I think that age, has, well…aged me. Honestly and most seriously, if you had asked me a few years ago what I was doing. Just that – Carl, what are you doing? I would have looked you in the eye and said “Saving the Middle East.” Not the whole world, just the Middle East. About 100 million or so….
I would have wrapped it in some Theo-talk. You know. Things like “Working with the Holy Spirit to do His will.” Or maybe, “Doing what I see the Father doing.” Or even, “Lifting up Jesus and letting His Spirit do the heavy lifting.” You know the stuff… But honestly, I thought I was doing a good 50% of the work. Okay, maybe 40%.
I had charts. Goals. Hard targets. Dates and ways and means. Teams. Staff. Structure. Initiatives and meetings. I was doing everything from starting church planting movements to discipling nations. Leading Muslims to Christ. The Great Commission wrapped seamlessly inside the Great Commandment. Loving God and Neighbor. Writing. Speaking. TV. Radio. Content and purpose driven. Driven. Oh…that word. Driven.
Now you might look at my life and say “Come on Carl, don’t be a reverse hypocrite – your life is still totally insane. You work harder then anyone. I can’t keep up and I’m only following you on Facebook.” And you’d be right. Well, partially right. Here’s the difference – and it’s significant.
Yep, that’s pretty much it. What that means to me is that I’ve learned a few things along the way. Things about motivation. Desire and drive. What pushes or propels or calls me – from the Inside? Am i working FOR God, or with him? Under him or alongside him? Loving Chris and the kids and my (literal) neighbors first? (You’d have to ask them). Or are the second? Do i feel that working long hours and taking more trips…makes God love me more? Or am I relaxed? Serving with vigor, but not out of compulsion?
I think that’s the difference. I’m much less stressed. More excited to see what God’s up to than what I’m up to. Enjoy talking about Jesus, because he’s AWESOME, not because I’m supposed to. I don’t worry about hell. Eschatology. Even theology (as many of you have noted). 🙂
I LOVE the idea that we’re going to the Middle East as a family. Four countries in 14 full days. I’ll be herding 20 or so people around every day to places that most have only heard of – it’ll be exhausting. I’ll fall in bed at night next to Chris – with kids in the next room – and we’ll sigh deeply and say “I’m tired.” We’ll smile and go to sleep – all in about 30 seconds. And then wake up and do it again. The days will be the 16 hour types. Not easy stuff. But fun. Oh, will it ever be fun! Challenging. Adventurous. And I can’t wait to see what God is going to do.
I’m not saving the world, but I still hope and pray Jesus is. In the meantime, let’s join in and have some fun!