“Surrender don’t come natural to me . . .”

“Surrender don’t come natural to me

I’d rather fight You for something

I don’t really want

Than to take what You give that I need”

I end up joining Big Daddy Weave in their confession through their song ‘Hold me Jesus’.

I’m back to square one. Exactly where I was when my parents showed their huge disinterest in my plans to start an organisation.

Then, I had the following options popping in my mind.

  1. Work in a Christian institution or organisation for a while

  2. Apply for Seminary this year through the Church, to become a priest

  3. Apply in a Seminary to study theology privately, leaving me a theology graduate and not a priest

  4. Apply for a Ph.D or M. Phil

  5. I have thought out these options in detail over the past few months. 4 months, to be precise. Today, I stand where I stood four months ago.

    Today I lack the determination with which I left Bangalore for vacations to Kerala, after my exams. I am thoroughly demotivated to set out on my own thinking of problems that might crop up at home. An elder brother of mine said that if that’s what you are called to do, they will come around to it.

    When, at home, everyone at home, their belief is that the best thing for me is to serve the Lord is through the church and by becoming a priest/pastor.

    I am not convinced yet. I am still holding on to myself. I have not surrendered. The use of ‘surrender’ is deliberate. Your wishes stand aside to the wishes of the church. You go where the church sends you. You minister where they place you. Of course, merit matters, but not always. You could study further, but you have to be in parishes and lead the Parish mission, Women’s Fellowship, oversee Sunday School and youth league (if time remains after the committees of the church and the previous two organisations). But the influence you have on people is immense. I’m not talking in terms of power, but the ability to make people think and change the course of their life so that they can live their purpose in life and be part of Kingdom building. If my father were to read this, he might ask, don’t you want to give back anything to the church which gave you so much and made you what you are today. True, I can’t be ungrateful. By the way, I don’t want to be ungrateful in the first place. But this isn’t the only way to pay back. Plus, I don’t think God expects a pay back. Which parent gets the exact pay back for bringing their children up and all the sacrifices they make in the course of it? You just can’t , so you just pass it on to your children. I guess the same principle works here. Now if anyone’s doubting me being a true Mar Thoma christian, must now that I am a hard core Mar Thomite. May be the best way or the only way to repay need not be becoming a pastor.

    So where’s God’s will in the whole game? That’s the elusive part. I am sure of a calling for Christian mission work – that my life is to be spent sharing the news that Jesus loves you and wants you to know and get closer to Him so that you could have the gift of eternal life with Him in heaven, after you begin pushing up daisies. But which way? What route?

    I’m tired. I have to admit it in spite of believing that God has His place and time to reveal things. Lately, this thought has been coming to me, subtly but strongly: Take whichever route and He will bless you.

    Now this takes faith. What do you confirm it with?

    Confirm? I don’t have confirmation for any of the decisions yet.

    Sigh. I’m not even sure if I’m doing all the right things while I wait.

    I believe some people have begun to laugh at me thinking, ‘This dude was talented and all but just confused. Wonder how He’ll work among youth’ (which is what I want to do).

    So all the strong feelings I have about what to do are not to be trusted, according to my dad, because they are feelings. Most of the things I dislike is what I am called to do or at least seems to. “Don’t you think God must be speaking through all these people?”, asks mum trying to make me talk. I can see people asking the customary, ” Monum achenaakaanalle?” ( Isn’t he going to be a priest, too?), often with connotations – “…like his father”, and a smirk.

    Seems like the next best thing in town. Just because He’s calm and a silent and talks less to people He doesn’t know and isn’t so mischievous, publicly, he might be on his way to becoming an ‘achen’ (Pastor). And to count that as God speaking through people . . .and, I’m tired.

    This is the point where I begin to feel guilty. Aren’t I asking for everything my way? The fact that I don’t like to be in Kerala for too long and can’t even imagine serving in parishes and being busy trying to calm down committee members while wanting to go after the youth out there perishing, not knowing Christ? To be wanting to work in a multi-cultural setting like an urban environment . . . Is this where I am going after the ‘good life’ than serving God?

    I am back to square one. I am not sure. Is it all I , I, I? Or is there a place in God’s will for what one feels is his conviction?

God where are you?

Well, sometimes my life

Just don’t make sense at all

When the mountains look so big

And my faith just seems so small

So hold me Jesus, ’cause I’m shaking like a leaf

You have been King of my glory

Won’t you be my Prince of Peace

And I wake up in the night and feel the dark

It’s so hot inside my soul

I swear there must be blisters on my heart

So hold me Jesus, ’cause I’m shaking like a leaf

You have been King of my glory

Won’t you be my Prince of Peace

***

Surrender don’t come natural to me

I’d rather fight You for something

I don’t really want

Than to take what You give that I need

And I’ve beat my head against so many walls

Now I’m falling down, I’m falling on my knees. . .

