I’ve been reflecting a lot on this, this summer.
You see, I quit more than my job. It was my career. It was what I built my entire life around, what I chose to pour my heart into. Though it didn’t take me long to find that, I had it all wrong. That what we were doing was ineffective. It was a great business model, but not so much of an awesome kingdom model (pretty sure there isn’t a “kingdom model”, and if there is, it’s called The Holy Spirit).
Since leaving, I’ve lost family and friends, I’ve lost job opportunities, I’ve been chewed out by pastors, and have been as close as a protestant can get to being “excommunicated.”
On the other end:
I’ve gained speaking shots, gained job opportunities, and received far more emails from all of you and others who randomly come across this site, which has been such a blessing!
But in the end…
I’ve found and experienced freedom.
I’ve learned to embrace and accept my calling…
I’ve been forced to have faith, and depend on Him, as opposed to my paycheck, or health insurance.
I’ve learned what it means to experience hardship and peace simultaneously.
All in all, I’ve found meaning and purpose. I’ve found Jesus.
Having said all that I’m honestly not sure if I’m ready to lead the charge and tell everyone to, “Jump on board… Follow Jesus, commit their lives to Him!”
I mean I know I should be that guy, but to be honest, and as authentic as I possibly can, following Jesus, it’s hard, it’s tough! I’ve wanted to quit, shoot I tried to quit Jesus. But in some messed up non-romantic way, I always come back and have been all like, “I can’t quit you…” (it’s always said with a southern accent, at least that’s how I imagine Nicholas Sparks sounds in real life #waitwhat?)
I read about the apostles, who were all killed.
I read about Jeremiah, who was promised the world, but yet the last we see of him, is him beaten by religious leaders, crying out in a ditch, “GOD YOU DECEIVED ME!” (I think the word in Hebrew is “Petah.” No reason for me to say that, other than so you know I’m in seminary and have no real use for all the hours I’ve spent learning Hebrew.)
I mean look at Jesus… Dude lived a perfect life, and was crucified.
All I’m saying is, it doesn’t bode well for Him or His followers, I think Isaiah was right, when he encountered God, and was anointed by God, and cried out, “For I am RUINED!”
Man – I’m still ruined, I’m still messed up, this whole process of sanctification… it sucks. It wasn’t what I thought it would be… (but i’ll write on that later).
Following Jesus, meeting Him, has been simultaneously the best thing and the worst thing that has happened to me.
So I guess all in all I can say this… if you want an easy life I’m not sure that’s going to be found in Jesus, maybe, but doubtful, but if you want a meaningful, adventurous life, then there’s a cross with your name on it, waiting for you to pick up and carry.
Two years removed. I look back and reflect, and I have no regrets…
I might have nothing, but in Him I’ve found everything!