Listening to KLOVE: Holy is the Lord – Chris Tomlin
Alright, I’ll admit it. I haven’t exactly made this blog very personal. I thought I’d use it to write “theological” essays periodically, but more often it would be an online journal. I guess I haven’t felt much need to do that as of yet.
I used to journal a lot, but time doesn’t permit me anymore…you can see that it is now almost 1AM, so ask me if this was a good idea tomorrow, (errr today?)
Anyway, I find great joy in reading Abbie‘s and Erin‘s blog posts. And I don’t want to deprive my readers of getting a glimpse of me from a different perspective than just the “guy-always-talking-about-the-bible” perspective you all must have about me already. That being said, I have two more Sunday school teachings to upload, but I want to adjust the audio slightly.
So what am I doing up so late? I suppose I’m celebrating. God is Good, and all occasions are a reason to celebrate His Glory. There I go again! I won’t apologize…I just can’t get enough of Him. But as a matter of fact, God’s grace is the reason to celebrate. Let me give you some background. If you are bored easily…well if you are bored easily, you aren’t still reading I’d suppose.
Thursday was an exciting day; I took 2 of my kids to a pizza challenge. This worked out nicely because one of my kids misbehaved and had to stay home. So I had my big ones with me and no wife to hold me back from eating “all you can eat pizza.” She knows my tendencies and tried to warn me, but I heeded not! We had a good time, we all ate a little too much pizza, me maybe more than a little too much. But we made it home safely and got to bed. I had a full day of work ahead of me, and a busy Saturday and Sunday to look ahead to.
Then I couldn’t sleep around midnight that night. Without getting graphic, I became VERY ILL. Now I felt terrible. I knew I should have listened. I felt like I was being punished for gluttony. I felt like I was suffering for not listening to my wife’s loving plea for me to take care of myself. I spent hours praying, a rarity for most people probably, including me.
I am blessed with an extremely compassionate wife, so I was able to stay in bed all morning and was tended to. I called into work (which I’m not a fan of since I am hourly), and spent the day on the couch. By now, I’ve committed myself to better discipline. I am convinced I had food poisoning at this point. Later I thought it might have been a flu. Who knows. Either way, my body was utterly useless. I found 9 minutes later that day to sit at the computer and check messages before I got tired. My lovely wife cooked some AMAZING smelling food that day that just nauseated me due to my condition. She’s an affectionate woman and I continuously pushed her away and hurt her feelings because I felt so ill I didn’t want to be touched most of the day. A day of work was trashed, a day with my wife was gone and my evening with my children was fading quickly. I don’t remember much more…I think I slept most of it. Although, my son made me a nice card I saw this morning… 🙂
If that was the end of the story, I suppose some would feel for me. But then Saturday morning there was a huge mixup at my daughter’s soccer which I am the head coach for. I had a conflict with my other children’s flag football team which I also coach. It sounds like I really disappointed a lot of people that day. I already felt terrible, and then that. I figured I could get through it. I do believe that God allows things to happen. In the meantime, I’m headed to the OSU spring game to pass out tracts and, hopefully, preach and witness. All we ended up doing was passing out tracts, but it was worth it because all 3 of my kids came. That’s ok, I need to get home anyway to prepare for Sunday School and work on the church website which I was falling behind on!
Then Sunday morning comes, I’m still exhausted. I’m finally eating normally. I started my discipline already and was doing ok with it…good news. Then I stand up at church in the morning service to encourage my church family for their commitment to prayer. I made a quick reference to the fact that if they didn’t pray on Saturday according to their commitment that they should consider why they missed this important date. SOUNDS GREAT NOW AND BEFORE, BUT WHEN I ACTUALLY SAID IT, IT SOUNDED LIKE I WAS ASKING PEOPLE TO WRITE DOWN A CONFESSION AS TO WHY THEY DIDN’T PRAY. I didn’t realize this either. NOW I FEEL REALLY STUPID.
I feel terrible. I don’t have any idea how many people I hurt or to what extent. But here is the good part: TONIGHT I CAN CELEBRATE. Because I am saved by grace through faith alone. With Jesus Christ there is always hope. Years ago…maybe months ago…maybe weeks ago…I don’t know because this all happened this weekend, I would have been JUMPING to my own defense. I would have really fretted over all this. I do regret my mistakes, misspeaking, gluttony and poor planning, but not in my formerly self-pitying way. I simply want to see reconciliation in all this. I have already apologized to the soccer team via an email, and I’m mentally committed to making sure nothing like that happens again, as much as that’s in my power. And I’m willing to do whatever I need to do to make things right at church. I just desire forgiveness from the offended. I do want them to know that I never intended what it sounded like, but does it really matter in the long run? I mean, it might help some, but ultimately, if someone really thought I said what they thought I said, couldn’t they still find it in their heart to forgive me? And if they couldn’t…they may have a bigger problem than I do, so I’m not going to worry about my reputation, but rather, my attitude toward others.
This is reason to celebrate. A gift of humility. God has granted me an ability I never had…NEVER WANTED…to set aside my pride and desire to be liked, exalted, though highly of, and has allowed me to identify with Jesus. Isa 53:7 ESV He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. To me, this verse speaks volumes of humility. Keeping in mind that Jesus truly was blameless, and had the power at any time to stop the crucifixion, it is an even more exciting display of His Holy Perfection of Humility than we could ever really fathom. I’ll be happy to tell people I’m sorry and ask for forgiveness and leave the rest up to God….it’s up to Him anyway, isn’t it? By the way, I’m not imagining myself being led to a slaughter, I’m just identifying with the part where he ‘opened not his mouth.’ I am making a choice, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, to not get defensive, which is a big improvement in my life. I’ll enjoy resting in Christ.
wow, Mike. Now I know what you feel like when you read my blogs. I never knew this side to you. At the ladies luncheon sat. it was about letting our light shine in our homes, community and the world. And I see that you are trying your best to do that! I will try to take a que from you(and do what Matt is always telling me to do) and lean on God more and more, because He first loved me and He died for me. Pride is a very dangerous thing.
Tamara Slack says
Thanks for opening up and writing this, Michael. I appreciate it when people are real. It would be nice if all of us would do this huh?
You have an amazing wife… you are truly blessed! 🙂
And an even MORE AMAZING Saviour!!! It’s so good to know we can rest in Him with all our failures and our successes and to know He doesn’t love us more or less due to them.