Tag Archive: Moses


Dreams keep me here

I took a break for a little while writing here.  Partially, because I wanted to get a handle on where I was going with this thing.  I also wanted to see if there were anything of substance rattling around in my head that needed to solidify.  Right now, I think it’s forward momentum.

“dreams aren’t meant to exist in a vacuum,
they are to be on the edge of your daily vision, 
lest they become caricatures of themselves or
they become self serving…”  me  

I have had this dream for probably 20 years or so.  I wanted to be a missionary or perhaps some kind of Christian campus worker.  Several people that I admired greatly were making impacts with their whole lives in those fields.  At the time when I felt that God was telling me that I could serve Him in that way, I was a spastic bundle of energy.  I know that God used that young man over and over again because I wasn’t afraid.  Of anything.  I sometimes went where angels knew not to tread…

People had their hurts soothed, their lives challenged and transformed…   For some reason I felt connected and purposeful.  The whole world of the future was there, and God, for some reason, was using me.  Everyone that was very closely told me that I shouldn’t get my hopes up… that I wasn’t suited for what I was shooting for.  It hurt a lot, but I recognise now that they were making sure I didn’t end up here now.

I needed to see  how God uses His people.  Grasshopper, you have much to learn.

…submit…

Pride has a funny way of making sure that you cannot think too highly of yourself.  Learning to give yourself over to someone else’s control and purpose is very much like I learned when approaching my alcoholism.  You cannot do anything to help yourself, it has to be out of your hands so you can start building over. 

I used to believe that if you were given a talent, a gift, or some sort of ability then you should use it.  Do it as well as you can, and use it for God’s glory.  I still believe that.  However, I have in recent years added this proviso… 

as long as it’s in the right time

God has been trying to teach me timing, or more appropriately His timing for 2 decades now.  His giftings seem to be a long lost memory now.  If using another metaphor, I’m a field that’s lying fallow.  God has shown me that I’m not going to be of any use unless He controls the whens, wheres, and whys of my service.  And, now I know fear.  Fear that I might disappoint Him, instead of confidence that I know He’ll catch me.

My belief has always been that God cares about the intentions despite the old proverb that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.  It’s the process with Him.  And now I am Moses.  40 years of sitting, and taking care of sheep.  What could be considered a waste of God-given talent is the threshing floor for a flawed and broken man.  I feel like that sometimes.  Perhaps that’s where I need to exist. 

…faithful and trustworthy… 

But I get this feeling that I might need to have a burning bush to convince me that I can still be used by Him.  I hope if that does come, that I might again submit.  After 20 years, it’s hard to believe that I might serve Him again.  And now, I am finally in a place where I don’t dictate to Him, He can dictate to me.  It’s been a hard road.

The sad part is that while looking back, I’m stuck here.  I don’t know how to chase forward and try to put myself in a place where I can serve in a concrete way again, without using those same behaviours and motivations that left me here in the desert in the first place.  Sometimes, I feel that the dreams I have… the belief that God still has something for me to do on His behalf, keeps me here watching proverbial sheep.  Waiting.

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Sum of all Parts

Okay, this is going to sound weird but follow me.  It might be a little depressing too.

 

I have this thing in my life.  It’s either really good or really bad, but it’s never just blah.  It’s my writing.  Not just this blog thingy, but more my creative writing.  Ever since I was a younger boy, like in 6th grade or so, I found a release from the world in my words.  My words being the key.  That writing was what allowed me to do more that just exist.  It let me live.  Good experiences, bad ones… downright horrible, unlivable ones.  I could get the pictures out of my head and heart, and be free to move forward.  It was like therapy without the huge bill at the end of the month.  But like therapy, it’s not that it was always good, but it was definitely needed.

I could let myself feel those things that threatened to tear me apart or those things that made me want to explode with joy.  All because my hands would let it out.  I used to think of my poetry or writing as my way of taking pictures with emotion.  I’m not a picture-taking type of person, never have been,  which I kind of regret sometimes.  But I always had my writing.  To this day, whenever I want to relive something profound or just want to get in touch with the man I used to be… I find myself there in the pages.  For a long time, it was so much easier to let someone read my pages of stuff than to actually let them know who I was with my own words.  I used to give the people I cared the most in my life, either a front row seat when I wrote something to get their response to it, or I would give them the collection to read on their own… Sort of to say, “Here, tell me who I am… because only these pages know for sure.”  It sounds funny, but that’s how I wrote, and why I did too.  I also needed to know what the snapshots meant.

