What To Do When You Can’t Sense God

Some things are probably left buried. Except they have a tendency to rise from the dead. I got the “brilliant” idea to check my progress and revisit the last months of 2013 when everything changed. Sitting in a doctor’s waiting room, I read the first three chapters of A Ronin’s Journey, the book project I’m working on now.

Those three chapters contain the immediate aftermath of the death of my godson. When I looked up, the unshed tears were blurring my vision. I was emotionally drained, three months in thirty minutes. In hindsight, it wasn’t the best idea. I had picked a scab and it started to bleed again.

It threw me out of whack as the memories flooded back and bowled me over. I had wanted to remember the root of it all and I got it in spades. The agnosticism, tragedy, introspection, more funerals than I care to count, criminal record, a life spiralling out of control and failure.

Waking up the next morning, I felt like there was a divide inside me. An emptiness, God on the fringes barely noticeable. Think of the sun on a thick, cloudy day, the light is there but the source isn’t as evident. I remembering hearing that this happens sometimes, and taking a principle Jesus told his disciples, I remembered what he had done in the past.

I began by searching my notes from 2014, like the Beatitude notes, when I went through the 19 Mercies from the Ragamuffin Gospel, and the sixteen page Gospel Epic I explored “How Much Does God Love Me?” I began to feel better, the gap was starting to close. Maybe I could even write again?

No. The divide wasn’t quite gone yet

I searched a favorite site, GotQuestions.org, asking about spiritual emptiness. First, for any born-again Christian, it’s a feeling but will never be a fact. Every follower of Christ is indwelt by the Holy Spirit. Why I was feeling it, I don’t know.

The answer included four steps to help.

  1. Desire to be directed and empowered by the Holy Spirit. So I took a walk and prayed for just that.
  2. Confess anything I did wrong and ask for forgiveness for anything known or unknown.
  3. Present every area of my life to God for control. I made another lap of the plant, going through my mental checklist. What would God have me do at work, home, on the blog, with friends, and at church?
  4. I moved on, accepting the promises of the Holy Spirit, and asking according to His will.

Whatever caused it, whatever the reason, all I know is I got God “back” after going through the process over the week. He encourages us to look for and ask repeatedly. By it, we learn reliance on Him. That empty feeling was horrible and a reminder of how much I need God. I don’t want to go through that again.

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How Well Do We Know Ourselves?

sherlock-holmes-glass_550Can someone completely know themselves? I was asked that awhile back. Despite years of personal introspection, I had to say no. You can have a good enough grasp to know how you’ll act or react, but can’t completely know.

In Discovering You, I wrote about the self-discovery process I used to find out what makes someone tick, namely me. Personality tests, questionnaires, brutally honest friends putting up with my questions, and books; we love to take tests to see who we are or who we’re like. To prove my point, I’ll just type two words: Facebook quizzes.

I know how my mind works, how it processes the world, a basic idea of which script I am on (see ConCom), how I was designed, and an idea of the purpose I serve. I know how I’m perceived and how my writing is usually seen. I’m pretty confident in it all.

Except I was confident before.

Trauma and tragedy have a way of kicking over our apple carts and smashing them into dirty applesauce. That’s what happened to me after my godson. I retreated back into my head. Life’s experiences are what teaches us what we’ll do and trains us to overcome it. Experience is better than a book in teaching; the book helps us to conceptualize and understand it in application.

Romans 5:3-5 goes into the process of it. Suffering hurts, but we press forward. That builds inner strength and perseverance. From that our characters are forged even more, some of the rough edges knocked off or polished up even more. The forward process gives us hope, or it should. Unless you’re in the same spot exactly, you’re moving forward.

James 1:2-4 shows the importance of it. Trials are the testing of our faith, which develops our perseverance, and that makes us mature and complete. If we continue forward without our hearts becoming bitter, and more experienced, then that’s growth. We know the fields we’ve walked through and can successfully face the same trials and setbacks as before. It’ll hurt, though; I revisited my greatest trial and it threw me for a loop for days. I’ll get into that next week.

For now, I’ll sum it up like this. We have an idea of how we’ll act; life is what shows us if that’s true. It teaches us and sometimes the lessons are so very hard. We can come out of it broken, but better, experienced, and more mature. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Is There A Cause Out There With Your Name On It?

I love listening to Ravi Zacharias’ podcasts, Just Thinking and Let My People Think. In one podcast, he summed up his message like this, ‘pathos for your people, prioritize in prayer, pondering in proximity, the process of preparation, and the paralysis of pessimism.’ Then he closed saying do what is right, undergirded by the Gospel.

