What is it you want me to do? What is my calling? Am I wasting precious time? Will I fade away? What will I say when you question me on what I did with your blessings? Am I throwing away my talent? Will I succeed the way you planned for me to? Why can't I hear your voice? Are you really there...
These are the questions that have been spinning around in my head over the past few years. The anxiety that has accompanied these questions was an indicator that I was failing. Failing to listen, act, and fulfill what God called me to do. The path was hidden from me, either due to my own ignorance or more likely, rebellion. The sands in the hourglass seemed to be running out. The silence was deafening.
The truth is that I knew I was wasting my time, spinning around on that wheel at a breakneck pace. I wasn't really running the race, but floundering around, trying to gain footing on a path that was not straight and narrow. I felt I needed guidance and was constantly searching for answers. I would talk to God, get angry at Him, make demands of Him...and hear nothing. I would seek fellowship with spiritual leaders only to be ignored over and over again. Was it my personality? Was I somehow offending them with my honesty? Where was the brotherly love I so desperately craved? Where was the church?
I found some comfort in physically helping people. Through what I thought was my own power, I would seek out the weak and vulnerable, trying to provide them with direction. For some reason I have always had a six sense about what was going to happen. It made me a great Infantry Soldier and later, Intelligence Officer. Most of what we did was predictive. The goal was to understand enough about a threat to see it coming and avoid it if possible. The problem was that I could not force people to listen. The fulfillment I was searching for turned into despair and depression. I kept floundering.
I wish I could say that I had an epiphany. That God spoke to me in a vision or dream. That I was transformed overnight into a "Man of God". I was not. I am not. The answers did not come. I continued to flounder. I continued to search.
As I floundered, and prayed, and searched, I reached a point of desperation. I did not want to be part of this world. I would never consider killing myself, but like George Baily, I felt it would be better if I did not exist. This life and all of the pain and anxiety it seems to bring, was not worth living. It felt like all of my efforts to protect and help people were in vain. What was the point?
As I write this, I still struggle. There is some hope though. Through this group of men I have discovered something. I am not the only one who is struggling. There are hundreds...thousands, maybe even millions of men who are desperately seeking God for direction and guidance. Not to gain anything for themselves other than fulfillment. To know that they are headed down the right path and when they reach they end they can state, "I have run my race and fought the good fight".
I am not perfect. I am not a coach, a guru, a holy man, or even a pastor. I refuse to portray myself as such, just to gain a following. I am just a man. I am however going to step into the arena, take charge of my race, and win. I cannot do that on my own and am looking for those that want to join me. This will get messy. I do not plan on playing "the game" and only talking about things that are acceptable and beneficial to the promotion of myself or the group. I plan on laying my cards on the table, asking difficult questions, addressing off limit topics, questioning beliefs and yes, quite possibly offending some of my brothers.
The cost of this journey is great, but the choice is simple. Comply with the world and answer for it in the end, or boldly take the lead in a race that the body of Christ is slowly losing. As I run this race, for the short time I am here, I will need the support and fellowship that can only be found in my brothers.
Iron sharpens iron. That saying is over used. Its not talking just about sharpening your sword (most of the time we do that on a stone). Its talking about sparring. While you are not trying to kill your brother, you care enough about him to bring him to his knees. The ultimate goal is to expose weakness and confront fear. Its about brutal honesty, overcoming cowardice, and getting back up in order to destroy the real enemy. An enemy that does not want you to succeed and is on a suicide mission.
Without fellowship with each other, we live in isolation. The best strategy the enemy has used against us is our own arrogance. The idea that we are strong enough to overcome our shortcomings on our own is a lie. All we have to do is listen to that lie for the enemy to win.
I am done with that lie. I need you to expose my vulnerability and fear in order to find and fulfill my calling. You are part of a unit. Iron Edge is a military unit fighting a spiritual war, and it will take all of us to win.
Keep that edge sharp. Join me in the fight.