Where Leaders Come to Think

Writing, God & Bubble Gum

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Haven’t we all gone through that awkward age of not being able to walk and chew gum at the same time? I remember those days vividly as my over exaggerated quest for adventure often left me with skinned knees and lumpy head injuries. It wasn’t that I lacked a certain set of physical skills it’s just that as I grew my body was changing faster than I could keep up with.

In my walk with God, I have noticed the same to be true. Even armed with the best of intentions I went through an awkward time of self discovery. When God’s Spirit takes over, and I excitedly stepped out in faith but lacked the general wisdom that comes with spiritual maturity. Instead of being a light unto the world my overly exaggerated Kingdom heart raced forward and, at times, I sounded more like a clanging gong than a reflection of the one who saved me.

As a writer, this can be even more interesting as we tend to pen our thoughts and inscribe them indelibly on the world around us. It’s hard learning to walk with God and write at the same time.

Hard but worth the effort.

Let me share an example as I lift some notes from my personal journal and walk you through a winter-like season of losing a co-worker and friend to suicide. My time with God occurred three weeks prior to losing my friend. At the time, I was just abiding in God. Relaxing from a busy season of church ministry and reviving my heart. Little did I know that God had other reasons for my being there.  It was time for a chat.

The Yellowstone Journal – September 2010

(As I looked up at the first storm settling on the mountain top across the lake.)

The winter season is a matter of life and death – an instinct for survival – life is pressed to abandon its own strength and rely on something that exists outside of the visible world. For man, its God – we are forced to trust deeper or abandon hope for the next season.

My revelation this morning feels like a burden but, in truth, I had felt this before as I poured myself into God’s Word. “But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.” Luke 12:48 (NKJV) This quiet whisper of God is calling me out of a life of comfort and into the snow-covered caps of high places. I admit it weight of the moment feels crushing.

Why seek high spiritual places if only to feel the fear of looming death sooner? I dared to ask a pointed question of God in my heart: “whatever happened to the abundant life promised in John 10?”

Like all God moments His whispers never leave me hopeless. As I restored my lukewarm cup of java, the sun began to peak its warming rays unto the mountain top. The valley still darkened by the shifting cloud cover sat beneath the most breathtaking vista of the warming sun burning off clouds and melting the high altitude snow.

What happened next was the rescue of my heart as God whispered hope. “The first to sense the weather and storms of life are also the first to feel the warmth radiating from the sun.”

I understood at a deeper level that faith offers people a definite advantage; as the higher we allow our faith to take us the closer we are able to walk with God. I literally sit in Idaho near the gates of West Yellowstone but spiritually my path takes me to the place where heaven invades the earth.

What I did not realize looking back was that God had been offering me a picture in nature and then speaking to me about the season I would encounter just a few weeks later. One of my team leaders at work would be overcome by depression and take his own life. His death was hard to deal with as I was hurt. Could I have done more? Thoughts like that lingered in my mind.

But before I could give in to anger I felt God’s Spirit prompt me to re-read my journal. It dawned on me that the time I spent in the mountains with God was preparation for this suffering. God was speaking to me in the only language that I would understand. At that moment, I knew God was with me, then and now.

He’s a loving God.

Learning to walk with God and write at the same time has given me the ability to claim my faith even in the darkest storms of life.

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