And if you didn’t like that, I’d take it back and replace it with whatever made you more comfortable. I simply wanted those around me to be at peace, comfortable, and happy. And if they weren’t I would feel that tension. I’d have gotten a neck tattoo that says in that fancy tattoo-y script: “C’mon you guys. Let’s just not fight, okay?” But getting a tattoo would’ve made my mom unhappy. Sooooo.
But as I’ve grown and stepped into various leadership roles, positions, and responsibilities, I’ve learned that influence and leadership demand tension. In fact, its a key ingredient in forward motion. I’ll go so far as to say that if you don’t have tension, you better check the pulse of your organization, your ministry, or your vision. Without tension we’re sitting slack and while all may be well and at peace, all may very well be quickly withering without tension.
Now, let me be quick to differentiate between tension and drama. Drama is juvenile. Tension is matured. Drama is shallow end. Tension is deep sea. Drama is petty. Tension is intentional. Oh. Wait. Did you just see that? Let me roll it back and type it in slow-mo for you.
“Tension….is….in…ten…tion…al.” When you want to get fit, you better get intentional. When you want to reach a goal, it doesn’t happen when you dumb-luck it. Anything that you want to do, desires intention. And with intention comes tension. And there’s the nugget I want you to unearth here: Growth demands tension.
Effective leadership influence demands that you–yes you–actually create tension. While others may do all they can to smooth things out, you have to create wrinkles. You have to make decisions that trip people up. You have to look at what currently is, say “Uh-uh.” and make the difficult move that makes others say, “Hey, wait a minute.”
Let me be clear. Your motivation isn’t to be a jerk. We all know jerks. Don’t be one. Ever. Your motivation is to create an atmosphere where tension is always present; where the right questions are landing like well-placed punches to face and torso of the status quo. Questions like…
Why are we doing this (at all)?
Why are we doing this this way?
Who defined the win in this area?
If we stopped __________, who would notice? Who would care?
What is the thing we think but aren’t saying? The thing that needs to be said? The thing that will kick the next door open, the door that leads us to greater effectiveness, momentum, fruitfulness, etc.?
Of course these questions are broad but that’s only because I don’t know your particular situation. (If you want to talk more, let’s do that. Reach out and let me know how I can help more specifically.)
One of my favorite verses in the gospels is John 2:15:
“Jesus made a whip from some ropes and chased them all out of the Temple. He drove out the sheep and cattle, scattered the money changers’ coins over the floor, and turned over their tables.”
The words “Jesus made a whip” evokes a completely different view of Jesus than we normally hold to, doesn’t it? We always view Jesus as a Swedish looking, attractive dirty-blonde, long hair (conditioned of course), blue-eyed, soft skinned, slightly effeminate, sweet talking, white-robe-with-baby-blue-Miss-America-sash, manicured, dandy fella. With muscles, sure. But his muscles were mostly used to pick up toddlers and daisies, right?
“Jesus made a whip.” Now THERE’S a tattoo idea.
Can I paraphrase that? Jesus created tension. Born from anger, born from conviction, born from vision of what should be not lining up with what currently was… Jesus made a whip.
Any fisherman will tell you that a day without tension on the line is a sad day of fishing. So where do I need to up-end comfort? What parts of my ministry, my relationships, and my priorities need a healthy dose of tension? If you think back over history you don’t see the Changemakers looking around and saying “Yeah, looks good the way it is.”
So, let’s get tense. Let’s not shy away from making decisions that rock the boat. Yes, that boat you share with lots of other people who will consequently feel the rocking and quickly figure out who’s rocking the boat.
What has been that shouldn’t be?
What hasn’t been that should?
What one step/decision/resolve can you make in the next 5-10 minutes that will bring about the oft-dreaded tension that growth demands?
I’d love to hear from you. Reach out and tell me your tension story. Let’s celebrate it together.
I used to be far less comfortable with being alone than I am now. In college, whenever anyone would visit my dorm room, I’d find myself lamenting their departure and trying to do all I could to prolong their stay. I’m sure there’s some deep-seeded childhood trauma there but I’m not interested enough to excavate it. Just kidding. I think.
The sense of aloneness is one of the most claustrophobic, disorienting, discouraging, and despair-driving sensations a human can have. And I don’t mean that people can’t live alone or even thrive while being alone, but when that idea that “I’m alone in this (insert trial here)” sets in on the emotional level, it brings with it an isolative mindset that is tough to shake. (Oh, let me introduce you to the word “isolative”. I just made it up.)
That’s why debilitating aloneness is one of the first arrows the enemy draws from his quiver when he sets his sights on your mental, emotional, and spiritual destruction. If he can get you feeling alone, he can take you anywhere he wants.
I’ve recently found myself in conversations that have completely upended the reality that I am being hunted and the crosshairs of aloneness are set on me. I’ve been reminded recently that while I may sometimes feel alone, I have never been actually alone.
There’s a premise I have tried to live in and pass on to others when I am helping resolve conflict. Its the principle of the 3rd chair. It’s as simple as it sounds. There’s you, and there’s me, and there’s God. He is the one in the 3rd chair, attending, listening, prompting, enabling. Its His truth that is the rock we’re on, and not our own.
But if I may, I want to take that sense of Unalone into my (and your) everyday, inhale/exhale existence. I want to live in the deepest knowledge that regardless of the current visibility or lack thereof, I can see God. Not by sight of course, but by faith. And isn’t faith-sight far more important than eyesight? Isn’t what’s unseen the real stuff? After all, if its seen its material and therefore currently decaying right in front of us. But what is unseen is immaterial and therefore untouchable by decay.
So as I’ve had these conversations recently, I’ve been divinely cognizant (can I say that?) of the unaloneness we live in. That comes in the form of a conversation over coffee at Waffle House between friends and the words being exchanged across the table may seem like mere soundwaves, but are actually infused by God with incredibly vital truth that each person needs. Not by human effort, intellect, or slickness but by the Holy Spirit of God being present. There it is. The 3rd chair.
What is it that pulls us away from this unaloneness? What is it that trumps the true sense of walking so close to God that we no longer see Him because of head knowledge but know Him because of faith knowledge? I think identifying the specifics when it comes to our tendency to focus away from that is our first step.
There is far more than our eyes can see. We know that on every level. That’s not even a spiritual statement. If I were an atheist I could say that same thing and be right. But it’s especially true (perhaps most true) on the spiritual level.
With the full knowledge that you are utterly unalone today, I pray that you’ll walk in social, mental, emotional, and spiritual confidence.