This is going to be one of those raw honesty kind of blogs. I’m not going to have crafty segues into my next thoughts. It’s…well, it’s exactly what the title implies.
It has been a long time since I have done any exciting traveling. The last place I went out of state (that I recall) is Tennessee in 2009, but it was a one-day trip for Thanksgiving. Before that, who knows when the last time was that I saw something new I’d never seen or traveled for fun. It’s really starting to bum me out, especially when I have friends who get to go to France, or even just other states for their vacations. I really want to see some new stuff. I was going to plan to go to Illinois this Summer, and see Chicago, but I’m not sure if that’ll happen or not. There are variables.
A few weeks ago, when I was meeting with my pastor and going through the book we’re going through (Men in Their Own Skin,) a question came up: what do you think is holding you back from being a fully spiritual man? I realized at that point that something I’ve been missing for a long time is a friend to be beside me, a battle partner of sorts. Now, don’t start telling me about all of the friends I have–I am aware that I have a lot of friends. But a lot of my friends are married, or in a relationship, most are college graduates or still in high school. Also, a lot of my friends are women. All of this has been okay with me for the most part, but it’s one of those things that starts wearing on you after a while. I have men in my life that I “report to,” and I have male friends that I hang out with, but I don’t feel like there’s been anybody that I am on the same page with–where I am in my walk with the Lord, my age, my occupational status, etc…I feel alone. I feel like there are folks in boats ahead of me, encouraging me along, and there are folks in boats behind me, who I can encourage and spur along. But I don’t feel like there is anyone in my boat, or beside my boat. I’m sure there are some, but friends must be made–I can think of at least one instance in which I am trying to be more deliberate about cultivating a deep, godly friendship. Still, right now it’s hard.
Along those lines, there have been soooooooooo many people I’ve missed out on meeting. A group of people known as KWAM (Kingdom Ways and Means) came to my church last summer, and I wanted to go. At least I think I did–I know that in retrospect I would have killed to be a part of it. It was about redefining church–what is the church, what makes a “church service,” how to have a home church service, etc. I know that a portion of it had to with planting churches. At the end of the week or weekend or however long it lasted, there were home church services held at different people’s homes within the church. Someone led worship, someone preached, there was childcare, etc….it was a really good time, even being a part of one of the home churches. I wish I could have done it. I missed out on being around Kelly and Nicki(?) Tshibaka, Bill and Harriet Mouer, Daniel Brown–I am nearly bawling just thinking about it. I wish I could have gone, and it really breaks my heart that I couldn’t be a part of it.
I was also in nearly perfect position to go to the Foursquare district conference–I had the money taken care of, I was STOKED, and ready to go…but that’s when I started my new job. It was the second week of training, and the night I was called about accepting the job, my boss asked me about any scheduling conflicts, and I said that I was registered for this conference, and I really wanted to go, and I told her it wasn’t a dealbreaker. I wish I hadn’t. I didn’t get to go. I missed out on a session with Bill Mouer about sermon preparation. I missed out on a night with Glen Burris, talking and drinking coffee. I missed out on meeting all kinds of young leaders my age and making friendships that would have lasted for years and years to come.
Here lately, I have been thinking about this and last night I was thinking about the upcoming camp for the youth at our church this summer, and I felt the Lord telling me to save money and provide a scholarship for one youth at our church. I felt this because I realize how much going to camp changed my own life and I wanted to provide that opportunity for someone.
So, all of this to say that I have to confess that I am slightly frustrated right now. Don’t think that I’m not all for giving a youth a life-changing opportunity. I AM. I absolutely am. But I am also bummed out that I wasn’t able to do these amazing things, and now my traveling funds are going on a back burner until I get enough money to cover one teenager’s cost of camp. It can be frustrating.
Lately I feel like I am getting less and less motivated. It’s to a point where I just want to ask, “what about me, Lord? When am I going to be able to do something amazing and extraordinary? When am I going to get an opportunity that I’ll actually be able to take?”
I know that God’s not punishing me for all of the mistakes I’ve made with money. Money is the reason I missed KWAM. I don’t believe God is like that. He’s not the type to say, “you don’t get any good things until you get your life in order.”
But in all of this, I still feel like everything is going to be okay. Eventually, I’ll go see something amazing, maybe New York City. I’ll develop a relationship that turns into a best friendship. I’ll get to meet some amazing leaders in the Foursquare movement, and some young people who have been doing what I’ve been doing (and more, I’m sure!) God just keeps saying: your day is coming.
Lord, I’ll take it. Help me to be where I am.