I grew up the Preachers Kid. From this non chosen “Gift” I got 2 curses growing up PK:
1) I always knew the answers in church. Sunday school etc…
2) I always had a close connection with the Pastor.
So what was so bad about those you ask? I am cursed by these still to this day. First off on the answers, I was always expected then to answer when no one else wanted to. But no one took the time to teach me the whys behind those answers and stories. I could tell you all the stories, even the most unusually obscure stories, of the Bible (Talking Donkeys, Dry Bones, Old Testament Judges sacrificing offspring, wining prophets, prostitute marring prophets). Yet until the past 10 years I never understood how to relate these stories.
When I entered college, all though at the time I didn’t understand what I wanted, I now know I wanted one person to take me aside and mentor me. In order to learn, one must be taught. No one ever taught me or discipled me in the scriptures. This sent me on a rampage for attention. I tried to get it at one college through challenging a Professor on items such as why the “Christian” college taught only scientific Creationism (Gap theory: i.e. Millions of years between day 2 and 3) and nothing else such as Biblical Creationism (7 day). I was first told I was a disgrace to the “Cecil” name and then later walked out on. Then to add insult to injury this Professor’s secretary called my older brother to tattle on me. This caused some strife between us for some time. Great testament for a book “when good Christians Have a Bad Day (subtitle: and how they almost turned someone away from the faith).
The next college I went to I sought out a mentor in 3 men. 1 made a career change and left the college. 1 was too old. And the 3rd was disinterested. I finally left that college disillusioned.
I then went into ministries: New Beginnings Were I jumped both feet into the pool without a lifeguard (pastoral interest) and almost drowned. This caused me to quit the Junior High Youth Pastor Position I was in and leave the church. We then moved to IOWA where I slowly and hesitantly got involved with a church whose pastor said he wanted help changing the church. Changing the way they worship, the music, the feel etc… But after a year, joining the board, and playing the music, I found that he didn’t wish to change. The excuse was the congregation, but the issue was the pastor’s reluctance to trust God and to give up his right to control.
Now here I am again. We are attending a church that we love and starting to get involved on the sidelines. Yet feeling this need to join the band etc… Music is in my blood thicker than Retail. I can lose my self in music if I let myself. This is my sanctuary that takes me to God’s presence.
But back to the present: Both of those issues lead me to an understanding that I am wishing I had a discipler/Mentor. That leads me to the Attention of the Pastor I had as a kid. I loved being on the inside. Still to this day my dad will discuss with me issues he is having in the church. As well, he will ask advice about the leadership of the church, the style, music variety etc… I love to be a resource for Books, Music, Bibles etc… for him. Suggestions for funerals, weddings, counseling etc… Ever since then I have longed to get in with the pastor like this. New Beginnings: Didn’t happen; Grace: Came very close but then when he became uncomfortable with the change that broke it off. And now Jordan Creek: I feel like a child looking in. Insecurity rises up. Yet, I am 27, a successful leader with the Largest Christian Retail Chain in the nation, a husband and father of 3. I have knowledge and wisdom that comes only from God that is far beyond my years. But I feel as though I am looking from the outside in.
How do you fill a longing like this? I go to my sanctuary and pray. I find my hiding place away from the cares of this world and go to where I am a disciple. I go to God’s arms. Lord help me to need only your approval; To Love only your attention; and to seek only your guidance. Help me to “fit” in where you would have me be. Lord I desire to do so much for you, to set the world on fire. Use me. Fill me. Use me. Not so I may boast but that you may be glorified. Forgive me for my insecurities. For you are my strength and security. Only in you should I be trusting. Human’s are Human, imperfect, failing and letting people down. You are God. ENOUGH SAID!