Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Remembering The Desert



Remembering The Desert, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
The photo above is of me and one of my personal mentors in the faith, a guy by the name of Greg Van Nada. Greg was responsible for the Pastor Tim Haring getting involved with the Great Commission Association. And if Tim hadn’t gotten involved, I probably wouldn’t be working for GCM today. And, I would have never met this invaluable mentor.

Greg, during our times together over the last four years, has taught me much about vulnerability, transparency, and brokenness. He has taught me tons about walking with God and the pursuit of holiness and wholeness. I’m deeply appreciative of the variety of mentors God has placed in my life to better equip me to walk with Him and lead others in their own journey of faith. Beyond this role of mentorship, Greg was one of the small group of people who journeyed with me into the Mojave Desert back in January to connect more richly with God. This photo was taken the day our solitude ended.

It’s been over 40 days since I was in the desert, and I just recently pulled up this photo that the director of the program sent to me. He also sent me an extended quote that I gave him on the day my solitude ended.

Here’s what I had to say about my experience in the desert.

”One of the best and most challenging times of my life - a memorable milestone in my journey of faith. It allowed me the opportunity to briefly set aside all worldly pursuits and answer the question, ‘Is God enough?’ Indeed He is! My life and my ministry will never be the same. During these five days in the desert I realized my identity was in the wrong place. I had been finding my identity in what I do instead of who I am. I pray that I can always be mindful that the most important thing about me is to whom I belong. I highly recommend this program to anyone with the guts to confront their inner demons on a journey to encounter the living Messiah!” Billy Williams, Spiritual Director – West Virginia University

It is so easy to start getting one’s identity in what one does rather than who he/she is. It happens so subtly. First we get involved in what God is doing and have a thrill in joining with Him in His work. Then, before we know it, we are doing doing doing, and in the process we are forgetting that we are His. He is so much more satisfying than anything we could do, and as we find our satisfaction in Him alone, and our identity in being His child, we are able to live a more abundant life and in turn we are able to do more than we could have ever dreamed. And that’s the real beauty of it all.

As we entrust ourselves to the artist, we become part of God’s great masterpiece that He is weaving throughout the world. May you take time today to enjoy the One who thoroughly enjoys you because you are His!

1 comment:

BigMama said...

First we get involved in what God is doing and have a thrill in joining with Him in His work. Then, before we know it, we are doing doing doing, and in the process we are forgetting that we are His. He is so much more satisfying than anything we could do, and as we find our satisfaction in Him alone, and our identity in being His child, we are able to live a more abundant life and in turn we are able to do more than we could have ever dreamed. And that’s the real beauty of it all.

Truer words have not been spoken! Finding my identity in Christ alone rather than in my service to Him has been one of my biggest challenges as a Christian as far as I'm concerned. The service is good, don't get me wrong, but it's a very temporal thing and that's easy to forget. What you wrote above is a really excellent reminder, especially on this Good Friday.

Have a blessed Easter! He is risen indeed!