Archive for September, 2004

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Uncertainty

September 11, 2004

“Wish that I was on old rocky top
Down in the tennessee hills
Ain’t no smoggy smoke on rocky top
Ain’t no telephone bills

Rocky top you’ll always be home sweet home to me
Good ‘ol rocky top
Rocky top tennessee”

Well, sort of. I believe I’m still paying my phone bill. True statement: “ain’t no smoggy smoke”. True statement: “I miss LA”. This weekend I’ve been spending time in Nashville with the individuals that make up the Mosaic community here. Today I went apartment shopping with Mary Lu, my new roommate. Yes, it’s true, I have a home in Tennessee, now about that job thing…

It has been great meeting people I’ve only heard about or talked to on the phone, and to see Josh and Elizabeth again, whom I served alongside at Mosaic Los Angeles. It has been a good reality check to actually see the city in which I will be living. I’ve been to Nashville several times before, but this time I see it in a whole new light. This is my mission field. I’m not a tourist. I’m not here to see the Opryland Hotel, visit the Wildhorse Saloon or to pay a visit to the Hatch print shop. I’m here to make tents (or lattes) and serve God with my life through advancing his kingdom here on earth. It finally occurred to me today, as I signed my life away on this apartment lease, that logically speaking I am insane. I guess Jesus was right, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you odd” (or maybe that was my friend Chris Corwin). I’m renting an apartment, however, I don’t know where the rent money is going to come from. It’s not as though I will be jobless, but one can only work for $7.22 an hour for so long and live. Needless to say, the job search is still on. The way I’m seeing things is that I’m in a position where God has to work, or I’m on the street (okay, okay…God has to work or I’m back living at home…right mom?) Logically I’m insane. Biblicallly I’m closer to the path than even I some times think. Uncertain. Temporary. Tentative. Welcome to my life. Oh yeah, and did I mention it’s exciting as hell. That is if the lake of fire isn’t really what it’s all cracked up to be, and hell is really just a place where you can drink all the Coca-Cola Classic you want to with an unending supply of limes and actually lose weight. The followers of Christ that are written about and written to (by Paul, Peter and the like) lived in a constant state of uncertainty. Certainty was something Jesus never promised. We, in America, even as Christians in America, live in uncertainty, yet often we fool ourselves into thinking certainty is something we control. I’m writing on the anniversary of 9/11. Life, American life, the Christian life is uncertain. The way I see it is that we have two choices: we can either do our best to create a false sense of certainty or embrace the uncertainty of living in a defective world, leaning only on the promise that Jesus has and will overcome it.

“I think for most of us we want to see and then we’ll go….and all the while God is saying, ‘If you would just go, then you would begin to see.”

-Erwin McManus

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The In-Between

September 8, 2004

I feel like I’ve been in-between ever since I graduated from Taylor. In-between TU and working for Youthworks. In-between working for Youthworks and going back home. In-between living at home and Mosaic. In-between Mosaic and starting Mosaic in Nashville. My life in the last year or so has been all kinds of transition. Stability, as far as community goes, has been here and there. I’ve not known quite what to do with myself in the in-between, how to settle my soul. Things have been rocky in there since the beginning of my senior year at Taylor. But I’ve had a night that I’m sure many people have had from time to time. I’m in the process of cleaning out my closet, throwing all kinds of stuff away, minimizing the amount of junk that has collected over 23 years of life. I have a certain box, and all that is in it are notes and cards. Tons of notes and cards. I can’t throw them away. They are a part of me. They are my story. Some go back all the way to jr. high. I read through high school notes, college notes, notes from brothers and sisters in Christ, and notes from those who did not and still don’t know God. I’m a critic. I think through everything. I don’t always come to right conclusions, but I break things down to the roots. I am MY worst critic. I break myself down to the roots, and I always tend to see how far from pretty they are. I think through the events and people in my life and how they effected me and how I effected them, whether joys or pains, whether I have caused the hurt or been the cause of hurt, whether the source of joy for someone or given joy by a friend. Tonight, in my reading, I was reminded of who I have been, and who I still am and can be. Jesus tells me who I am by his life and in his word to me. Paul reminds me of who Jesus said I am and how I was created to live. My friends, people who have touched my life and whom my life has touched, validate that Christ indeed dwells in me even when I refuse to recognize him in myself. There are some days when I think that there is no good in me, when all my roots are showing, and yet somehow others can see that the good is there. The see the life above the ugly roots that would not be there had the roots not been planted in good soil. I see the good and the potential in so many people, I just never expect that they do the same in return, for me no less. I’m re-energized tonight at the thought of being in the in-between. I’m growing, and there is much to be done. There are many much needed conversation to have with Papa. And I’m finally feeling like talking.