***

And this Salvation Army band

Is playing this hymn

And Your grace rings out so deep

It makes my resistance seem so thin

So hold me Jesus, ’cause I’m shaking like a leaf

You have been King of my glory

Won’t you be my Prince of Peace

Patience, even as we wait for His plans

Patience. God will reveal His plans in His time. In the meanwhile it is important to keep our ears and eyes open, to ask the Holy spirit to prepare our hearts for what we are meant to hear. Are you one of those people who’re murmuring right now saying, “hey buzz off man, I’ve heard enough of this and it just isn’t working for me”?

I was. But now that I’ve learnt something more about it, let me help you look at in a slightly different manner.

God, I recently learnt, sometimes delays His answers, because He knows that we won’t be ready for His answers. Why? Because we may not have expected the answer He’s about to give, or that His plans go way beyond ours that we simply would refuse to accept it. Or may be we need to learn something more to do justice to the plans He has for us. It happened to Habakkuk. He kept asking why God was not listening to Him and not saving His people. He cried and waited a long time. In the end when God replied, he couldn’t believe His ears because God had something else in mind – destruction and eventual restoration. The kind of destruction God said broke Habakkuk’s heart that he couldn’t hold it anymore.

God, anyway had the restoration of His people planned, post the destruction ( which was a result of generations of disobedience and sinfulness, despite innumerable prophetic warnings). That gave Habakkuk a little peace of mind. A little, because he was human. Who could be peaceful in the face of destruction? He clings on to God their, remembering his faithfulness (Habakkuk 3:17-19*).

Selwyn Hughes suggests that we look at our problems in the context of certain fixed points. Fixed points in an ever changing world? Yes. These fixed points are God’s characteristics. Why? Because God is eternal and unchanging. The one who exists before and beyond time.

So what are some of those fixed points?

God is Holy, eternal, loving and faithful – always. He hates sin and sin will be punished, with the sinful. He knows that past and He holds the future. He knows exactly what is going on and is in control. If He promised, He will never go back on His word. In fact, He is the only one who will never retreat from a promise. And He loves you and will always love you, no matter what you have done. He can’t stop on that one thing.

When you look at your problem from the above fixed points, your problem becomes smaller, simply because you have a greater God for whom these problems are not irresolvable. Then we can wait patiently, no matter how much our circumstances pressurize us. And as we wait , He makes us strong and disciplines us in such a away that we learn how to handle His will and the building of His Kingdom, with the resources He has given us. That’s when we will find a friend in Habakkuk and be able to sing what he sang in Habakkuk 3:17-19*!

Let me close with a Christ Tomlin song which talks about God’s everlasting, consistent and reliable qualities:

‘Praise you God of earth and sky,

How wonderful is Your unfailing love!

You never change, God,

You remain the Holy One

And my unfailing love.’

—————————————————————————————-

* Habakkuk 3:17-19:

17 Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls,

18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.

19 GOD, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places.

Fear of sticking to your guns – when I told them, again.

Finally, after many days of thinking over and churning my thoughts, I told them what I was going to do. The organisation I am planning of.  The one where I want to use music and counselling and reach out to teens and youth and tell them about a loving God who’s waiting to have a relationship establisehd, and waiting to bless them.
It was very difficult. I didn’t want the emotional talk hanging in the atmosphere. I didn’t want to feel small. I didn’t want to see angry and ” He’s doing it again” faces.
I was waiting for an outburst and splurted it out calmly.

A few exchanges and then it was over. I couldn’t complete every detail  or tell part B of the plan – the plan for this year.
but I have given the first part. Another explosion, may be tomorrow.

Stepping out in faith is scary. Felt a little lonely when they said a few things in opposition. Very logical and practical arguments, and I respect them for that.  I’m concerned too. But I am ready to step out, believing the Lord wants it this way. (Does he? Oh God…)

Somehow, the fact that ‘since God called, He’s in control’, didn’t help me enough. I was still scared. It took me time to speak. It took me a long time to decide when to speak up.

But I am taking what came out in the Daily Reading book and following it. Immediately after dinner. It said, never bachtrack the decisions you took at your high point. They are meant to be followed even when things go wrong.
Couldn’t tell them part B.
I will.
Still a little scared. But I will tell them.

shaken but not stirred

First of all, an apology to whoever reads; About the isfit updates. I used to leave early morning and come home late night. It was difficult to get online at that point. But I do intend to write about the trip and even the dream trip to Sund Folkehogskole, my Folk School.

* * * * *

This is exactly that time where I read about holding on to faith. I have dreams and aspirations. Want to do something for God. I kind of know whom to reach out to.

But now, I have reached an unfamiliar cross road. Of course I have got used to unfamiliarity in this trip of faith. Now the problem is how to discern God’s will. I have a couple of options. Which of this is God’s will?
all the options I have require stepping out in faith. Skydiving in faith. But which one?

God doesn’t seem to be answering. He seems to contradict too. Yes , you do God, I’m honest, or at least that’s what I feel. May be I have to wait for the larger picture.

I can use my talents and abilities and go forward in faith to something that seems to be scary but needing faith. the other one requires me to step completely into the unknown to a place I am not sure of working. Plus circumstances. Reality hasn’t struck me yet, because, I don’t want it all to reel my head. Let’s wait. I am waiting. By the way, the fact that God is contradicting in his messages at the moment comes from my current Bible readings.

I shall wait!