Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Man Overboard

My first'll take far more than doing a blog to make me "cool". But you know that, right? I'm finishing up coaching at Intensive Church Planter Training in Spartanburg. I always get far more than I'll ever be able to give. It's always a divine redirect for me, an opportunity to evaluate how "harvest" focused I am. Or have I just become obsessed with the Sunday morning stuff of church, the mechanics of keeping rather than finding? This time, my three days with the planters and presenters at ICPT have been part of something bigger and more basic for me...

I've been reading John Ortberg's "If You Want to Walk on Water, You Have to Get Out of the Boat", and it is exactly what I've needed at this juncture of my journey. Forgive the cliche, but I'm at a crossroad. I'm faced with the choice to experience more of the same...a measure of effectiveness and usefulness...a "good" life and a "good" ministry. Or is there more?
I know there is. I can't help but believe that God has been showing me that He is interested in doing something greater than I've ever imagined...than I've ever been a part of. God has been wrestling me toward this realization for the last few weeks, even before I picked up Ortberg's book. But now I realize that I've played it safe most of my Christian life, I've stayed in the boat where I'm familiar and comfortable, at least more comfortable than I would be getting out of it and walking on the stormy waters with Jesus.

Trying to distill into understandable words a 3 week journey which I'm still processing myself is difficult, but let me just get to the nitty gritty of it all. I understand that my "boat" where I've been sitting comfortably to this point is a place of little faith. I've been satisfied to sit back and ride along content with whatever God might do around me. I've been content to have a God whom I believed walks on water, calms the storms, and can make me walk on water if he wants too. I've been content to say: "He can if He wants"...but never to risk actually asking him to do something that Great. How's that worked out for me? Pretty Good, really. Good, not GREAT, not great in Biblical proportions. That's just not good enough. God has helped me to see that I'd rather not risk being disappointed. I'd rather not ask him for something amazing than risk asking him and having him not do it.

I never realized that about me. I thought I was a person of strong faith. I've been safe in the boat, satisfied with a God whom I dared not ask for great things, lest I be disappointed. But he is a great God, greater than my I'm jumping the rail and asking him to pour himself out in a grand and glorious way that can't be know, like when a fisherman walks on water with a carpenter. I'm risking the asking, no longer satisfied for what I can do in the boat, for spectating as He walks on water alone without me.

Man overboard,