Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Three Things

Over the past year or so I have noticed that certain areas of my life were lacking. After my bankruptcy ended and the majority of my financial and work problems were behind me I started to get this itch. I couldn't quite explain it at first, but I knew that I was feeling too complacent like I had kind of come to a sudden stop for no reason. Dealing with my mother's illness and death, going through financial ruin, losing my job, and having the church I loved pretty much implode made for a time of harsh reformation. That is why the book of Hosea is so important to me. As odd as it sounds that book gave me a lot of comfort during those difficult times. Since then things have been on the up swing. I am active in a new church serving in the youth and young adult ministries. After temping for three years I finally have a stable job at a medical supply company which I enjoy. Things are good. So the last thing I would have wanted was change. That was the problem. Just because things are now good I kind of allowed myself to become complacent. Being in the game, but only on the side lines happy to ride the bench while others got to play. That is when I came up with the first focus of my prayer: (1) To knock on all doors God puts before me. Over the years I have let a lot of great opportunities pass through my fingers because I was brilliant at talking myself out of whatever the opportunity happened to be. Whether it was professionally, religiously, artistically, or relationally I know I managed to miss many great chances to either further the kingdom or share in great opportunities with people. Then the second point came along: (2) Radical Inclusivity. I totally ripped this one off from Mike Yaconelli. At the risk at sounding like I am feeling sorry for myself it has been my experience with people I knew and considered friends to get to hear about the fun they had together after the fact. I usually ask myself, "Uhhh, why didn't you guys call me? I was around." It is never fun the be the last one picked or the one never considered. Working in youth ministry as long as I have that is a sad fact of life. There are always the few who do not quite belong and get ignored. Jesus always associated himself with many people who would be considered the unwanted ones. And finally the third point: (3) Don't keep me on the sidelines! While listening to the radio a few months ago a wizened older man kept talking about how he never wanted God to have him sit on the sidelines. This guy was 79 years old! He saw such a need for the kingdom's work to be done that he could never properly retire. Man, to be that vital and alive into old age like this incredible man of God! I never want to be taken out of the game. For as long as God has me on this earth I pray that I will always be useful for God's glory. So there you have it. Pretty risky things to pray for since God has the habit of following through with such prayers. I shake in fear and anticipation!

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posted by Out Of Jersey | 5:05 AM


Anonymous heather said...

I recently finished editing the summary for unChristian, and something struck me from it. They talk about how (and this is most evident in youth groups, but I think it happens in all of church) we've become about popular people. We want to be around the cool people rather than reaching out to the people on the edges.
For me, I think this stems from my insecurities (which we all know is pride inverted). I'm so busy trying to get noticed by the "right" people, I don't have time to notice those around me.

7:57 AM  
Blogger The Cubicle Reverend said...

I see it on a weekly basis. It's sad really. A youth group I worked with in the past was real good at including people who were outsiders. Sadly those days are gone.

I think as adults we do it to a certain extent, but in our cases it's more of comfort. I know I have a tendency to do the rounds on sunday mornings seeing the same people I always see.

5:09 AM  
Blogger jasdye said...

those are wonderful things to pray for, dave. i definitely feel you on them - and quite a bit on the worry that God will pull through and answer your prayers.

exciting times, man, ahead of you.

8:58 PM  
Blogger Geek Monkey (Chris) said...

That is awesome, man...I hope and pray that you rise to every occasion placed in front of you!

6:49 AM  

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