Sometimes running out of options might be a good thing.
Last pilgrimage I talked about sowing seed in the morning and in the evening for you never know which will bear fruit, as Solomon explains. At that time my dilemma, if I can call it that, was too many options and a lack of clarity. I discussed how I asked God for clarity and instead He asked me what I wanted to do.
However, since then what I’ve been reminded of is that having options, having seed to sow in the morning and the evening is a comfort…and it’s not always a given.
Moses had only one option when he stood between the pharaoh and the red sea.
Gideon had only one option when he set out to lead troops against an enemy with a force 30 times his.
Joseph had only one option as he sat in a jail cell for a crime he didn’t commit.
Peter likewise in his cell had only one option.
David, Jehoshaphat, Samson, Paul and on and on, despite all best wisdom, despite all proper actions, sometimes had only one option.
But the other commonality about each of these single option moments in scripture is that in reality is appeared to our erstwhile hero as if there were no options. The only option in each case was to trust God and obey HIs call. For Moses it meant lifting a staff, for Gideon it meant marching forward as if he could win, for Joseph it meant helping people in no position to help him and so on.
There are many times in life where God lays many choices before us, like a father bringing home many flavors of ice cream, and he says, “Which one do you like?” But there are other times, times like now for me, where God seems use circumstances to push you into only one direction. In many ways I feel backed into a corner, but since I trust that God is truly good, I trust the corner is hiding the magic tunnel that only God can open.
Metaphors aside it appears to me that the other doors that were open last week are closed this week. It appears that as I’ve sown my seed, only one tree is promising fruit yet. The difficulty is that even that fruit is young, not yet ripe and anxiety, fear and doubt causes me to question whether it will blossom in time. Ok, I clearly lied about the “metaphors aside” thing. Let me try again.
In plain talk, the only option showing any promise at this point is the option which I said I wanted, to do conferences and write books. The problem is I find myself wrestling with the proper perspective of my past. I’ve never been able to make a consistent living via ministry yet. I’ve been a bi-vocational pastor for most of my life and as I’eve mentioned before, I only recently have come to realize that my tendency to under prioritize a livable wage was neither noble nor wise. So, frankly I am hopeful, but I am afraid. My family is probably even less hopeful and for that I cannot blame them.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not abandoning wisdom or closing any doors myself. Perhaps tomorrow God presents me with a door I’ve completely missed. Maybe a tree that appeared dead suddenly sprouts fruit. It could happen and if it does I will not scorn it.
On the other hand, running out of options is not always a bad thing. I’ve been working hard at conferences. I’ve been working that plot of ground particularly hard and I’m sure it’s at least in part because it’s the only option that shows promise. Perhaps running out of options is actually running into the option that is best. I’ve become increasingly convinced that, while others are of course sharing the Gospel in their own voices in many effective ways, there are still too many enslaved Christians, too many life-deprived people, too many lonely and hurting and confused, too many guilty and leaglisticly chained believers, too few lovers and believers and hopers. I have had the opportunity to talk with people a decade after attending a conference and discovering that the conference was truly life changing; that the things they discovered there set them on a trajectory in their Christian life which was permanent and real. For me to not make diligent effort, for me to not face my fear of failure for the sake of these people would be a shame. And so, perhaps running out of options is not alway a bad thing.
So I will keep my day job as long as it doesn’t conflict with the conferences, and I will continue to work on the conferences until that door too closes or opens wide.
Today we had a webinar for interested pastors and it went very well.
If you know of anyone who is interested, but needs more information, contact me and I’ll send them my info packet, as well as an invitation to our next webinar.
And, it’s now possible to donate money for a scholarship fund to defray the cost of a conference for smaller churches and organizations.
This is not a tax deductible donation, but just an opportunity for you to help others benefit from the encouragement and challenge of the Hidden Life conference.
Any amount at all will help defray cost for eager hosts who are running a little short of the conference cost. So if you’d like to be part of helping people find life and liberty in Christ, click here.
Thanks for listening,
Smiling at the future,
David “Pastormac” Megill