Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Vrrooommm!

I'll blog more later. Just to give you an update, tonight I finished a seminar on parenting. The folks at St. Clairsville couldn't have been nicer. They've known me for years. When I came back to America I worked in Lancaster, Ohio for just under nine years and then went to Morgantown, West Virginia for eight more. St. Clairsville is between those two towns. They know I'm an Isaac so they bring me in, have me speak in the evenings, and leave me alone during the day. I eat with their small groups in the evening, speak, and then retreat. I wish all congregations were that understanding.

I leave in the morning for Winchester, Virginia. I am to give six talks on Christian Evidences there, ending on Saturday around noon. Then... I get to drive all the way back to Lake Orion, Michigan, a distance of around 520 miles. Adding to the difficulty factor there is the loss of an hour that night due to the time change. Keep me in prayer! I hope to be back in time for a few hours sleep before I preach our three services the next morning.

And after preaching... I'll do the Isaac thing and go home, sit quietly, read, and not interact with anyone other than my dear wife, son, daughter, and son-in-law. Oh, and Scooby, The Wonder Parrot. They know I'm Isaac and they love me. Thank you, dear God, for such a family.

So why does an introvert, loner, Isaac-type individual hit the road so often? Look at the last sentence in the last paragraph. It's gratitude, baby; pure, sweet, gratitude. Thank you, Jesus, for not leaving me in the ditch. I'll do what you want and go where you want as long as you want. Promise.

8 Comments:

At 3/29/2006 11:12:00 PM , Blogger Morris said...

Yes, from gratitude comes love, and love is hugely motivating thing.

 
At 3/30/2006 12:36:00 AM , Anonymous renee cutts said...

I hear you. Everyday I look where I am and I stand clueless as to why God has blessed me so. I literally could have been left in the ditch many times in my youth. I remember crawling out of more than a few ditches. I remember what it was like to be in the darkness. I remember that void, the emptiness.

The mentor in the Bible I most admire has to be Job. Most mentors in the Bible found themselves in a few ditches but not Job. He is so unlike me. I wish I could go back into my youth and be someone who was righteous, who did all the right things and was respected for doing so, both in the eyes of man and God. Like Job, I've been blessed with family but unlike Job, I haven't had that taken from me and yet...he did, that and his wealth and success, and even his health and he remained faithful.

I know I'm not deserving of what I have and that alone makes me wonder why these blessings exist for me. Sometimes I'm afraid that someone is going to pinch me and I'll wake up to find it's all a dream.

I pray that despite the failures in my life, God just grants me another day to be with my husband and raise the children he blessed us with in a way that is pleasing to him and prepares them to be faithful.

Job appreciated his family, he prayed for them and sacrificed for them in body and spirit, he was concerned daily that their souls were right with God. I wonder if that desire for his family, that fear, helped keep him on track with God. Satan wanted to see what would happen if he took away the apple of his eye, but he made the mistake of thinking it was his family and his lifestyle, all his blessings that caused the devotion Job had for God. He was wrong.

I've been on the other side of that fear, I know what it's like to be without God. Those fears cause me to do things like homeschool my children so they have God foremost in their education, sort of like Job making those sacrifices, just in case his children had sinned. But how did he know how important that relationship was?

I hope my rememberance of the darkness would help me if I had to walk in Job's shoes but I can't help but wonder how Job did it? I don't think Job ever experienced what it was like not to have God before Satan played games with his head. I don't think he had a ditch experience to call into rememberance before Satan falsely created one for him.

No wonder God thought so much of Job. I am in wonder of all those Christians that just get it, they get God without having to crawl out of a ditch first. I am also in wonder of how God could care for all of us ditch crawlers. Being a former ditch crawler, I can't shake the image, it haunts me and it keeps me humble when I see that homeless, atheist, or even the rebellous. They are my kindred shadows.

I'm an off the scale introvert, an INFJ, per Myers Briggs, and Jung and Keirsey and equally across the board a prophet-mercy-giving teacher in those recent spirtual tests, a combination that shouldn't even exist, but I think most of the reason I feel I don't fit in at church is because I feel like it's full of Job's and I don't belong in that line-up.

I come to church anyway because God wants me to be there for them and us for Him. And, despite my introversion, there are a few people that really do that encourage me, too. I have to admit I need that once or twice upon a week. I try to entice ditch crawlers to church but most of them think they are unfit for such goings. I also try to keep watch out for any ditch crawlers coming into church because I know how they feel. They need to know they are not alone.

Non-Christians I've talked with usually give me one of two reasons for not wanting to associate with Christians, either we are too good for them or not good enough. I don't think they get it but maybe a lot of us don't either.

 
At 3/30/2006 03:36:00 AM , Blogger Laurie said...

God speed on your travels. Be safe.

 
At 3/30/2006 09:06:00 AM , Blogger KentF said...

Safe travels Patrick. I pray you can make it to east Texas some day.

 
At 3/30/2006 10:20:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eric E. said...

Great! I guess I need to cancel that surprise welcome home party for you. It would've been fantastic with tons of people packed in your house, music, Twister... perhaps we could do it after you get done preaching three times Sunday morning?!
(I'm probably the only one laughing at the thought of this.)

 
At 3/30/2006 01:39:00 PM , Blogger David U said...

Keep it between the ditches, my brother! Isn't coming home wonderful? There is a sermon, huh?
:)


DU

 
At 3/31/2006 11:35:00 AM , Blogger Bill said...

God bless you, dear brother. Here's what I'm noticing as I grow older and closer to home: Life has many seasons. And, at the risk of sounding a bit too cutesy: There are reasons for these seasons. God uses the tension between seasons to balance the life His creation, even clashes between waxing and waning seasons have value.

Likewise, God has sprinkled the garden of humanity with a variety of different types of people. Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but its brilliance is magnified through contrast. Your long walks, quiet conversations with God, sensitive heart that draws printed word from the page into your mind, your yearning for time alone with God, your Isaacness, are all part of God’s ebb and flow, not just in your life but in the lives your life touches.

Alas! Their number is legion, who gad about life barely skimming the surface of serious thought. I know, for flittering about and frittering away the day in casual conversation and incidental endeavor can be one of my greatest challenges. That’s why I need Isaac’s in my life. Because of the contrast in lifestyles and temperament, I believe that God uses each of us shape the other’s behavior. As this occurs, I imagine that God looks at the part of the garden we share and says, “Now, that’s what I’m talkin’ about!”

As you "Vrrooommm!” off to your various assignments remember: Peter and Paul and Mary and Martha are all waiting to hear what God’s Isaac has to share with them today!

 
At 4/02/2006 02:41:00 PM , Blogger Jesse said...

I pray for your safety, and have a good time!

 

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