Sunday, November 8, 2009
I’ve come to these realizations “the hard way” as some may say. One day in class, I found myself becoming super frustrated with where my life was at. I was actually sitting there, very cynically saying to myself, “Goodness this is a waste of my time, I could be doing this, this and this with my time. I can’t believe I’m sitting here when I could be making money (with one of my four jobs) or getting something worthwhile done.” And then I became even more frustrated when I realized just how twisted that thought was, and how much I terribly longed not to be such a doer of a list of things. Basically God gave me a heart check right then and there and made me take a hard look at all the clutter in my life.
For me, really wrestling with who I am and what I am passionate about has been the most difficult, yet most rewarding learning process of my college tenure. Without understanding either, your life and its purposes are entirely devoid of direction. In hindsight, I can say that this is the largest contributing factor in allowing myself to get so involved in things that I only found myself loathing months later.
So who am I? Well that question requires a complex answer, but for starters I would say I am an overcomer; a conqueror. One day as I was praying about this God just put a super strong image on my heart – that of the white and red-polka dotted rider in the tour de France. Who is he? He is the “King of the Mountains,” the best climber of the bunch. He is the rider that looks at the hill, thinks “hmmm that looks challenging” and then accelerates full steam ahead to tackle the challenge like a madman, laughing as he goes.
I hadn’t thought about it much prior to that day, but man does that image ever speak to my heart. It really does encompass so much of me, Shawn Michael Gerber. I live for the challenge. I want people to tell me it’s impossible. That’s why I am so entrepreneurially focused and always have been. I live for the challenge. I fully embrace it.
On the flipside of such a personality, however, is the battle that comes with it. A key question in the hearts of most, if not all men, is “do I have what it takes? Am I good enough?” Now let me just tell you that that right there is the primary battleground for many men, especially ones like me. Without knowing who you are, and how that plays into your passions, you will be easily struck down because Satan will continually barrage you in your weak spot. Even more important, however, are your supporting relationships with warrior brothers. We were not created to live alone, let alone battle alone. Don’t be mistaken, it is a war, one of attrition through doubts, discouragement, temptation, lust and so much more.
Allow me to digress for a moment. The other day I was confronted with a very interesting question. Why is worship so much different between people in third world countries and Americans? After thinking about it for some time I came up with a potential answer. The veil has been pulled over our eyes here in America. We are so comfortable. We have shelter, food, clean water, relationships, and so much more whereas our third world counterparts are just struggling to survive. They are fighting with witchdoctors, and many things unseen. The battle in both the physical and spiritual realms is just so real to them. They see the war waged upon them each and every day and are so deeply thankful for God’s provision. They understand true joy and the battle that it requires. I don’t think most of us see it here in America. The battle is subtle, dangerously so. Too often do we brush things off as random thoughts, or unfortunate coincidences. It’s a stinking war and you need all of your heart, soul, and mind to be in check. You have to be awake and aware. The veil needs to be ripped down, with the support of you warrior brothers and sisters. There is a battle for our joy that rages each and every day, and we must stick together and fight for it.
In discovering who I am, I also found my deep love for my savior. It is my driving passion. I almost hate saying this to people because it sounds so radical in my head at times, but if I am going to do something with my life, I just know I will not be satisfied unless I am valiantly serving my Lord. In Matthew Jesus speaks of all the things that the disciples did unto others as if they were done unto Him. I have always been struck so hard by this verse. When confronted with the question of how to return your love to God, my simplest solution boils down to that verse. My passion is to love people; to serve them as if I am serving Christ in person. It is no more complicated than that.
So rather than going any deeper on this, since I have already written a ton, I will just conclude with this. I am an overcomer, a vencedor as we say in Spanish. I am passionate about loving my savior with everything in me. I value my relationships much more than my formal education, and realize that without these three truths in my life I am directionless, without a purpose or a motivation. I am incredibly thankful for the Spirit of Truth that has lead me this far, and can only hope to fully step into my passions in the near future even though at the moment I don’t know what that will look like.
