Tuesday, April 15, 2014

#DangerDays: Forward Motion

We all know the feeling I'm talking about today. The rock you get in the pit of your stomach when something you have looked forward to for so long has come to pass and you are left with that awful "So what do I do now?" feeling. After 7 years of waiting, a dream has come true. I am free. It's time to face some new #DangerDays. And like most normal humans, I am not an action hero. I am not likely to go sprinting into the flames in search of a chance to be heroic...or dead. But the time to take a first step into a bold new future is here, and it feels very dangerous to me. I suppose that is why it feels so much safer to keep looking backwards...

The band Relient K once sang the lyrics, "I struggle with forward motion, we all struggle with forward motion...'cause forward motion is harder than it sounds..." I find this to be true in my own life, and especially right now. I want to use my new freedom to revisit my past, to reconnect with old friends and travel to comfortable and familiar places. And those are good things. However...to be satisfied with those things is to admit that I have already accomplished everything God has in mind for me. To stay where I am or to dwell in the past is to forget that we care called to "keep pressing on towards the prize that is Christ Jesus." Asking if God is finished with me is a moot question- I'm still breathing, so I'm not done yet. So the real question becomes where do I go from here?

I'm still praying about the answers to that question, but God has laid a few things on my heart already. I spent nearly 30 years working in churches teaching about the love and grace of Jesus. I have spent the past 5 years trying to share stories of relationships and God's overwhelming love on this blog. But it is clear to me that I have now experienced grace, forgiveness and redemption in a public and concrete way that very few have experienced- and God wants me to keep telling that story. God wants me to deliver the age old message that we can all be forgiven and free through relationship with Jesus. My first dangerous step into what could be a whole new era of #DangerDays is to make myself available. I want to preach again. I want to share my story with small groups and retreats. I want to help church leaders remember that relationships and love are the basis of what we are called to do, not condemnation and judgement. I have many years of experience speaking to churches, national conferences and youth groups, so the speaking does not feel dangerous to me. But telling my story to strangers certainly does. Forward Motion requires that I make myself available and trust that God will us me as God sees fit. And my prayer is to be used.

I also completely understand that putting myself out there is scary. There will be people and groups who would never consider having a person with my past as a guest speaker or spiritual leader. I get that. But I also can't help but think that people who are so quick to pass judgement might be the very ones who could benefit from the stories I have to tell. It's important for me to risk some rejection so that God can get me to the places I am needed. That's part of being bold- it's part of the danger!

Sooooooo...  If you or someone you know would be interested in having me come talk about the love of God whose name is Jesus for your church or group, write for your publication or just come talk about the night I watched The Lion King with Michael Keaton, I'm available. And cheap. Just get me there and feed me and I'm yours. My email is youthguy07@aol.com and my phone is 813-919-3755. It comes down to this for me. I love my past and the many blessings God has given me. But it's time to focus on Forward Motion. Please keep me in your prayers as I think about taking new steps into the #DangerDays.

Because of Jesus.

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