“Yo estaba con Dios y el diablo, y yo llegamos a Dios.”

I was with God and the devil, and I reached out to God.

Prayer of thanks

These were the words of one of the Chilean miners rescued earlier this morning by a legion of rescue and aid workers, just moments after stepping out of the barely shoulder-width rescue capsule that reminds me of the capsules used by drive-through banks.  Later, another miner waved his small Bible in the air with his right hand after leaving the capsule, shouting praises to God as loud as his weary voice allowed him to.  And just a few minutes before I started writing this post, the rescuers pulled the 18th miner up from the depths of the earth.  After being released from his harness he immediately fell to his knees, crossed himself and prayed fervently while his wife rushed toward him, wrapping his shoulders in a blanket emblazoned with the image of the Virgin Mary, weeping with joy and relief as she then wrapped her own arms around her husband, nearly lost but now found.

As I wipe the tears from my eyes, I stop to consider the depths I’ve been in: the depths of sin, of shame, of sadness and anger and defeat.  I wander through the dark in this bitter cave of my own creation, trying to survive in body, sanity and spirit.  And I think about the Father who organized a massive rescue effort just for me, working tirelessly day and night that I would ascend through the black and eventually hear His voice calling from the opening above my head.

And I answer back, “Yes, Lord, here I am!”

And I am pulled out of the hole I dug for myself and into the strong waiting arms of my Father.

Bienvenido a casa.

Welcome home.

(Translations obtained from Google Translate.  Corrections welcome.)

Starting anew…

Genesis 6, where God puts a limit on our life span, giants walk the earth (the offspring of angels and human women, apparently… sounds like something out of Lord Of The Rings…), and a fresh start of sorts.

I can’t imagine God’s pain in seeing how His creation went its own way and did such foolish things.  Verse 6 says His heart was broken for even creating us in the first place…  When He is all we need, when all of life can flourish solely with Him as its Provider for all things, why in the world do we choose our own way?  And why does it seem so easy to choose the wrong way and His way seems harder?  I think by now it’s become more difficult to follow Him because of everything else that is around us, seeking our attention, attempting to break us away from our first love.  There’s such minimalism in following Him, and we’ve made it so much more complicated.

Now to the story of Noah.  I love this story, probably because of the film Evan Almighty.  While director Tom Shadyac and writer Steve Oedekerk do tend to go for the comedy angle on everything they do, the messages of faith, trust, and hope within the film are strong.  Critics lambasted the film for what they called a “condescendingly simplistic spiritual message,” but honestly, much of the world has strayed so far from God that it needs the message given to them as simply as possible.  As the apostle Paul said in his first letter to the church in Corinth, “… I gave you milk to drink, not solid food, because you weren’t ready for it.  And you’re still not ready!”

God wipes everything out with the flood.  A total clean sweep.  Nothing and no one but the creatures and Noah & his family on the ark survive.  Underground springs erupt, and the heavens open up and empty themselves onto the face of the earth.  Frightening.  Then, God stops filling the earth with water.  The waters recede, and God decides He will accept us as we are, and later on in history He chooses other means to reveal Himself to us.  For that, I am grateful.

The movement of God…

We’re in the midst of the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit, and I feel a stirring in my heart greater than I’ve felt in a while.  There’s a common thread of adoration that’s weaving its way through this auditorium right now, and I feel the vibrations from its strings.  My soul is aching to rise again, to take hold of the promises Christ has been constantly putting in my path.

I’ve been seeking renewal, motivation, inspiration, the innocent faith of a child that I seemed to have misplaced.  I’ve yearned to start over and made what I thought were valiant attempts.  But I realize that I’ve kept my feet planted still while He’s been in constant orbit around me, prodding me, trying to get my attention.  I need to reverse the equation, and as equally as He has pursued me, I must now pursue Him. I must pick up my feet and fall into orbit around Him.

In my weakness You make me strong
When I am helpless You come along
and move me, You move me right along
When I am drowning You take me high
Into Your shelter, back into life
my Savior divine.

In the beginning…

I’ve tried my hand at blogging before.  The results… trivial.  More like a brief daily report of what happened on a particular day.  Nothing exciting, nothing with any lasting effect or meaning or purpose.  Perhaps that’s just blogging for the sake of blogging, rather than using a blog as a historic timeline where one can look back and see how far they’ve come in a week, month, six months, a year, five years, a decade… I wonder who started the first blog ever?  I could Google it, but I’m already somewhat A.D.D. enough that completing this first post will be a miracle in and of itself.

So why am I doing this?  Because I do want a historic timeline that months or years from now I can trace my finger back across, looking further and further back at who I am now to, hopefully, see how far I’ve come.  Not because of me, but because of God.  Because of what I’ve invited Him into my life to do.  And now is the time to stop with the false-starts and the want-to’s and really-should’s and actually start something to break from the gate and run with all my might towards something bigger.

So I’m taking the starter’s pistol myself and firing it.  See you along the way.