What does that even mean?

“Pathos for your people”

Pathos means compassion or pity. In the latter, we feel bad for them, but we don’t act, no matter how many infomercials are shown with sad music overlapping. It’s the former that makes you move.

Compassion sees something and shouts, “this should not be!” Then it acts. Is there anything out there that kindles those feelings?

“Prioritize in prayer”

Then you have to go to God with it. We can temporarily alleviate suffering, and unfortunately, there’s more out there that we can’t reach alone, if at all. We have to get our hearts right, check our motives, and make sure we’re not doing this on our own strength. If so, we’ll be like a match trying to fight back the darkness. A brief flame, and then nothing.

“Pondering in proximity”

Everyone seems to have an opinion on how a nation should be ran, yet, few have been in, or seen the inner workings of the government. We’re not fully informed, so we can’t see what dominoes would fall if we did this or that, let alone know how to change directions without collapsing everything.

We have to get close to what we want to change.

Get into the middle of it, talk to people on all levels of it so you can get a variety of thoughts and ideas. Understand where they’re coming from. Pastor Rod said, “Your pain is a key to your assignment from God. It can be used to minister to others”, during a sermon last month.

If it’s something you have faced, then you have the experience, so you can more readily identify with others. Then prayerfully think about it.

“The process of preparation”

You have compassion. Your heart is right. You know what’s up. That means you’re ready…right?

No.

You have to prepare for it, plan, rather than foolishly going off half-cocked. Like the time I locked my keys in the truck and wanted to smash the window. My wife wisely had me call a locksmith. Jesus spoke of preparation in Luke 14: 28-32:

“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’

“Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace.”

 

There is a cost to everything you do and to be effective you have to plan accordingly.

  • What’s the plan?
  • What do you need to make it work?
  • Can you get it?
  • What are the alternatives?

All questions that must be answered.

“Paralysis of pessimism”

“It’s just too much for me, I’ll never make a difference.”

That thought can come in anywhere during the process, particularly during the planning or application phases. If you make a difference in one person’s life, and they make a difference in another’s, you’ll have started a domino effect. People usually pay it forward if they can’t pay it back.

“Doing what is right”

There are a lot of opinions on what’s the right thing to do. Some of them are wrong. Some are right. How can you tell what’s right?

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12 NIV

“Undergirded by the Gospel”

That’s just a good, basic way to live, but what’s the foundation? Undergird means “to give fundamental support.” In Matthew 7:24, Jesus said anyone who puts his words into practice is like a wise man who built his house on a rock. It’s a firm foundation. The Gospel is the good news of second chances at reconciliation between God and mankind. Reconciliation is the center of it.

Jesus is the foundation that gives second chances.

Find the cause that you’re compassionate for. Is it a cause that can restore people to God primarily, and secondly restore them physically, ? Consider what it looks like at the ground level. Jesus looked at the crowds and said, ‘they’re like sheep without a shepherd.’ Helpless. Prepare for it, press forward, and go forth doing good.

What Should I Do?

Have you ever been asked a question that took two or more weeks to answer, and you’re just struggling with the right decision? I was asked to help in another ministry, which isn’t anything new, except this was in a different area. It intrigued and terrified me at the same time because now it’s face-to-face with others.

There were two problems, though, one being my schedule at work. For once, I wasn’t very fond of my new position. It was getting in the way, and I watched that door close to a crack. The second problem was me.

Should I Help?

Through the week, I fought over in my mind if I was even right person for it. I wanted to be sure it was God’s plan because I’d fallen on my face before, operating under my own strength. I had been convicted all week in one area, my heart. A sense that I had to ‘check my motives’.

If I did it for the curiosity rather than wanting to just help, then it was about me. My nemesis resurfacing as pride and ego returned. That was risking hurting people who were already in pain even more. I decided when it was no longer about me, then I could do it. I prayed for help in that area before drifting off to sleep.

The answer wasn’t long in coming. The next day, I heard about the session the night before from my friend. It had been the largest group ever, overwhelming her and forcing her to rely on God’s infinite strength. The message preached that day had really lifted her. That penetrated and hit me deep, my friend needed help. The motive had changed, and it would be on my mind all day it turned out.

