thoughts that come in the middle of the night

One of the great things about having a little baby is that you don’t get much uninterrupted sleep. Yeah, that may seem to be a downside to the whole baby thing, but I try to view it as a positive: it gives me more time to think.

Last night, or should I say early this morning, I had a fair amount of time to think, as Nolan decided to have wicked bad gas. I had fed him at 3:30, early enough as it is, and he woke himself up an hour and a half later with wicked gas. After Becky got up and fed him, to see if that might “move things along,” she headed back to bed and I decided to stay up to make sure that he didn’t wake her up again.

In between bouts of nodding off with mini-me in my arms I got to think. I got to pray. i got to do all the ‘spiritual’ type things that I want to do during the day but somehow find an excuse to put off for more ‘important’ things. At one point I woke up with this Drive-By Truckers song in my head. It’s an anti-war song from the vantage point of a soldier. A gutsy move, yes, by the band, but more than that, it got me to thinking about how, in a broken, fallen, and complex world, everything that we do is riddled with uncertainty. There is not one second of any day in which we don’t feel the tension between the poles of sure:not-sure.

The ultimate end of such uncertainty is death. If one does not find ways to deal with the tension then it will in the end consume them. You see, uncertainty breeds fear, fear breeds despair, and the logical end of despair is death. Without hope that there is an answer to the tension we give up. It doesn’t matter how large or small the perceived issue is, if left to wallow it will, like the black hole in the new Star Trek movie I saw yesterday, consume everything around it. When one reaches the event horizon of despair the only answer is death.

If that seems to be a rather morbid thought to have while holding my boy in the new morning light, with is soft breath gently gliding over my arm, and his arms wrapped around my chest, then I guess you’ll have to get to know me a little better. Those kinds of thoughts are never far from the front of my mind. Sin has corrupted everything and, apart from the good news of the world’s renewal brought about by Jesus, there is no answer. “I am making all things new”

Our world is drowning in despair and we have the only answer. Thinking about being a pastor to a world of death is frightening, but I’ve got to keep it on my mind. To forget the pain is to enter into the happy Christian bubble. To forget the hope is to become like those I am trying to help. Faithfulness is a fine line.

out of the wreck i rise

out of the wreck i rise
broken body, lifeless sigh
brother gone and mother’s cry
new life come, i rise

out of the wreck i rise
vanished world, darkened sky
lost horizons floating by
returning home, i rise

out of the wreck i rise
circumference drawn, foreign lie
wandered off and warring tribe
promise kept, i rise

out of the wreck i rise
shattered stone, gold imbibed
famliy led resistance tried
finger wrote, i rise

out of the wreck i rise
friend is gone, another’s bride
dancing wild and poet’s eyes
promise made, i rise

out of the wreck i rise
bloody water, bursting wide
flowing down the one man’s side
curtain gone, i rise

out of the wreck i rise
fire lit, world purified
sunless days and moonless nights
new life come, i rise

out of the wreck i rise

the countdown begins…

A week from today Becky, Nolan, and myself fly up to Londonderry, NH for a face to face interview at Orchard Christian Fellowship. They want to interview me for their vacant youth pastor position… yeah, me a youth pastor.

Considering the fact that I’ve said things in the past similar to “I’ll leave youth pastor jobs to those who feel like they have a specific calling to youth ministry,” it seems rather ironic that I’m doing what I’m doing. Perhaps part of it is pragmatism, in that I need to find a job in order to support my family. But I think most of it stems from the fact that I’ll pretty much recant from earlier statments.

Youth are simply little adults. While the specific issues may be different and the consequences of adult actions tend to be more dramatic, I think the core questions, hopes, and fears of both groups are the same. And so I enter the fray…

I pray that, not only will the church like us, but we will like the church. This could be a life-changing trip.

We’ll see what God has in store…