Fail Forward

BITIDIBLIP! BITIDIBLIP!… BITIDIBLIP! BITIDIBLIP!

I look around for my phone and set  snooze for ten more minutes.  I go back to relaxing…  But it doesn’t relent.  Imagine a cross between R2-D2 and Woody Woodpecker yelling an inch to your ear. Before I know it, again: BITIDIBLIP! BITIDIBLIP!…BITIDIBLIP! BITIDIBLIP! “Shut up!” I slam the button again.  The backup clock radio soon plays the jazz station, but sometimes not even the genius sounds of Art Tatum or Chick Corea can wake me up, so I shut it off.  Soon the phone blips again…

“(Censored for the sake of small children), It’s two in the morning for crying out loud.”  But of course I must give in to the man for the time being.  I groggily throw on some old jeans, grab my dingy gray UPS coat, get coffee and head out to a mundane job where I put envelopes on a conveyor belt to be processed.  The California trip, the revival high, the fun trainride, it’s all over and it’s back to normal life.

I suppose the Don Equis guy, Eddie van Halen, or Gandalf wouldn’t be caught dead doing this, but hey this is me, and as interesting as I’d like to be, I’m still boring Josh who works at a warehouse.  All I know is that I’m taking my dream step by step.  When you have a reality within you that is different than what you see and what you’ve lived with for years, you have to take change gradually.

Did you ever read my early post, The Journey?  If you could take a side trip there for a quick browse then come right back.  Maybe suspend the youtube of flying bodybuilder monkeys with Bob Saget narrating in the other tab for just a minute.

So whether or not you read that post, you might’ve had some kind of challenge for growth at the beginning of the year.  How did that challenge go?  Did you really think it would be easy?  Guys, dreams are tough.  You can have all the drive in the world and yet there are days when you just feel crappy.  Some days I try to go to God, and I can barely even pray, “Hey…uh how’s it going?”  Kind of like those awkward meetings with relatives you haven’t seen in a while.  There’s some days where seems like climbing K2 just to crack open my Bible or ride my bike around the block.  A few times during those times I succeed and more often than not I fail.  It’s what you do when you fail that counts.

When I came back from Redding I was asked if I was recharged, renewed, or whatever.  Well, to be honest, not really.  I’m the same person and God is the same God here.  Then why go there?  What’s the point of “revival” then?  Like I’ve mentioned I’m seeking answers to the tough questions in life.  I’m taking a different direction already and hanging around the prophetic can give a clearer sense of perspective.  It’s like walking without my glasses, I might see enough to fumble my way through the blurry room, but then I put them on and feel a sense of relief, a clarity as I walk the same direction.  I didn’t go rolling around and laughing (though I would have no problem with that at all) and I didn’t see gold dust or clouds.  But God’s presence was there, and that’s what matters.  Plus it was an interesting trip.  Travel is one of my passions and though I can’t afford to do it a lot I try to get a little bit in, especially to kick off new beginnings.  Plus I need good blogging material.  I really don’t want to spend all my time at home in front of a computer and just blog to bloggers about blogging.

There’s a lot of overspiritualizing and hype we get at this event or that conference or whatever.  One moment you’re all yeah, let’s go for God with everything we got!  Then we back to our little church without all the fancy lights and gadgets and we’re soon bored.  Before you know it we’re backbiting or lusting or judging or whatever little secret things Christians so often end up doing.  And then because grace is such a frustrating thing to accept sometimes, we give up for a while and lose time.

I’m wondering if some hang around at meetings constantly to escape life.  I know I’m guilty of this.  And however real the experience might be, I think spirituality can become a fix just like hobbies, media, games, or whatever.  We feel bad about the terrible lifestyle that druggies go through and yet we do the same thing in escaping the challenges of life.  We don’t face them head on, we just look for a quick fix.

That’s why I say, yes, change the world, but just chill out for a moment.  Take these small steps.  The fact that you even took your Bible out on a mundane day is a victory.  Take each day one at a time. I believe in spiritual giftings, manifestations, passionate worship, experiences, but one problem is that often there’s a lot of passion with no actionable steps on a day-to-day basis.  Fire without wood goes out quick.

So here’s something you can do this week.  Take one day this week and fast a meal.  Suspend the media intake for a few hours.  Forget all that stuff about trying to pray for this amount of time or whatever.  Just take a walk, go for a drive, put on a worship CD, whatever you like to do.  Enjoy God and let Him enjoy You.  No agenda for the moment.  It might last a few minutes or longer.  Just take the step.

Next, look for one tiny, uncomfortable step in whatever your goals are and then do it.  I won’t give you specifics, because each person’s journey is different.  These are personal things that you must decide for yourself.  Those little uncomfortable steps, don’t you love ’em?  I agree, sometimes they are not fun, but man it’s worth it when you find the courage.

Category: Dreams and Goals, Personal Growth, Spiritual Thoughts |

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