I can still remember watching The Usual Suspects as the final scene slapped me in the face with a twist so brilliant that it left me gasping for air.

The domino-style rewind into sickening hindsight was absolutely breathtaking. I think I actually gripped my chair and exclaimed, “No WAY!!” The same thing (more or less) happened to me while watching M. Night Shyamalan’s The Sixth Sense. BAM. Got me again.

In the same vein, I have a recurring nightmare following me through life: In dreamland, a high-tech conspiracy is afoot to undermine my ministry and ruin me (which probably has more to do with a hidden insecurity than an actual plot). Imagine my surprise, then, after years of watching this dream gradually move forward, when the night came when the identity of the mastermind behind the whole sordid scheme was revealed:

Shauna, my own wife.

When I awoke from that particular dream, I found myself shivering in me skivvies at the foot of the bed, pointing at Shauna and shouting, “YOU!!!! ALL THIS TIME, IT WAS YOU!!!!” Talking about a twist! Talking about hindsight. The inhumanity of it all. Shauna, my love, my—

“Go to bed,” she mumbled, then rolled over, more than used to my nocturnal nonsense.

“Oh. Okay. Sorry.”

Well.

Today God unveiled a twist on my life that made the flashback in the Usual Suspects look like a flagrantly telegraphed punch in All Star Wrestling. My brain felt like it had gotten caught in the spin cycle on our fancy new washer. And this was no dream.

From the day I became Lead Pastor at DCC, God has been speaking things to my heart about my role, my calling, the direction he’d like to take the church, how I need to spend my time. These gems have been sprinkled throughout the last four years, and I’ve meticulously written all of them down for posterity. Most of them I’ve forgotten about or just put on a shelf because they made no sense at the time. Some felt like obscure puzzle pieces with no helpful context to give me traction toward any kind of obedience.

Today, a few simple words (I can’t share them, they’re too personal right now) resulted in the kind of “aha!” that literally made me tremble from the inside out. From the present moment, the Holy Spirit walked me back through each word he’d given me, each verse, each truth, each prompting… connecting dots, placing puzzle pieces, until I realized every single one of them fits together like a masterful work of art. The funny thing is, the whole shebang was pretty much there since day one, but I didn’t have eyes to see it. Many times, I’ve just leapt to conclusions about what a message meant and missed the whole point in the process.

I’m so humbled. God waited four years for me to “get it.” Four years! I began confessing the last few years as a total failure, when he caught me and said, “No, it’s not a failure. You’ve been doing some of what I asked… just not on purpose. Yet.”

Oh Jesus, where will this lead?

Who cares? I’m all in.

On purpose.