MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2009
Never count out God. I don’t like to be Christian centric in my writing and I’m not going to be here, but those who know me, know that I am a big fan of God. I’m not somebody who parades around my faith as a thing for the masses to gock and stare at like a trophy or a merit badge I won for learning the art of weaving baskets. I hold my hope in something much more dear… and like most things which we hold in earnest, that means that I take it seriously and with a certain reverance that is simply untenable when compared with a Joel Osteen church service… even if it is the largest, most widely acceptable church service this side of a Billy Graham crusade. Those who know me, saints and sinners alike know that when it comes to God and my relationship with him… I treat it as authentically as I can. This includes the appropriate colloquialisms and slang, the pop culture as well as the prayer. I believe in being frank in my faith and this attitude carries with it a full time job. My authenticity is not a reaction to my faith, it’s a reaction to my hope… a hope which I have because I have seen God’s hand in real space and real time in really outlandish ways in my life. This presence has shaped my life in a way which can only be qualified and I stand before humanity in awe of it. Often in life, this leads me to a choice. The decision to take a road which is easier and normal, or the path which is narrow and less travelled. Those who know me know full well which path I have chosen to stride. My narrow path is one which I have run with such striking abandon that it makes those who watch me frightened to follow me on such a dangerous precipice, but at the same time mythologize my particular brand of humanity as something unattainable… a fact which often feels more a curse than a blessing. My wife is one of few to join me on the precipice of the narrow path, most others fall or turn back shortly after beginning the journey. I have mused to Mashayla that their’s a certain sense of providence to the way in which I stride with such reckless abandon through the countless pitfalls, tossing my talents, my time, my efforts and my possessions to the wind for the chance to make it to my final goal, and yet Mashayla seems to pick those items up after each careless toss and return them to me making up for my seeming lack of sensibility. It is in this way that I have often said that God loves me more than he loves her. And yet, she walks it well. As a life lived narrowly, we have had to forgo a large amount of things that other couples, even christian couples, take forgranted. We give our time, our home, our autonomy and our money to whomever God’s direction lays upon our hearts and in doing so we approach almost every day with a sense of duty, order and economy. This has allowed us opportunities to embrace God’s prime creation on a level that most other humans rarely experience… however, it has also led us to learn how to pinch every penny, eat less and save more. Sacrifices must be made, and on this path… we are the ones who make it. What is always interesting to me about what I do, is not so much what I can’t do, but rather what God does. The rampant providential thread of God shines through to many moments in my life that I cannot help but have my passions and my hopes fueled in a way which is at best weird to most, and at worst negligent to others. Yet I say with pride in my God that he cannot be counted out. Where I fail, he does not. Where circumstances refuse to throw me even their scraps, God sets down a feast in front of Mashayla and I which is bountiful and enough to feed not only my soul, but the souls in my care. It doesn’t take a christian to know that God’s hand resides in mine and Mashayla’s life in a way which is undeniable and unique. The season approaches where Mashayla and I will be called yet again to make choices upon the narrow path. We will not have enough money, food, hours at our jobs, or time to be a family… and yet I percieve a hope and a sense of wonderment… because I know that God cannot be counted out of this equation. I know that these struggles will not only provide yet another opportunity for him to prove his presence in my life… but they will also help me to remember that I can run… run along the narrow precipice and be not afraid. This sense of security will give me another reason to hope and to share and to love in an authentic way, and there is something about this that is far more important to me than a stable bank account, owning a home, knowing when the next meal will come, or living worry free could ever accomplish for me. This continuing revelation is not only worth remembering, its a truth that shapes who I am… its bigger than me and at the end of the day… knowing that something is more powerful than my drama, my bills, and my reality is ironically comforting.