A Lesson In Humility

Talking to my wife about it, she instantly keyed on my egocentric tendencies, helping me deal with them. We could watch for them. The next day was my Sabbath, because my weekends are busy, on Monday is when I turn off everything and just spend the morning with God. To check my motives, I looked at Philippians 2 and the mindset of Jesus:

‘Do nothing from factional motives…prompted by conceit and empty arrogance. Instead, in the true spirit of humility (lowliness of mind) let each regard the others as better than and superior to himself [thinking more highly of one another than you do of yourselves]. Let each of you esteem and look upon and be concerned for not [merely] his own interests, but also each for the interests of others. Let this same attitude and purpose and [humble] mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus.’

‘[Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight.’

After that I resumed my quiet walks around the plant. During the walk, I prayed a verse that came to mind from Isaiah 42:3, “Lord, please don’t let me hurt them any more than they are, ‘a bruised reed’ I don’t want to break, just use me and work through me.”

What Could I Even Offer?

I went to pick up my wife and was simultaneously reading a book on Kindle and listening to Love Worth Finding with Adrian Rogers. In the same moment, I read 2 Corinthians 1:4 while Pastor Adrian quoted it in his sermon:

“He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When others are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”

Coincidence?

As the week progressed, I watched it play out through the rest of the week. At a get-together with classmates, I was approached by a guy I had only met once. The unusual thing was he was comfortable enough to tell me about his sister passing away almost right off the bat.

Immediately, I asked how he was holding up, listening as he let it out. Then a friend mentioned a recent loss in his family that really hit home with my wife and I. These people were awfully comfortable with me to be willing to share their pain. It doesn’t generally happen as I’m not that approachable.

It carried on, though. I was able to sit in on a session with the group I was asked to help with later that night. My friend wisely gave me tips on looking at how to help them and watch a group leader work during discussion. I saw so much pain, and heard so many stories.

In a previous post, Losing Someone, I wrote about the ten losses over the course of a three year period. Most were in the span of a year. As painful as that is, because of that I could identify in some part with most of them in the group.

As I wrote this, I reread that post and Ravi’s quote stuck out at me again: “In terms of service it’s the wounded soldier that serves best, someone who’s been in the darkness.” It kind of echoes the 2 Corinthians verse.

During the night, I was able to use my healing as an example, which I picked up while watching my friend work. I had thought she was like a counselor; now, I see it more as a mentor. She quoted the 23rd Psalm that night, and that’s why that team is so helpful to those in the group; they have ‘walked through the valley in the shadow of death’ and came out on the other side.

The next day, I was approached by a few in the group, just to say hi or connect. I made my mind up. I don’t know if it is a God thing, but it is a good thing. I was going to help any way I could. Just needed to get my schedule to cooperate.

What’s Your Potential?

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post about dreams after a sermon. I thought through it, what it had to be. A dream has to be something that you’re hungry for. A dream from God, though, it has to be beyond you so that He is seen behind it all as you go through it.

What Are You Hungry For?

What do you crave? What keeps you up at night? What pierces your very heart that should be changed? I don’t have anything in particular other than what I do now. So maybe if we consider this to find it; if you had unlimited strength, what would you do?

My first thought was more of what I do now with maybe one change. Videos, if someone else would put them together. That was it. Once upon a time, I had an imagination (join me for a moment of silence for my deceased imagination).

I revisited the question again after I decided to read A Spirit-Empowered Life again. I have been reading it like it was intended, a chapter a day, and answering the questions at the end. Some of them I used in here.

So right down to it, what was I hungry for? Helping people, making a difference in their lives. I feel alive when I’m writing or am one-on-one with people who have problems or questions, or just being there for them.. Which is a bit odd for this introvert.

What Is A Powerful Life?

6dbb6c669b218f63a9c52432231b5c9aWhat do you think of when you think of power? Is it a CEO, the President, or a celebrity? I think it’s the ability to make ripples with every person it meets. A life that meets people at their need in that moment.

Then a chapter ended with three questions that pleased my introspective heart:

  1. What strengths do you possess?
  2. What would they look like maximized?
  3. What weakness did you never think you’d overcome?

I believe we are put here for a reason, designed for a purpose. Find the area that you’re especially made for, consider what that would look like if nothing was stopping you, and we might be able to find your dream.

What Strengths Do You Possess?

If you’ve read my posts for any length of time, or Discovering You, then you know how introspective I am. Give me a test that peels another layer of myself and I’m a happy man indeed. One of the myriad I took was Gallup’s StrengthFinder, so I had a leg up on this question already.

