Climb Interrupted

Ever feel like your life has sprained it’s ankle and is sort of limping around? See, life is meant to be lived to it’s fullest, not maintained for the sake of something to do. Lately, I have allowed circumstances to invade my life speed. Activities out of obligation are less fun than those appreciated and desired. The ruts we find ourselves living in on a daily basis can turn into valleys and even into canyons. I can no longer be satisfied with “I’m fine” or “Doing great” if that isn’t the case. I want to love more. I want to smile from within more. I want to spark inspiration. My life was not designed to run a rat maze.

Tonight, after what has been a long week, I left the house for a bike ride at 9:37 pm. Not 30 seconds into this ride, I wearing a huge, crooked Donny-smile on my face. I was swerving back and forth in the middle of the road. It was as if E.T. was in a basket on my bike and I was just pedaling in the air. The road greeted me kindly tonight.

I rode hard for the first 30 minutes or so. I hardly ever got out of the hardest gear, even going up the big hills around here. At some point, I turned left off the sidewalk and started up one of the hills I challenge myself with. As I started the ascent, I hear a voice. Nope, it wasn’t audible. There was no one around. And it wasn’t my voice from deep inside. The voice was one I had heard before. The words were clear and the meaning was sweet. (Sadly, this is a little hard to write.) It was God taking time tonight…to tell me He loved me. My God loves me. Walking through the airport today, coming home from a business trip, I saw a man standing in one of the restaurants and on the back of his shirt, in airbrush lettering, it read “Jesus Loves You.” So often times I read that, see that, and can even “know that”, but to hear it like I did tonight……

Well, I couldn’t make it up the hill. I wasn’t crying. I wasn’t sad. I wasn’t even really thinking much right then. But at that moment, God had my attention. I didn’t know if He had more to say or just wanted me to know His heart. I turned around in the middle of the road and headed back down the hill. I was ready to find out what more He might say to me.

I pedaled on. There is a ridge over near the Trinity River, where I-635 and the George Bush Turnpike intersect. I felt led to go there. After a short ride over, I finally made it to the top. I “saw” some things for the first time. No one was within 200 – 300 yards of me. I heard frogs, cars, and planes. I saw half of the moon, the blinking lights of radio towers, and the ripples in the water of a nearby canal. Due to the darkness up on this hill, no one on the planet knew I was up there, but yet I wasn’t alone.

You see, I struggle with a lot of things internally. I fight inside. I scream inside. I cry inside. I break my God’s heart inside. As much as I know of His caring being (He IS Love), I often times insist on keeping Him at arm’s length. Nah, I don’t need to bother big ole God with this or that. So many times I assume that God’s desire for my all doesn’t really mean A-L-L. Plus, if God could know how I really feel and how tired I am of the ruts, then He would probably get tired of my complaining and selfishness. But wait, I am the son of missionaries. Surely I know better than to think such things. Donny, thou must not allow such footholds for the enemy.

This leads me to the conclusion I came to tonight. God lets me live my life. It is ok to be confused or to doubt; as long as I know the answer. See, I know the answer is always, always, ALWAYS going to be God. Jesus was, is, and will always be the answer to life; the purpose of life. The “how” of everything is where the real struggle lies. I want to know how it is all going to work. And where do we as people fit into the scheme of it all? Or maybe that is the wrong question all together. Maybe it IS all about people and everything else is filler.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t climb hills, ridges, or mountains. But I think sometimes we use those challenges as escapes rather than the path to more. And the “more” is not seen in the gathering, but rather in the understanding. Tonight, the air was cooler, my muscles burned less, but my heart was on fire. Anymore, I seem to worry about the future, try to relive (and sometimes try to fix) the past, and attempt to take care of the current. I get consumed by the gut-wrenching, head-splitting, nerve-racking feeling of trying to do everything right, all the time. At this, I fail and fail hard. I need to stop letting my words steal feel-good thunder while at the same time crushing butterflies.

Tonight, there’s no tunnel. And there’s no light at the end of said tunnel. No, I’ve just had my eyes closed a little too tight. God didn’t yell tonight. He didn’t send a bolt of lightning or punch me in the face. All He did was get me alone, send me up a hill, and then whispered, “Donny, I really do love you.”

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One Response to “Climb Interrupted”

  1. Reminds me of one of my favorite old hymns. In The Garden. Keep on trusting, praying, loving, submitting, praying, loving, believing, loving, praying & loving. I Cor. 13:13 and Matthew 19:19.

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