I was driving my way home through a subdivision muddied by recent construction when my eyes found a pile of garbage out in the middle of a field.
I felt strangely drawn to the rubble.
This may sound odd, but I am a bit of a “dumpster-diver.” You really can find “garage sale worthy” stuff sitting on people’s curb-sides waiting to be collected. Hey, I’m a weirdo. What can I say? A few months ago we found a forty gallon aquarium for my son (or rather, for his future pets) that way. That’s a two hundred dollar find, you know! I’m just saying.
Anyway, this particular pile of construction junk looked… well, beneath EVEN ME. But as I drove past it, I sensed the Holy Spirit telling me to turn around, park, and check out the pile of stuff.
Huh? Well, okay, Lord. I pulled a U-turn, yanked the parking brake to a forty five degree angle (been extra careful since THE INCIDENT happened last month), and jogged out to inspect the garbage.
It was… uh… garbage. Nothing remotely salvageable. Wood. Mashed up boxes. Trash. Two burnt out vacuum cleaners. The usual, random, dead-end stuff. And I’m looking. And I’m inspecting. And I’m not seeing what I’m supposed to see (which I assume is something I’m supposed to take home with me).
Nada, dada. Please show me what I’m supposed to see here.
And then I read the label on a box. “Innovation,” it says. Hmmm. Been thinking about that. And I love to innovate. Innovation is described as new “ideas applied successfully in practice.” I look at the next object. A vacuum cleaner with the word “Eureka!” emblazoned on the face. “Eureka” means “I found it!” and refers to the joy of discovery. Hmmmm…. I scan for the next object. The word “Davinci” jumps out at me. Leonardo Davinci is described by Wikipedia as a man of “unquenchable curiosity equaled only by his powers of invention.” Wow.
In a row.
What’s going on, Lord?
At first I was excited. A clear message from God that totally nails the essence of what makes me tick. But soon afterward a thick cloud drifted over my soul, then tanked, dragging me down into the depths. Forcing me to face the fact that for all my vision and enthusiasm and effort and prayers and surrender and repentance and dependance, I’m still not at all happy with the overall momentum and fruit of my ministry at DCC (our church, where I’m Lead Pastor).
I spent the evening picking my way through a different kind of trash pile, the dumps of my own discouragement. Thankfully, I slept relatively well last night, but I awoke to face down the dread of my own despair (holding the hand of Jesus, I might add). I typically spend Wednesdays out of the office, studying and prepping in mall food courts or libraries or Starbucks, and today is no different.
Except that this morning, God has given me a new direction, a fresh insight that I think is going to make all the difference. Not all at once, not in a way most people will notice, but in a way that will matter to me and the people close to me. I look to God, to Jesus, the hope of THE world and the hope of MY world. And I love him.
Let’s do this. Guide me, Lord Jesus.