Monday, October 12, 2015

The Road to Happiness

"Your way is not my way. Today's another day and it's okay" Caedmon's Call

     I remember being really excited. I was this kid coming from nothing without any real prospects of getting anywhere. Previously, I wasn't motivated to do anything productive. I wanted to smoke and drink and mistreat people. I wanted to die. I wanted to be no one.

     Then God did what God does...He saved me. I know in this culture it sounds so cheesy and fake to say. I don't about know any of the stories of anyone else, but I know mine. I am a person that makes a lot of mistakes. I do almost all of them loudly and in public. I was a mess and there are still people left alive that can back that up. 

     But God made Himself real to me. He was more real than my own flesh. I was excited for something. I would brew a pot of coffee, which was my replacement for alcohol, and sit and read the Bible...and books read by people that had read the Bible. I would stay up all night in wonder and happiness. I would plot ways to help other people see what I had just seen about life, and God. 

     In my excitement, I did some things I regret doing. I acted too harshly with some people because of my pride and judgement. I was new and in need of constant refinement. This is nothing new to new believers in God. We often forget what grounds us. That being that we needed saving in the first place. I needed saving. If you knew me then, you will agree. 


     Excitement fades. Life became hard again. I was a youth pastor and kids came flooding in looking for a Savior. I tried to show them one. Most of them found their way to the door. I watched some students die. I watched some become these amazing adults. But I never really was good at looking past the negatives. I tend to remember the ones that were lost. 

    When my loved ones started dying, I lost my stomach for it. I couldn't take it anymore. How could I ever help anyone if my own faith was on the brink. I closed off and allowed years of moving backwards. 

     That's the thing about time travel. I have always wanted to have ability to go back in time and just watch things happen again. Even if I can't change anything or be noticed at all watching me act foolishly as a kid. But the problem is that time travel backwards destroys the future. Living in what has happened has and does stunt growth forward. I cannot have a great future if I cannot leave the past. 


     This is me now. I'm figuring it out. I'm starting over in so many ways. I am learning that faith isn't built in excitement and passion. Faith is built in sorrow and pain. No one strengthens their faith by being prosperous. People grow by being brought down into the depths and allowing God to bring them back out. I think the point is to let God bring you back out. It is a very attractive idea for those in the depths to build a home there and mourn everything. This isn't how you grow. This isn't the road to happiness. The road to happiness is paved in blistering heat, thorns, hills, mountains, oceans of doubt, grief, loss, memories, and the very silent voice of God letting you know He is present.  


Thanks for reading...Z