  • Love to learn, thriving on short-term projects.
  • Like to think, reflect, can sum it up as analytical, which gives me a good grasp of what I’m learning.
  • Collect information, could even call me a data hoarder since I have a file cabinet full of notes that I refuse to throw away.
  • Responsible, emotionally commit to whatever I say I will do.
  • Analyze symptoms, identify, and find a solution so something can be restored. Particularly people.

These were the top five that the survey gave me. All of them crafted into me by God for a reason. Discover your strengths, what are they?

What Would Your Strengths Look Like Maximized?

It reads in Acts 1:8 that “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses…” When used for the Gospel, with God behind them, what would your strengths look like? Isn’t that a fun thought to consider? Where’s my imagination, I want to see where this could go. Using the above as an example, let’s see what it can look like.

  • Adaptability from learning and thriving in small projects to build experience?
  • Wisdom and knowledge from the time spent thinking through the experiences?
  • Well-rounded or a subject matter expert if the curiosity is supercharged?
  • Dependable in any situation with the strengthened responsibility?
  • As someone who wants to help people be or get better, what does that look like with God behind it?

Here’s where I’m stuck personally, looking at the list, what could I be used for in a big way? I see the possibilities looking from the inside-out. What do you see looking from the outside?

Weaknesses? What Weaknesses?

When we strengthen the body, even the weaknesses are made stronger. If God works through a person’s weakness, He shines. Especially if He takes a fault and reverses it. A personal example, from old nature to new, the difference is staggering.

I was self-centered, and was made selfless; stingy to generous, self-serving to serving others. That is the most noticeable differences. A smaller, less noticeable difference is this, I’m much more comfortable around others and can approach others with more confidence and am able to hold my own in a conversation. Still very much an introvert, but my capacity is larger now. I don’t drain as fast.

What does all this point to? I don’t know, and I’d like to know so I know what dream I can conquer. Readers, do you have any idea what this points to?

How Long Until You’re Satisfied?

In life, people are pushing towards something. Even those whose lives revolve around punching the clock, paying the bills, and dying. Like dogs chasing cars, we chase something just out of reach, and might not know what to do with it if we ever caught it. This post was born out of a conversation that started at work that I carried online. We’ll be looking at this question, to live is __________, and to die is __________? Also, we’ll examine some of the answers I got and the ultimate conclusion.

“All I Need Is 80 Years”

That’s what a coworker told me when he got back from a relative’s funeral. He said she

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Hourglass 4

had lived a long and full life, so she was content. I asked him what would it take for him to be content. Eighty years. Then he asked me the same question. My answer surprised us both and led to this train of thought. Let’s start with the time needed for contentment.

 

Why is the death of a child tragic to society where an elderly person only makes the obituaries? It’s from a sense of unfairness, the kid never got to live a full life. It’s the same thought I wrestled with last month on my late godson’s birthday. To live is a long life, to die young is a travesty.

Like a scale, the younger a person is the more life they should have ahead of them; the older, the more opportunities they had. Sadly, we’re not guaranteed a set time, nor can we really buy time. There was a movie released in 2011, In Time, where people aged to a certain point in their prime and would drop dead. The premise was they work for more time on the planet. To keep track of it they had a counter on their arms that was counting down the time they had left.

We don’t have that. I could die of an aneurysm while writing this, a ticking time bomb in my brain. Since you’re reading this, I didn’t. The thought is scary to write about, but less for me and more for my loved ones. Don’t rely on the hopes of a long life for contentment. I’ve seen too many die young to harbor that illusion.

To Live Is To Learn, To Die Is To Stagnate

That was one answer to my question on Facebook. I can readily identify with it. Most of my free time is spent reading or listening to something that makes me think. While we learn, we are moving forward, there is a progression. When the progression stops, we wither and die. Think of a shark, it has to swim so life-giving oxygen passes through it gills. If it stops, it can’t breathe. It takes forward movement for both the curious and the sharks.

 

With learning and knowledge, you can effect change in the world. This works interpersonally in two ways: persuasion or force. Persuasion addresses the heart and/or the mind; the other addresses fear and self-preservation. Both require knowing how people tick.

 

With knowledge- the obtaining and using of it- books are written, schools opened, skills are passed on, and research labs are making the world both smaller and bigger at the same time. A writer can help someone thousands of miles away. The surgeon that is saving lives had to learn somewhere. Our telescopes see further, and our particle accelerators discover a new particle every year it seems like. Knowledge is power some like to say. It’s also a burden and responsibility.

