A Gift of Perspective in Discerning God’s Call

Photo by justininsd on Flickr

As many of you know, I left full-time ministry about 18 months ago after helping to start a church here in San Francisco. The impetus for my leaving had nothing to with some scandal or financial collapse, but rather about “call” and my own need to discern where God was leading me in ministry. The subsequent months have been filled with some awesome adventures and I am grateful for the luxury/blessing/privilege to wander a bit.

Throughout this time, I’ve been consulting, I released a book and I’m getting re-engaged with a local church community, all the while, I’ve been fully engaged in the process of discerning where God may be leading. And while there are no life-shattering “What’s next for Bruce” announcements to come – especially since the Stephen Drew trade has taken Oakland A’s shortstop completely off the table – some clarity is emerging and I have been able to better frame some possibilities.

Still, this time has become far more paralyzing that I had thought it would be because, like everyone else, I can over-think, over-analyze and base decisions on some time-frame that is built on my own ego needs and not fueled by where God may actually be leading. As part of my discernment, I am constantly checking in with the family to see how they are doing in all of this. This is a recent conversation between me and my daughters as I was contemplating serving in a local congregation somewhere or expanding in my speaking, writing and consulting work.

Me, “So, what do you think? Would you rather have daddy travel a little more, but when I am home, I am HOME. I can still be really involved in school, sports and other things? OR . . . would you rather have me travel less and be home more often, but have more meetings at night and not as able to be around as much during the day?”




Middle, “Whatever gets us two bathrooms the fastest, that’s what you should do.”

Eldest and Young enthusiastically nod in agreement, and echo, “Yeeesss, two bathrooms.”

So, even while some things are definitely becoming clearer, decisions are looming and I am feeling like some progress is being made, it’s good for me to be reminded that I am not the center of the universe and it REALLY is not all about me.  My natural tendency is be overly self-reflective, which often leads to justification for doing things that I want to do and not about what God hopes for me to become.

In this simple exchange, I have been invited back into faith and trust. God will speak when God speaks, I will hear when I am ready to listen and I will follow when I feel called. I just hope that there is a second bathroom in there somewhere 😉

The New Out-of-Shape

Thanks to some unfortunate DNA, my love of french fries and my serious post-40 lack of exercise, the past few years has seen me enter that stage of “You better get your blood-pressure under control or else.” Well, this morning I had a spike in my blood pressure and and my doc sent me to the ER.


I am fine, but thought I would share the best part of the experience:

Upon entering the ER, I was greeted by one of the docs who said to me, “Hey, you are that blogger from the SF Gate.”  He then turned to the nurse and said, “This guy is famous!” As it turns out, we had met one through our school years back, but, still, it was flattering and I was feeling pretty good about myself at that point.

*ego inflates*

Into the exam room I went where I was hooked up to machines, my vitals were monitored and eventually deemed okay. As I was being discharged, the doc who took care of me came in for a chat about all of the things that every overweight, non-exercising, bad-eating person knows: eat better, exercise more and lose weight.

Me, “Yeah, I know, I am really out of shape.”

Doctor pauses, “Well . . . let’s not call it ‘out of shape,’ let’s call it ‘de-conditioned'”

Oh, okay.

Of course, I translate that, “Hey husky boy, get off your butt and lose some weight.” So, not only am I too heavy, but apparently I am now they guy who  needs positively spun euphemisms in order to listen. Great.

*ego deflates*

Turns out things are not “all good” but thankfully, there is no crisis. My meds have been adjusted and I will again rally to battle the beast that is my hypertension.  One book that I am going to pick up at the suggestion of the doc is, Joel Fuhrman’s Eat To Live: The Amazing Nutrient Rich Program for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss. If anyone has read it, let me know what you think.


D. Conditioned