Now, other people I know/knew had to write in a certain way or at a certain time of day/night, or basically had to structure what they did.  From time to time I fell into those trappings, like all aspiring writers do.  Anything to keep the muse happy, or the flow flowing.  Or whatever you might call it, but it was a way of keeping those endorphins rolling along.  Creating is to many people who “get it” the best drug you can ever be addicted to, and for some reason the easiest to break yourself of…. go figure.  It’s the one drug that you WANT to be addicted to.

I did other things to keep myself in the creative mindset.  I made charts and spreadsheets tracking the times of day, the topics, the days of week, month, etc.  One friend to this day doesn’t know this, but while I was taking her to her interview for grad school, I created a spreadsheet by hand (I KNOW!  EEK!) for the poems I wrote by the minute of the day.  It was a sickness I’m sure, considering I’ve NEVER been THAT organised before or since.  But ever since I started writing, I’ve felt it was important to note the time and date, to give me a little perspective… knowing that it would be better for me in the long run when I became older and more senile… (like right now! hehe)

I went and looked at these charts, and I found something extraordinary.  The times in my life when I was strongest in my walk with God, were when I wrote the most.  I suppose there is something to be said in the experience of God’s ways in this life, one can find the most amazing inspiration… even in death, loss, despair, or defeat.  Then there were the utterly dry times.  The times when nothing noteworthy came out.  When I was younger they were few and far between.  It was usually at a time when I was extremely busy or encumbered by life.  A month would go by and nothing.  That was fine.  It was when I would write only 2 or 3 things in  year that it became difficult for me.  And those times were excruciatingly difficult, and during those times I would be listless and quite unable to move forward.  For reasons of heartbreak, loss, coming to terms with my own fallibility and weakness… there were years that crushed my creative spirit.  And those were times when I felt the farthest from God.  The weakest times in my faith were always laced with dry creative spells.

Now, I’m not naive.  I realise that not even half of my creative writing has come from the best of places.  And the struggle has always been there to use my writing for His purposes.  But I made a promise to myself that it would never be an act.  Or at least try my best that it would never become one.  But, when there hasn’t been an outlet for creativity, my soul has suffered.  Immensely.

If I were honest, those driest times, probably would have made most people go crazy.  And I’ve never been that far away =b.  But, I would have hoped that those were the times God was teaching me and preparing me for the next step.  The next place that He wanted me to head towards.  The next evolution into the man He wants me to be.

However…  I’ve gone through several years now where I don’t have that creative voice.  It doesn’t spring from me, my experiences, my head, my heart, my life.  The places where I usually could delve into that creativity, that drug of choice… are all gone, or are really hiding well.  And I ache inside… but it’s much more numb than in pain.  I waver on the edge of wanting the creativity back, and fearing that I have nothing left.  So, I ask myself over and over again, am I ever going to come out of this desert?  Is there ever going to be a promised land for me?  Moses and I have talked about this issue, and he’s decidedly silent on it, seeing that his disobedience kept him from experiencing that wonderous gift of God.  That he could only see it from a distance, seems cruel to me.  But, I know it’s not, considering our sin to God is the cruelest thing in all of creation.  It’s the reason He was separated from His Son.  But, I digress.

When do I get to write again?  Do I ever have that gift again?  Is there a more mature way to create again?  Am I trying to pigeonhole the creative process into writing when it should be some other way?  Is there something in my relationship with God that isn’t right that is keeping me from being able to write?  Gosh, the answers don’t come easy… (to quote a songstress I know)  and the questions are quite hard.

Sometimes, I wish I could feel alive from the core of my being again…  I just never thought it would ever go away, run out, or move away or whatever it does…

So…

I discovered a theme in my life… one that isn’t sweat (that one is for you Kim DeStefano, wherever you are).  I write, I live.  I don’t write, I slowly die.

I hope I haven’t written my obituary in the previous passages.  I hope that my best days are not behind me.  I long for the touch of the wind and to be inspired.  Maybe it’ll be soon.

Until then, enjoy the ways the maker made you live.

 

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