“For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.” Ecclesiastes 1:18 NIV

Because you can see so much and so deep, you hurt and shout at the wrongs and injustices. That was wrote by Solomon, king of Israel and son of David, famous for his wisdom and not taking his own advice. In the end, he realized everything is meaningless if you rely on knowledge, power, pleasures, and material things.

“And I applied myself by heart and mind to seek and search out by [human] wisdom all human activity under heaven. It is a miserable business which God has given to the sons of man with which to busy themselves. I have seen all the works that are done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity, a striving after the wind and a feeding on wind.” Ecclesiastes 1:13-14 AMP

One aspect of life is filled, at the end though…it’s still curtains for you.

To Live Is For Your Family

To die? That wasn’t answered; however, outside our individualistic culture, there are cultures where ancestors are remembered and honored. They provide a legacy to live up to. Let’s look at the family and what it represents.

For you as a kid, obviously it starts with birth, and for the next 18 years you’re cared for, taught how to live on your own, and fly the coop. Simple enough. Now to look at it from a parent’s point of view.

They started off free as birds, met each other, and built a nest together. Along came you, this helpless little human, unable to clean, feed, or defend yourself. Left alone, you would have died. Taking care of you was a full-time job.

Yet, they love you. Family at its ideal is a picture of self-sacrificing love. The kids are the future and parents can shape the future by how they raise their kids. Yes, the kid has a choice, but parents generally try to guide them down the right path. Seeing your kids grow up to be good people can make it worth all the sacrifice. That’s just the a piece of it, insufficient on its own.

How’s That Not Good Enough?

Alone, individually, these things are not; together it’s better. Consider this, time is needed to gain knowledge and flourish with your family. Learning and knowledge is needed to have a stable family through work skills, parenting, and conflict resolution.

Time wasted is a life wasted, make use of it. Knowledge gained for the sake of it leads to pride and loneliness. It’s hard to be a know-it-all, I’m a recovering one. Life focused purely on family leads to burnout and anger when in the end you have nothing if they’re gone.

Well What Makes You Content Then?

That was the question asked of me. After a bit of thought, I said, “I could die tomorrow and be fine.” I would worry about my wife, though we made preparations for that eventuality. I am content, though. How is that possible at 32 years old?

To Live Is Christ

“For me to live is Christ [His life in me], and to die is gain [the gain of the glory of eternity]. If, however, it is to be life in the flesh and I am to live on here, that means fruitful service for me; so I can say nothing as to my personal preference [I cannot choose]” Philippians 1: 21-22 AMP

What’s to live in Christ even mean? I mainly live for Jesus. Rather than grasp desperately at prolonging life here, I use it to be of service. To share and show love to family, friends, enemies, and strangers. Ripples spread from every encounter, impact is made. If my work brings one person to Christ then that’s one more I’ll see again.

Knowledge has a place in all this. As we learn, the sheer complexity of God’s work is made known. That’s what science is, our observation of the world around us. Not to be confused with the God-of-the-gaps, He’s at work through the natural processes he sat into place. Philosophy and the logic needed is the reasoning we use to understand science, life, and the world. Theology is the study of God, learning about Him and deepening the relationship. It’s all used to help others.

Family, that picture of self-sacrificial love, carries humanity into the future. A family focused inwards stagnates. They focus forward and they’re still not promised a legacy of any value; but, if they look up? A family focused on God, while not immune to the pain of losing someone, has the promise of seeing them again.

An example for you, look straight ahead. Note how wide your vision is. Now look up with your eyes. Did your vision get wider?

So it is with God at the center. You can see more, and to give more. To focus solely on HimGods Not Dead is the greatest commandment according to Jesus; however, you can’t ignore the second one. Jesus said it was like the first, to love others as you love yourself. They’re to be followed together, not separately. C.S Lewis put it this way, “Aim at Heaven and you will get Earth ‘thrown in’: aim at Earth and you will get neither.”

That’s contentment, a life lived fully in Christ. To die is what, though?

To Die Is Gain

Sounds fatalistic and morbid, doesn’t it? It would be if there is nothing after the lights go out. However, for the Christian, absent from the body that is already slowly dying, means to be present with the Savior. This world is a faint shadow of what’s in store. Our mortal life is a twinkling that is lived in the fullest, the eternal life afterward is incomparable.

Fear of death is a necessary survival instinct that keeps us from doing something stupid. Despite having that fear, we still die, and then what? If you died today, what does that mean for you? Are you losing something or gaining something?

