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Get Up And Walk

October 31, 2010

It’s been over month since my last blog post. I haven’t been doing so well. The grand experimental transition to self-employment, begun in October of last year, has proven more difficult than anticipated. Last month I decided to throw in the towel and start looking for a J-O-B. Of course I was disappointed, but true to form I denied how deeply disappointed.

Through it all I’ve kept up with my journal, a discipline I started in 2001. The power of the pen manifests itself in many ways; for me, it is a means of having and recording a dialog with the Creator. The pencil draws the words up out of my subconscious, digging much deeper than meditation alone. What I’ve discovered — or rather, rediscovered — is that my Impostor’s efforts to protect actually hinder the progress of my True Self.

More on the Impostor later. As for the present, last week I landed two contracts and put the J-O-B search on the back burner. As a reward I have scheduled a spiritual retreat at Conception Abbey, a monastery in Northwest Missouri. I hope to dig much deeper into what God has been teaching me over the last 12 months, and as it deals very specifically with the struggle to redeem my purpose, I will share what I learn in future posts.

No one ever said it would be easy. In the meantime, here’s a sample from last week’s journal entries. Thanks for reading…

October 28, 2010

After a few days, Jesus returned to Capernaum, and word got around that he was back home. A crowd gathered, jamming the entrance so no one could get in or out. He was teaching the Word. They brought a paraplegic to him, carried by four men. When they weren’t able to get in because of the crowd, they removed part of the roof and lowered the paraplegic on his stretcher. Impressed by their bold belief, Jesus said to the paraplegic, “Son, I forgive your sins.” (from Mark 2, The Message)

I think I’ve been paralyzed for a couple of weeks. Or a couple of months. Maybe even a couple of years. The confusion and denial of who I am, who God made me to be, has jammed my circuits and stopped me dead in my tracks.

“There are giants out there. I can’t possibly compete.”

Fortunately I have friends who will not give up on me. They carried me to Jesus. Impressed by their bold belief — and not dissuaded by my weakness — He said to me, “Your sins are forgiven.”

In my heart I believe that is enough; just to be forgiven. Even if I remain paralyzed, it is enough to know that the God of the universe loves me no matter what. Whether or not I succeed in business — as the world defines success — has little bearing on my happiness and general sense of well-being. My joy is complete only insofar as I place it in the hands of my Creator. I know this in my heart to be true. I know it, but sometimes I forget it. Sometimes I deny it.

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners,” the apostle Paul wrote, “Christ died for us.” In the midst of my despair, my good friends picked me up and carried me to the Savior, the One who knows the depth of my despair, even to the point of wishing for death, and still He forgives me. Still He loves me. And if that weren’t enough, He has blessed my efforts to be independent, a free agent, a sole proprietor. He is my soul proprietor.

“Get up, Richard,” He said to me. “Pick up your stretcher and go home.”

I can imagine a twinkle in His eye, maybe even a wink, as I stand in amazement and walk past the naysayers. Jesus loves me. THIS I KNOW. The home He calls me to is His home, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. Goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, even when life’s course descends into death valley. God is with me. His rod and staff are a comfort. I trust Him to correct me when I stray off course, just as He has done these past few days, weeks, months, and every other time I have strayed.

No, I am not out of the woods. But the woods can be a beautiful place. God created the woods and calls me to walk in their midst. They can be breathtaking as the leaves reflect the golden autumn angle of the sun, and they do not change when the sun goes down and clouds hide the moon. The beauty and color remain even in darkness.

“There is no dark side of the moon really,” said Pink Floyd. “Matter of fact it’s all dark.”

“I am the light of the world,” said Jesus.

Faith is the act of leaning every aspect of my personality on God in absolute trust and confidence. Mercy is God’s forgiveness when I misplace that trust and confidence. Grace is getting blessed despite the shortfall. Blessed with a brisk walk on a sunny October morning. Blessed with a devoted wife, respectful children, and friends who stick close, even in my weakness. Blessed with a challenge disguised as a giant, courage to face it down, and victory on the other side.

There is a God, and thank God it is not me.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. November 2, 2010 10:07 am

    I’m with you, man! It’s tough not to yearn for that independence, knowing that we can achieve great things. It’s also tough not to be scared to death once we get the opportunity, wondering if we’re REALLY good enough to get it done!

    I love your blog and have a similar background. I hope it’s ok that I’ve posted a link to your blog on mine. http://www.testimonyandtunes.wordpress.com

    Keep the faith and thank you for the inspiration! BTW, I love that picture (passing the guitar).

    Brian Williamson

    • November 2, 2010 12:54 pm

      Thanks for reading and for the link, Brian. It’s tough and scary, but if it was easy, what need would we have for faith?

      I love the mash-up of Michelangelo’s painting too. A good friend of mine forwarded it to me several years ago. It helps me remember that God gives us gifts to use for His purposes, not to hide under the bed.

  2. Twin permalink
    November 3, 2010 7:20 pm

    Richard: Eager to hear about your personal retreat to the Abbey. I understand the wilderness….think I am there right now. Hang in there. Monica

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