Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Trust Exrecise

So I'm taking a break from my bible posts for a bit to jot down some thoughts about what God's trying so desperately to get through my brain (those of you who know me know that depending on what kind of mood in just how difficult that can be.)

2010 so far (so far HA! We only have a 4 months left in the year) has been a complete transformation for me. I've learned a ton! I've learned what it really means to be not just a man, but a Godly man. The kind of man that loves God first, others second and himself third. I've learned that to be a Christian you can't just go on what others tell you, no matter how legit it may be. To be a Christian you have to seek out Jesus for yourself, because its not all academic. You can know, that you know, that you know, everything the bible says, all the stories and verses and people, but with out a true relationship, you aren't reaping the full benefits of being a follower of Christ. I've learned that, and a ton of other things that I can't think of at the moment and its taken all of that to realize that God is no where near done with me yet.

This summer I feel that God's been teaching me a lot about trust. I've always trusted him, but in a tentative way. Something about giving somebody with so much power over me that kind of trust just scares the crap out of me. What person who loves driving so much sits in the passenger seat quietly? I don't necessarily shout things as a passenger, but I think it all! I'm a backseat thinker. So giving God the keys and sitting down and shutting up isn't the easiest thing for me.

God started early this summer. I enjoyed my first year of college a little too much...I neglect the school factor and landed myself into a bad spot. My GPA was low enough that Nyack would have been perfectly justified in saying "thanks but no thanks, try RCC". I was freaking out. Here I was finally in a place where I could grow.  I had friends that had become more than friends, family in fact. I had found a girl that I loved and that loved me in ways that I had never knew existed, and it was all about to be ripped away because I stupidly decided to ignore all things academic. Normally in these situations I would talk to Mariah or Art, because the two of them know me better than anyone and I can talk to them and bounce thoughts and ideas off of them and they can tell me what they're thinking and its awesome. But they were gone for the summer, so I was kind of on my own in a sense. It was really eating at me. I started thinking. Now its a great thing...the human mind, but for some reason mine always goes on overdrive so I tend to think the worst case scenario first...I often say that its a bad thing when I start to think...I'm an act then think kind of guy. I went down to the river to try and process it all, and for the first time I brought my iPod. I started playing worship music just to get some form of piece and on the shuffle came Delirious?'s My Glorious. The chorus is "God is bigger than the air I breathe, the world we'll leave. God will save the day and all will say 'My glorious'" I immediately got this overwhelming sense of peace. It was as if God was saying "Dude I've got your back in everything. If you end up at Nyack its because I want you there, and if you end up at RCC its because I want you there. I'm not going to put you in a situation or give you something you can't handle. Just trust me dude, I got this." I felt like I didn't need to worry about anything because I wasn't the one who controlled anything. The end of the story is that I ended up on Academic Probation. God had my back.

Trust is a tough things for humans. In my mind at least. We come into the world as babies and trust everybody because we don't really have another choice. We're born trusting, and somewhere between toddlerism and adulthood we see what the world really is, and our trust gene gets warped and twisted and demented and we rarely trust anything. We lose trust in our families, our friends, our church, our government, our finances, ourselves. Now often this is brought on by what we see and hear. We'll hear a story from a friend about a promise that was made by their parent, and they didn't follow through for the hundredth time. We'll see friendships fail because of betrayal. We see humans treating each other like crap. All these things are burned in our minds, in our souls, and they teach us to keep our guards up. To protect ourselves because nothing can be trusted. After all of that who would trust God? I mean we can't even physically see him, and that just sets up red flags all over. We pray to him and ask him for things we want and He doesn't come through! How's that make Him any different from the world we live in? I want you to stop and reread the last two sentences. We ask him for the things WE want. Thats another thing this world has taught us. Look out for YOURSELF. Worry about YOURSELF. Protect YOURSELF. Look out for your "star playa" as the comedian Katt Williams puts it. We spend all of this time only trusting ourselves because nobody knows us better than we do, it becomes a habit one that is forged over a life time, and trusting God just makes no sense what so ever. But we forget, that its not about what we want. Its what He wants. When God's in the driver seat, asking him over and over and over again for things we want makes us backseat drivers...nobody likes a backseat driver. I personally lash out irrationally occasionally at backseat drivers.  God doesn't need some one to tell him where to go. We have to just sit back and go along for the ride, and thats not easy to do.

I got my next lesson in trust later on this summer. I've been worrying a lot about the future. In the department of where, when and how marriage comes into he picture. Like I said earlier, I'm an act first think later kind of person, and I would like nothing more that to marry the cheese to my macaroni right now. But I started thinking, and at one point every thought imaginable was clouding my brain until I could think of nothing else. God again stepped in my path and said..."Dude, trust me. I'm here for that reason. I'm here because believe it or not, I know whats going on. Remember that...I got this" I realized that I had been thinking all the time and discussing things with the right people but leaving out one important individual...the one who knew what was going on better than anyone.

Thats another thing I think we do. We talk to everyone about everything, Yet we forget to talk to the One who knows better than ANYBODY about whats going to happen. I know it sounds crazy, but I think that often when we do talk to God about our things, we do so as a formality rather than because we trust him. We need to drop the formality. The Cookie Cutter Christian way of doing things is that when we don't know about something we "Dear Jesus", pull out our bibles and read a verse, because its all we know. I'm not saying these are the wrong things to do, but what I am saying is that its pointless to do if your going to just go back and start worrying all over again. When you run to jump off of a mountain into a net, you can't keep stopping before you hit the edge because your not fully won't have enough speed to get far enough out to hit the net. When you talk to God about your junk, let it go and trust that he's got it.

My most recent lesson is going on right now. God is teaching me to trust him in ministry. I think because God gave me such an overactive imagination I tend to get all kinds of ideas, and I think that they make perfect sense and I often can't figure out why people don't see the same thing. I sometimes forget that I'm not the one running the show. I frequently need to be reminded to bring it to Him, and actually LEAVE it there. I want to do so many things, and they all feel right. I feel really good about them. But I have to remember not to dwell on them, because if they aren't from God then they aren't meant to be. I have to be ok with that, because ultimately what he wants is so much better than anything my imagination can cook up. Who knows? Maybe my ideas are really God's ideas. I just have to remember to trust that he's got everything under control.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says:

[5] Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding. [6] In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV)

We have to trust God with all of us. We can't just know it in our minds and in our hearts not trust him. Trust is something that many of us (myself included) need to retrain ourselves to do. We need to have the ability to trust people again. I'm not saying that we need to trust everyone automatically. But we can't not trust people first thing. Because if everybody did that, well the world would be worse than it is. Trust God first and foremost. He really knows what he's doing. Think about it...what's God's trust exercise for you? What's your trust fall?