You don’t have to lose anything.

“For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.” John 3:16 AMP

What you get from the world can’t save you, nor totally satisfy you. There’s a hole to be filled, something missing. This world is temporary. The answer is not of this world; it’s Jesus, through which everything was created. Through him, we can have eternal life. By not being focused inward, we can better see outward, and everything comes together.

Do You Have A Dream

13687618944_0413536c7a_zDo you have a dream? A dream of great wealth, maybe a nice home, or a happy family? It may be to be the next Hugh Hefner if you’re a teenage boy. One Sunday’s sermon was about dreams, particularly Joseph’s.

His dream was so big that God had to be involved. It can be a giant world-changing dream. Or it could be a dream that changes someone else’s world.

A good friend of mine had a dream. She thought it was a great dream and gave it to someone she thought was more capable to handle it. It was given right back to her instead. She brought a grief counseling program to church and is still leading it. The thing is, the person she tried to give it to needed that class herself soon after.

Her dream was God’s placing her there so she could also help her friend during her trial. It brought my wife peace when she attended the first one. I relented, and went to the second GriefShare session. I found healing and a sense of closure. The class is growing too, as more hurting people come in. Her dream with God’s power is changing people’s worlds.

After the sermon, I was asked if I had a dream. I don’t have a particular burden on my heart like what was described. Looking over the world I don’t see anything that screams out to me. At the moment, I just learn and share, working with what I have. It’s not anything that is stretching me, yet.

I have a friend who wants to be a pastor. It takes a special kind of heart to be a pastor. A heart like that needs time to grow. Like Joseph’s story in the sermon, you have to be prepared for it.

He was his dad’s favorite son, which made his brothers jealous. So they sold him into slavery, much like what you may have wanted to do with your siblings. He was sold again to an Egyptian official, faced false charges, and was ultimately thrown into prison for years. In jail, he helped two guys and was forgotten about by one of them until years later when he remembered him when Pharaoh had a problem. Soon after, Pharaoh made Joseph second only to him in Egypt.

He was being prepared over the years without even knowing it. First, watching over his brothers for his dad. Then managing his master’s home, later the jail after he was imprisoned. Lastly, all of Egypt itself.

Still, I’d like to know what’s ahead. I looked at two books I had read last year, hoping to find more clarity. I didn’t really find anything new. The road I’m on is like an interstate. I’m driving, but not navigating, so I don’t know which exit is mine, let alone how much farther I have to go. So like the impatient kid riding in the back seat, I ask, “Are we there yet?”

Are you there yet? Do you even know where you’re going?

Where To Now?

Have you ever reflected on how much you’ve grown? Stopping to consider every growth mark as you check it off? Sometimes it is just a single step forward and two steps back. You grow strong, stunted or just wither.

As a kid, I didn’t know who I wanted to be like. It varied between being like my dad or my grandpa; sometimes it was Superman or Batman. Occasionally, I’d make up a superhero and be like them. It was always a twist on a current hero. Just searching for an identity.

A little older and I had the depth to ask how do I want to be. Crafting a moral code based on characters I read about in books and comics. Mostly the western heroes in William W. Johnstone’s Mountain Man series and Wolverine.

Then I was back to looking for my identity, this time partially from within. Between Thorin’s writings, and still somewhat emulating characters like Gibbs on NCIS and Riddick, I was looking for who I was. Confused may not be a strong enough adjective.

Then I began the journey that I chronicled in Discovering You. I began to craft my identity. Blueprints were drawn up and I got to work. “I will become this.”

I became Batman.1ce54-the-dark-knight-rises

Just kidding.

Tragedy did cause that identity to crumble and my self-delusion to be exposed. I wasn’t the uber-warrior and intellectual demigod that I thought I was. Again, I had to ask, who am I?

Life seems to be an existential crisis at times, doesn’t it? Looking at the shattered pieces, I slowly began to gather them up. Taking my time, slowly gluing them back together, and asking, what am I?

Last year I figured it out, how I was designed, which pointed to which purpose I could serve and how I could use it, filling in the gaps serving and teaching.

The questions this year are how can I grow? What do I see that must be changed? Do I have a dream that stretches me beyond my limits?

The site has been ramped up to two posts a week. The posts are also being promoted to a wider audience and are more in-depth. Still, it’s like I’m in a holding pattern, waiting for the go ahead. I just don’t know where the destination is.