No one made me burn up my life in a whirlwind of disobedience to God. It was all my decision and I bore the consequences of my actions. It hurt. Not just the natural consequence but also the self inflicted consequence. I went into a self imposed season of self flagellation, cutting myself off from everything and everyone that brought me joy before, including sailing.
Seasons are a funny thing. If you live in Washington you know that predicting the seasons and what they will look like is not very productive, nor does such prognosticating do much for ones credibility. It is just too, well, unpredictable. The season of self loathing that I put myself through was the same. There are some that suggested that it should never be over, that I was a lost cause, beyond salvation’s reach. There are others who thought that I beat myself up too long. I truly did appreciate where both sides were coming from and their suggestions were not lost on me.
Seasons come and seasons go, and they aren’t really ever much alike out here in the Northwest. They start and end whenever they will, their durations and intensity moved by the Divine whim, for His good pleasure. Such I believe is my season. And thankfully that season appears to be coming to an end.
I have always loved the work of Jesus, historically in scriptures and anectdotally through the testimonies I hear from others. I believe that his redemptive power that is still working. It is working at me. When my spirit was fully prepared for His Spirit to work, my heart softened to allow the healing and redemptive work to begin. It took a long time to get here, but it required this much time for the ground to soak up enough moisture (am I mixing metaphors?) and for the sun to be at its right peak for the new growth to come out of the burned stubble that remained of my life. Haven’t we seen enough National Geographic on TV to know that sometimes it takes the intense heat of the fire to prepare the way for new growth?
It’s happening for me now. Even though summer in the Northwest is coming to a close, it feels just like spring time in my heart. I can see the tender green shoots coming up from the once scorched earth, verdant against a backdrop of gray, juxtaposed in a graphic display of my own ability, or rather inability to do for myself as compared to God’s redemptive work of grace.
The sailboat wasn’t just a gift of a material nature, it was a symbol of God restoring what was once so much a part of my life. Sailing is not so much a physical activity to me but more of a spiritual one. This was where I once received my inspiration and revelation. This was where I could busy myself and then wait on the voice of God. This was where I once went to separate myself from the chatter of life to just simply listen. And now it is back in my life.
I’m not sure where I am headed with this. As I was sharing this new season, this almost born again again feeling in my heart with a pastor friend of mine, he challenged me. While we spoke of a lot of things that day he challenged me in the areas of prayer, reading and writing. All three areas had been neglected for four long years. I took the challenge. I am reading daily reading from God’s Word as well as a great book by Hybels called Just Walk Across The Room. I am spending focused time in prayer each day as well as beginning to pray throughout the day whenever the human condition is placed before me. I am leading my wife in prayer and asking her to lead me. When we don’t know how to respond we are now praying. And of course I am writing. It might take me some time to once again find my voice. I haven’t used it for a long time. This should be interesting and we will see just how it pans out. Hope you are encouraged to find and ounce or two of redemption in your own life in just the right season.