Story to come

“All their life in this world and all their adventures had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”

― C.S. LewisThe Last Battle

The battle is epic some say, that life is an adventure.  What if those people are wrong?  What if the day-to-day that we exist in is just the beginning, the title page if you will.  What if the greatest adventure, the most significant battle rest just behind the last closure of our eyes?  This question or set of questions is just a ponder, just a funny thought on a late Sunday evening.

But what if it is more than that?  Can you imagine opening your eyes on the other side to see that you are thrust into battle, and you are fighting beside some of the great people that we only thought were from histories past?  To your left, you see David in his stunning armor slingshot on one side, mighty sword on the other.  To your right, you see General Patton commanding an army of angels.  The battle they are facing is one we face daily, against the one who wants to control the world, to take down the Almighty.  We think of this battle as being on the other side that our last closing of our eyes was death for us.  But what if it was life?

What if it was just the beginning, only the opening of the book to reveal the real story and what if we had missed it by losing sight of the book.  You see we have the opportunity to know a great story but all too often we choose the other path.  We choose to not be the brave knight and have heroic courage.  We choose to sit idle as our kids dream up worlds that are absent of courage.  We choose to sit by while are wives are lost in a book of a dream world.   We choose not to engage our families, not to love them unconditionally, but most of all we choose to lose the book of our lives.

So how do we not choose that, we begin by dreaming. Now I am not talking about a really awesome nap on a Sunday afternoon, while they are great, that is not the point here.  I am talking about being the man we dreamed about being.  The one who makes your kids laugh, the one that pursued his bride, I am talking about not giving up.  I am talking about facing the cruelest enemy we will ever meet, looking him straight on and saying not in my house, not in my family.  Lock arms with your kids and wife and take aim at the battle.  Pray together, love together, and be brave together; the book is waiting, it is time to make the cover amazing.

A Narrative Life

The narrative of my life contains many smaller stories, ones of trauma from abuse to stories of joy including my path to salvation. It is the intertwining of these stories that continue to develop my character, influence my faults, and drive my passions; all of this works together to make me who I am.

The narrative of my life changed Palm Sunday 2014, standing in a Sunday morning service. The congregation was singing “Great Are You Lord, ” and the Holy Spirit filled me and brought me to tears of a bawling baby. This moment is the point I share with people that the Lord hit me with a board and woke me from my slumber of passiveness. On this day, I turned from being a self-destructive and self-absorbed person to someone wanting to spread the word and wake up other passive men. At this point, I began to focus more on what the Father was speaking to me on a daily basis through his word and prayer.

It is amazing what God can do with you when you are not fighting to have your way or manipulating him into giving you your way. The redemption of Palm Sunday was a triumph, but it followed a day of a selfish choice just two years earlier. It was July 21, 2012, my birthday, and I was tired of being passed over for promotions, being used by others, and beyond frustrated with life. It is on this day I decided I was going to make myself successful, by not caring for people and using them to get what I wanted and ultimately to win. I was going to be the best, not allowing anyone to stand in my way, lest destruction. Remembering my father’s example, I decided I would out work them, and I would use my skill of reading people so that I could manipulate them. If there was nothing they could do for me, I would throw them aside to find the next person that could. There was no limit to what I would do to get there, the only thing that mattered was winning.

This way of life was working until I got used myself, and I had to face how I felt. When the house of cards you have built up by manipulating people and using them against each other starts to crumble, it can be earth shattering to your soul. At this moment you realize that all of the “victories” were empty and ultimately the person you were using was yourself. When this all went down, and I was sitting shocked and scared of how everything would work out. I realized I had nothing, no one to talk to, no one to share with, and I had to face a disastrous outcome alone. As the weekend approached I had decided by Monday, I had to find a way out. Do I run away and disappear or stand and face what I had coming to me. Thankfully at this time, Palm Sunday and the redemption of the Father came along.

God, The Father, is there for all of us, his love and compassion knows no bounds. He never identifies a point that you are not worth fighting for and he will always welcome you with open arms. I have played the part of a prodigal son, living a reckless life and on Palm Sunday 2014 my Holy Father welcomed me with open arms and helped add another chapter to the narrative of my life.

Getting Dad out of your way

The difficultly of being a dad is without a question an internal struggle.  We spend too much time in our own head, worried about how we may be perceived.  This past weekend I had the opportunity to spend the weekend just my kids and I. In this time, God showed me a few things.  Being just us, we woke up and just took our time laying around, not rushing to breakfast.  When we finally got to breakfast, we made silly decisions about what to eat like goulash and taquitos for breakfast and followed that up with sloppy joe and tater tot casserole later.  It kind of set the tone for the weekend, which showed me that being a dad is not difficult.  We just have to be willing to let down our guard.  Now my kids are 7 and 5 so it is probably easier at this stage to just be a kid along with them, but there is no need for us decide that for them.  But I couldn’t help but think that this is what our father desires with us; to just be playful and carefree and know that ultimately, although we are throwing caution to the wind, he is in control.
“So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.”  Galatians 4:17
This morning I heard “Hey Dad, wait” and as I turned here comes a flying 50lb boy with arms and legs spread out like a jumping squirrel.  He jumps with no fear, knowing that his earthly father will spare no cost to catch him.  Father where is my faith like a child? I fail to jump at so many occasions where I know you are there, out of fear.  It is out of that fear that I reside in quiet desperation instead of being the type of Dad you want me to be. So I resolve and issue this challenge to you to be the jumping, trusting, loving child God is calling us to be.  Even if your kids think you’re crazy, your heavenly father will rejoice.