I had just lost my job, Tonya was in Zimbabwe, and a promised position was pulled from under me. So I left for a weekend to Bowman Lake up past the Yuba Gap. The only things I brought with me were a tent, a journal, a Bible, The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen, a bit of food, and a six pack of beer. I had no idea what was going on in my life. I found my last journal entry from that trip...
Interesting how these things are perfect encouragement today as well.
June 6 (Sunset…THE LAST BIG ONE…WHEN GOD SPEAKS)
I climbed up on the rock face behind my site to watch the sunset over the lake. Well, actually, the sun sets behind the mountain in front of my site, but I can still experience the sunset if I don’t see the sunset. I climbed up on top of the rock face and looked out over the lake at the mountains that spring up on the other side. I watched as the shadow cast from the mountains in front crept up the mountains behind my site. I just sat and watched for a while. It kind of reminded me of a canary being put to sleep. It was as if God were putting the mountains to sleep for the night.
You look at these mountains and they even LOOK old and tough. They look like they have put in a long day’s work. All day long I have watched these mountains in amazement. To amaze a guy in the 21st + century is a pretty daunting task. We need to be entertained by bigger and better things, and for years to this day, mountains have been bigger and better. Even now they are bigger and better than most things. They have succeeded in amazing me all day long, and that is no easy task. So they deserve the sleep and rest. So God put the mountains to sleep like a little canary.
You see the blanket draped over the cage, but you know there’s a bird in there. This is why after the shadow covers the mountains entirely, the moon will come up and cast its special light upon them to make them silhouettes. They just look like big black masses beyond the deep blue space of water, but you know there are mountains over there. They’re just sleeping!
While God was putting the mountains to sleep, he spoke to my heart words I needed to hear. I just sat and listened for a while. He sounded a bit like a conversation a friend of mine had with Brennan Manning a few years ago over cigarettes and coffee at the Anderson, IN Waffle House. My friend and I (along with others) had been digesting Brennan’s words for a couple years at that point. My friend had established a comedy/drama team based heavily on the writing of Brennan Manning and the songs of his ‘soul mate’, Rich Mullins. My friend asked Brennan for any advice to offer a group of young guys who wanted to serve God and spread his love through comedy and drama.
This man who we all were pretty convinced could walk on water with Jesus, whose words we had sucked all we could from said a rather unexpected thing. He said, “Get a job!”
God spoke a similar message into my heart tonight. A bit more tenderly, but the same idea! He said:
“I know you’re worried and you’re scared. I know you are questioning why you left a profession you love to follow a path that had not lead back to that profession. I know you are scared about what you are going to do, and that you feel like your passion has been removed. I know all of this, but I have a new and different plan for you. You are going to do bigger and better things for me, but you are not ready yet. You have some passions in your heart you have not paid attention to. You have passions you do not know about yet. I will show those to you when you are ready, but you are not ready right now. In the time being, while I am preparing you and raising you up, get a job. Get a job, pay your bills and support your family. This job does not need to be a career or even something you are passionate about; I am preparing you for that and remember you are not ready yet. You will find what that is in time, but go on looking hard after me. I have bigger and better things for you outside student life. You will reach more people for me. You will bring glory to me through new things in the future, but for now you need to work and support your family. You need to pay your bills and continue learning. Look further for those passions you have ignored and the ones I will reveal to you in time.
I love you PC!