Thursday, February 05, 2004

Faith Is . . . Tough!

The following is letter I’ve just written to Randy Harris. I’ve excluded a few pieces but you’ll get the gist.
Your message last night was terribly wonderful. Saying that is about as easy as congratulating someone who just punched you in the mouth with, "good punch . . . you knocked three teeth out!"
You gave the second best definition explanation of faith I've ever heard. Whoever wrote Hebrews beat you out, but you surpassed John Ortenberg in my book.
So faith means going when you don't know where, believing when you don't see or know how, and obeying when you don't know why. That explains a lot.
Here is a prayer request/soul bearing moment:
Six months ago I made over $XX,000 a year, lead a youth ministry of over 100 students at a church of less than 200, lived in the Bay Area (about 20 minutes from the beach), and was in control of most everything.
Today (this hurts me just to say) I'm a grad student at ACU, the low man on the totem pole, sitting in a church of 2,000 twice a week, about a days drive from anything remotely close to a beach, starting a job as a cashier/dishwasher at Joe Allen's for $7.00 an hour, and in control of almost nothing.
I sat and stewed at your message last night. I am so mad with God. I feel called to plant a church for the past two years, I finally respond, leave my comfortable job, come to the desert (ACU) and begin equipping for the task at hand. I expected to have extra money (my phone and cable were just shut off), find a job easily on campus (ACU just fired 40 people and is trying to save 5 million dollars), and cruise right through grad school (My theology of church planting is getting hammered). What I've encountered is a bit different suffice it to say. If I ever doubted that God doesn't have a sense of humor I don't anymore. I've been so hard up for income that I've been subbing for AISD. My assignments so far? Cleaning up the cafeteria, teaching 1st grade, and teaching special ed. Do you think God is trying to teach me something?

As a control freak who thought he had it all figured out it pained me to listen to a former control freak who thought he had it all figured out tell me that most of life is beyond my control and don't expect to figure it out any time soon.
So needless to say, I'll be bringing myself next week. (Sorry, I've invited you to my pity party!)
I hate feeling like a kid but sometimes being a kid is exactly who we are supposed to be. I look forward to the rest of your thoughts on faith . . . I think. I'll bring a bag for my teeth.
Well, that's about all the confession/appreciation I have to make known right now. Thanks for being honest with us. About yourself and about God. Even when the truth hurts I know the risk of living in the shadows is a bigger gamble.
Your friend,
Joel G. Quile

No comments: