Staying the course…part 3

for the majority of my life,  writing has been my companion,  my accountability,  and my mirror.   it has always been the place where i was forced to be honest,  because my only reader was god…and occasionally wanda.   it has only been in recent years that my writing has moved beyond the private.

i am so grateful that i was encouraged to journal in my twenties…to write down those things i was learning,  along with my goals and hopes for what my future would look like.

it is such an amazing thing to be able to look back over my personal timeline and realize that i am a whole lot smarter than i was in my youth.   and to have a record of it to be reminded of…and pass on.

anyway,  here are a few more life lessons i have learned along the way:

beware of success intoxication.   this one is true for everybody.   you just can’t let success go to your head.   it’s deadly.   it breeds pride and arrogance.   you can get conned into believing you’re something special…or worse,  yet…you can start to think nobody can replace you.   you begin to believe your own press.   brokenness and humility and partnership can get replaced with over-confidence,  self importance and conceit in a blink.

god’s messages to me are communicated most clearly though wanda.   honestly,  wanda and i have never gotten hung up on the hierarchy-in-marriage-male-headship-wife-submits thing.   it’s just never been much of a big deal for us.   wanda is simply much smarter and more gifted than i am in a bunch of areas and i have been a total idiot those times i didn’t defer to her lead in those cases.   she is relationally intuitive and spiritually sensitive in ways i can only dream about.   she has always seen my weaknesses more clearly that i have.   some of the hardest realities of my life have been delivered by my partner.   that is real love.

people need to be rescued by the son of god,  not by the youth minister who thinks he’s the messiah.   yuck.   i hate admitting this.   i am a recovering rescuer that is always prone to falling off the wagon.   at least i know that about myself  (thanks,  wanda).     i can’t ever lose sight of this.    the fine line between caring/helping/pastoring and rescuing is easy for me to blur.   knowing this about myself has spared me tons of grief…and maybe even enabled me to help a few people along the way.

be diligent at finding your sermons.   more often than not,  i have been the one teaching or preaching whenever my church family has gathered for a meeting of some kind.   even those times when i wasn’t up in front,  i was usually busy serving or working in some capacity.   so i have always had to work hard to find my sermons.   back in the 70’s and 80’s,  it was on cassette tapes.   wanda has always been an avid listener to good radio teaching.   me?   not so much.   sports talk radio has always been a guilty pleasure.   but i turned into a serious reader  (of good theology)  in my thirties.   these days,  listening to podcasts of seriously good teachers of the word is as simple as a click.   i also have a couple of dozen blogger/preachers that feed my soul.   nothing can replace your own personal study of the word,  but it never hurts to have some help!

no comments on yesterday’s lessons.   how about any of these?   agree?  disagree?   just curious…


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