A post from a friend

The following is a post from my former Pastor and friend. It touched my heart and I wanted to share it with you and pray it speaks to you as well.

I went to my cousin's memorial service this week. You would've loved Ed, he was a great pastor and a fun guy. I find myself sitting next to some of you in the stadium of questions. You know the place - it's the crowded arena that holds all of us who have had an experience that doesn't seem to fit in the game of life.

I hugged Ed's wife, who now is without a husband, a father for their kids, a pastor, and even a church. I stood in the stadium next to her and felt a fraction of her pain. We cried. I walked and talked with my other cousin who is now without his younger brother and himself racked with pain from cancer - we talked about God, about questions, about hanging on.

The stadium is often quite full. As I work my way out of the stadium I'm looking back making some observations.

1. The stadium of questions rarely has answers. I went in with a list of things that didn't make sense to me. I went in with a bunch of suggestions for God on how he could have handled this one differently. I went in thinking I should be exempt from having to be there again. I went in knowing I wasn't alone - but feeling like I was. Being answerless makes what I feel bigger than what I know.

2. The stadium is often the birth place of anger. It is amazing to me how close we are to an angry response. Please know that God can handle our anger, but in most cases it's a huge waste of our energy. We get angry over what we can't change and don't like. The danger is that anger not given to God grows into a poison that infects all of our life and is usually expressed on innocent bystanders.

3. The stadium of questions is where I am most selfish. I couldn't count how many people were there. When I'm in the arena I'm not usually aware of anyone else. I see people, but I don't notice souls if I'm not careful. My questions become my identity and the absence of answers is my evil twin. We're not good for each other.

4. The stadium of questions some how grows me. After I sit in my chair for a while and search for illusive answers I eventually notice that Someone is sitting close to me. At some point He asks if I am ready to leave. "But I don't have an answer yet," I reply refusing to get up. "You know, you can leave without one, don't you?" He kindly asks. "But if I have questions doesn't that mean I am weak and have no faith?" "No," He didn't hesitate to answer. "Are you willing to keep walking without an answer? Are you bold enough to let My Father have the answers and not share them with you? Are you able to have faith and questions at the same time?" He asked the series of rapid fire questions not waiting for my response. "Yah, I think I am." I finally said. "I'd love to have a person like that walk with me," He smiled. We stood together. I don't have answers - I have a Friend.

Leaving the Arena Again,
Pastor Dave

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