I am suffering from acute ADD today, this week. I don’t know whether it is the allergies/cold, or the weather, or just life in general. Something about this week is not allowing me to concentrate. OK, I’ll stop blameshifting the responsibility. However, I do think that a little backstory wouldn’t hurt here.
Back in the mid-nineties, my friends and I had this obsession with ouija boards and tarot cards and psychics. I knew that it was not something in which I should have been dabbling, but I tried anyway. I had a psychic give me completely a wrong reading. When I called her on it, she was not a little unhappy with me. Another time, my friends and I were playing with a ouija board and the board told my friends that it would not talk to me because God was too close to me. No lie. I got mad because, at the time, I just wanted to hear something and I even got denied by a stupid ouija board.
It was in October that I decided to stop playing around with my life and give it up for God. The second time. Not the time for good. Anyway. We have a friend who was stayed with us for a night because he had no place to sleep. He stayed with us on Mischief Night 1996 if I recall properly. He is a really cool guy–a real free spirit, a gift of worship, all over a neat fellow. I let him have my room and I spent the night on the couch. He woke up to take his kids to school because someone had slashed the tires of the woman who was caring for his kids for the night. I was in a miserable mood when he left, so as soon as our front door closed, I was asleep in my bed. A little while later, I awoke to the smell of bacon and waffles, and the sound of the guitar playing in my living room. I was starving, so I got up. I was barely in the living room when the conviction of the Lord came upon me and I knew that it was time to stop playing around with the occult and walk forward into what God had for me. I walked full on for God, looking to please pastors and friends and man in general for two years. I attended two churches in that time, and saw God do some really amazing things–heal cancer, straighten backs, even uneven legs. One day I got my feelings hurt and made up some lame excuse as to why I couldn’t go to church anymore.
I walked away from everything about God for six months, beginning in October of 1998. It was probably the darkest period of my life, because I knew that God had something amazing for me, that He’d called me into ministry, to do amazing things for Him. I wrestled with wanting the things of the world more: men, money, acclaim, respect. I went on a six month drinking binge. I still cannot believe that I was so irresponsible, but I thank God for that time because I’ve seen Him use it over and over again. My binge ended on February 6, 1999 when I nearly crashed into a median on Rt. 295 going way too fast on a rainy, puddly day. I returned to church on February 7, 1999 and the rest, as they say, is history.
October is traditionally a difficult month spiritually, physically, emotionally for me. I find myself, like Paul, wanting to do the things that I don’t want to do and not doing the things that I want to do. I find myself questioning God, the things of God. I find myself wondering what the heck I am doing.
This year God is redeeming October. I’ve seen God move in amazing ways. I’ve seen more favor of God this October than ever. I’ve fallen in love with my church, with my friends, with my God. Though I admit to joking incessantly about going to business school rather than to seminary, I’ve never been so sure of anything in my life. It is my mission, my desire, to allow God to redeem a lot more than October. I want to see God redeem 6 billion people.