So who are you? What are your deepest passions? What does your heart say? Ask God for help. He will always follow through. Listen intently and be ready for the truth to dramatically change your life. Find a close friend and walk through it with them. It will be great.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
So…in light of the epic MAN TRIP ’09 I just took, I just had a couple thoughts I wanted to write on in this little bit of internet space I get to enjoy. I spend a lot of my time going up things, and coming back down, to put it simply. I bike up hills (which are somehow, pretty much my favorite and strongest aspect of cycling) and bike back down them. I ride ski lifts way up mountains, only to snowboard back down them. I hike to the heights of God’s creation, only to yet again venture back down. Suffice it to say, all of this brings to the front of my mind a nice analogy that I heard one time from Pastor Hagee I believe. He simply talked about how God created nature and he continues to point out that on mountain peaks we find no life- no vegetation (assuming the mountain is tall enough), but rather that we find lush abundance that we desire in the valleys by the riverbeds. His simple point? Life is found in the valleys. Growth is born there. While mountain top experiences carry a great significance to each and every one of us, you must readily admit that we are not meant to stay there and that without the growth found in the valleys leading up to it, it would not even be slightly the same. It is for this very reason that Paul advises us to rejoice in our sufferings and to remain joyful. God has great things in store for us, but often times we miss out on what is happening now, in our valleys, and sometimes miss out on our mountain top altogether.
Speaking of missing out on our mountain tops, I have another analogy I want to throw out there. In the world of snowboarding I learned a beautiful thing. “If you look at what you are trying to miss, you’ll surely hit it. Rather you need to look at where you’re going.” It may sound like complete poppycock, but in all seriousness it is so very true. If you look at that rock you are trying to miss, you’re probably going to nail it, seriously. Same holds true for lots of other things like driving and cycling. So how does this even slightly relate? I think so often we get ourselves so sidetracked because we focus so very much on the things that could go wrong; the things that could endanger our mountain top experience, that we end up running right into them or just bail out early due to fear when all we really needed to do was focus on where we were headed. It’s kind of like my “man trip” this past weekend. I climbed up something that admittedly was not very safe, but unlike my comrades, I did not limit my thoughts to the things that could go wrong, all the various ways I could fall, but rather I focused on the things I could do right, and the ultimate goal. In the end, it was almost as if it wasn’t dangerous at all, and let me just tell you that the reward was priceless. Keeping your eyes on Christ and on His will for your life, even in the valleys, is of utmost importance. If you don’t stand in His will for you, you won’t stand at all. So to tie it all together, there is life giving growth in the valley, and rather than bowing to fear, or being swayed from the Lord’s perfect path, we need to push ourselves to further focus on Him and on His will for our lives during those times. If we don’t we will surely be led astray, and perhaps even get stuck on the barren part of that mountain that is not yet the peak, but rather a dismal middle ground – in a lukewarm existence desiring more without finding it. Don’t look at the rocks, people. Just don’t do it.
Monday, August 31, 2009
So I've often hiked through the forest and passed by big tall oak trees. They really are a sight to be seen, but what is even more amazing is not their aesthetics, but rather it is their incredible sturdiness. Oaks are very strong trees that withstand the fiercest of occasions. I think this is part of the reason that Isaiah used such language. When Christ raises us up for HIS glory, we are to be very strong, and not blown over by the inevitable storms of life.
Kind of running off of that, I ran across an analogy used by Beth, a director of B2B. She talks about the same imagery of a tree, but brings into the very picture the very important aspect of the fruit in which we bear. She likes to say that we start at the roots, and that that is where we are drawing our sustenance which directly affects our trunks, or our what she refers to as self image. In turn that self image directly affects the top of the tree, the part which bears the fruit.
Where am I going with this? Those trunks, while very hidden under the ground, are the most important aspect of the whole tree for without them the rest of the purpose of the existence of the tree begins to crumble. It is so important to watch what you are letting "in your water" for it can very easily jump right up into that self image weaken you to the point of falling at the slightest breeze. We need to be firmly rooted in Christ and in his Word; In Truth so that when tests and trials do come we are healthy, and firmly rooted. We can stand and display the splendo of God. Even more importantly we want to be producing the best fruit we can for we exist for the benefit of others. We want to multiply God's splendor, not a poisoned counterfeit...
So back to faith...the other day I stumbled over another verse that kind of tied together my thoughts on the issue. That verse is Hebrews 11:7 which speaks this of Noah, "By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith." So the question of how do we become an oak of righteousness is pretty simply answered. Faith is the stepping stone to righteousness...It starts with belief...belief in the Truth, them leads to action (as is seen in the examples of faith in Hebrews 11).
So just take a second to evaluate yourself. Do you feel like an oak of righteousness? Also ask yourself what kind of story your fruit tells? Be honest with yourself.
If you'd like to talk more about this or anything please just contact me. Love ya'll!
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
May the praise of God be in their mouths and a double-edged sword in their hands -Psalm 149:6
Did you catch that? Our praise can be a weapon in the never ending spiritual battles we encounter. So even amidst the chaos I will choose to praise my King and use it as my double edged sword against my ever prowling enemy rather than complain about all that went wrong...Praise be to God for a blessed day and for everything that went right! =)