Towards the end of Chapter Two, Chan shares two stories. Here's part of the first one:
"As a pastor, I'm often called upon when life 'vanishes like a mist.' One of the most powerful examples I've seen of this is Stan Gerlach, a successful businessman who was well known in the community. Stan was giving a eulogy at a memorial service when he decided to share the gospel. At the end of the message, Stan told the mourners, 'You never know when God is going to take your life. At that moment, there is nothing you can do about it. Are you ready?' Then Stan sat down, fell over and died." p. 46.
Even as I sit here at my computer, I can't help but ask myself if I'm ready. I don't even know if I really understand what that means. Later on, Chan talked about an interaction between him and one of Stan's sons. His son asked Chan, 'Did you hear the story? Did you hear? I'm so proud of him. My dad died doing what he loved doing most. He was telling people about Jesus." p. 46.
If I'm really honest, I'll tell you that I'm sitting here crying as I read (and type) this. I hear stories like this and feel two conflicting emotions. I'm joyful...knowing that there are people out there, telling others about Jesus...but at the same time, I'm so incredibly sad that I'm not one of them. It's not that I don't talk about Jesus, I do...but not the way Stan did. For so long, I have struggled to know God. I have felt so distant...estranged, which leads to frustration and anger...not towards Him, it's all directed towards me. I ask myself questions like: What's wrong with me? Why don't I get it? What do I have to do to get closer to God? As hard as I try, in the end, I just feel like I'm treading water...waiting to be overtaken.
So, where does that leave me....you? I fervently believe that the only thing God wants to overtake us is His Holy Spirit. And, in the end, I have to trust...I guess it always comes back to trusting Him. I just wish that I knew, for the love of God, why it's so hard. For so long, I thought that if I went through the motions of being a "Good Christian," then I would become one..if I could outwardly love God then maybe, just maybe, I could learn how to truly love Him, with all of my heart, as much as I desperately want to. But, what I am painfully aware of...and what I've honestly known all along...is that my heart has to be surrendered first. When that happens, everything else falls into place.
Today, I want you to listen to some music. For me, music is such a HUGE part of who I am. In fact, just this week I got stuck on something, a mental block...if you will, so I sat at the piano for about 30 minutes, just playing. There are times when I have a hard time expressing myself (I know some of you might find that hard to believe!). Music helps. This first song is what I was listening to while I wrote today's blog...it probably explains my fear a little better..my fear of not truly finding that closeness to God that I'm in such desperate need of. It's a little melancholy... and it BY NO MEANS represents my mood... just my frustration with not "getting it":
The second song is an AMAZING song! I'm hoping that we'll sing it at church one day. I think it speaks to what every Christian wants when it comes to our relationship with God.