Taking a Ride On the Crazy Train: What I Got, What I Learned, Destination Truth Stops Here…

recently, i found myself on what i can only refer to is “the crazy train…” here is what happened before i woke up… came to my senses and jumped off…

it was a normal day, started out the same as every other day… yet here i am over 12 months later waking up on this crazy train and the only word coming out of my mouth was (an expression used by my 2 year old) “WHAT…”

the following is a very brief glimpse into my “crazy train ride” spending the last year or so going through what i thought was just a need for a ‘new look,’ a fashion update of sorts… however after throwing out all my old clothes, buying new clothes then losing weight and having to throw out the new cloths and buy more new clothes… deceiving myself by buying ‘vintage’ clothing on ebay, spending waisted gas, time and $ driving to and from  macy’s, goodwill, marshall’s and tj max (both of the last two have great inexpensive coffee…) that really did not work and traveling down a desperate fashion trail for the perfect jeans, shoes and hair style for a guy in his 40s… selling my cool vintage bmw for a cooler ‘newer’ vintage mini cooper… auditioning for every singing reality show I could get to, creating a really weird (yes, Adam i am finally admitting it) Youtube page… trying to update our house and make it look like something from HGTV all the while working at being a devoted husband (and not drive my wife too crazy) and a good dad without losing my patience, freaking out or burning out… i won’t even get into my work and life as a pastor (for now anyway)… WHEW…

i began to think… i am really missing something and creating a silly, dramatic mess for no reason…

through all this vain concern and futile pursuit (another way of saying, “how embarrassing and what a waist of time…”) i came to the realization that perhaps i had not lost my fashion sense and what a silly concern in the first place… the only real dilemma was the financial, mental, crazy one i created on the crazy train of self-discovery that… I WAS SMACK DAB IN THE MIDDLE OF MY VERY OWN MID-LIFE CRISIS (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midlife_crisis)… “SUPER UGH!”

ouch… i thought i would be able to skip this or at the very least it would not catch me by surprise…

CRAZY TRAIN EXPERIENCE: what i got, what i learned and the truth i turned back to…

what i got on the “crazy train” was a good pair of jeans (ok 2 pair) for a guy in his 40’s (buffalo, NOT skinny jeans), discovered a great cheap bottle of red wine (lucky duck), a collection of vintage T-shirts (from macy’s and ebay) a great camel winter car coat from ebay, spent fifty bucks on a pair of converse sneakers (WHAT) and began riding my bike, watching what i was eating and lost 20 lbs…

what i have learned (again…) is that none of these things will ever make me happy… infact unless i continue to chase after Jesus i could easily spend the rest of my life on the crazy train and one day… in my vain pursuit of self, probably fall of the crazy train and get run over… WHAT!

the truth God continues to mercifully teach me… when you find yourself on the crazy train… don’t think, don’t rationalize, don’t buy another thing… jump and turn to the Lord for help…

– 16 But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.
2 Corinthians 3:16-18

taking a ride on the crazy train: what i got, what i learned and the truth i turned back to...

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A Good Day to Start…

Until today, every time i would stop to think, “I should start a blog,” immediately a distraction or pressing need would interrupt my thoughts or the time just never seemed right… also, I was not sure ‘how’ to start or research enough to decide which one of the numerous blogging forums to use…

…then this morning as I as found myself in a quiet moment with the rain softly tapping the window of my favorite room in our house… sitting in my favorite chair I ran across a pastor and church that I have been somewhat stalking; Paul Stewart and the gateway church in Des Moines, IA… http://www.thegatewaychurch.com/

…Paul does not know me and I only know of him by happening upon the church website one day… I was immediately attracted to the beautiful, eclectic and creative presentation of the gospel through their website and a noticeable freedom and cool understanding of God…

Sooo when I noticed that Paul was blogging using typepad (I decided to go with word press… more compatible with my ipad2) I thought… why not… today’s a good day to start…

Jeremiah 29:11-13

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Sometimes We Are Just Afraid of the Wrong Thing(s)…

as I was reading through the Bible this morning about Job’s search for wisdom and understanding and his struggle with fear I was immediately mindful of my conversation with my oldest son Noah last night…

you see Noah is in a challenging class this year (5th grade ae) and told his teacher he was probably not smart enough to be in the class… when I asked him why he said that to his teacher and what was he afraid of (I pretty much new why, since he is just like me and I’ve been in the same position too many times to count…)’ he said, “dad, all the kids are saying I shouldn’t be in such a smart class and if this is true then I’d prefer it to be my decision to drop out rather than get kicked out if I fail and the kids have even more reason to give me a hard time…”

you have to know how much… how desperately I love this amazingly, beautiful, smart, incredible son of mine… to know all the thoughts and emotions going on inside my heart and head at that moment… however, my response was, “Noah, first in the face of any fear, and life is going to be full of them, never admit defeat to your enemy(s)… but know where to run for help… second, there is no such thing as being smart enough, you can (and should) only do your best and treat others with humility and respect… lastly, your mother and I love you and have your back… we will never expect you to do more than your best and be kind and respectful to others…”

I gave him a big hug, we prayed together and finished practicing guitar together and he ran down stairs to play before dinner…

It wasn’t until this morning that I realized how much and how often I’m afraid of situations and instead of running to God for wisdom and knowledge I try to find my own way out (just like Noah in his 5th grade ae class…) the truth is, Noah and I (and perhaps you too) are fearing the wrong thing(s)…

there’s nothing wrong with fear, infact fear is an answer not a roadblock… we have been fearing the wrong things…

Job 28:12-13, 23, 28

Lord, help us to fear you and lead us to Your wisdom and understanding…”

Aug 28, 2012