Tag Archives: speed

Hard Fall, Soft Landing

“Today I choose life. Every morning when I wake up I can choose joy, happiness, negativity, pain… To feel the freedom that comes from being able to continue to make mistakes and choices – today I choose to feel life, not to deny my humanity but embrace it.” – Kevyn Aucoin

Each day when I awaken, I spend a few moments with Him. The recording I then hear is Zig Zigler saying, “Yesterday ended last night.  Today is a brand new day and it is yours.”  The scripture that follows is Joshua 1:1, “…Moses my servant is dead. Get going.  Cross this Jordan River, you and all the people.  Cross to the country I’m giving to the People of Israel.  I’m giving you every square inch of the land you set your foot on—just as I promised…”

My challenges of the past two weeks were all about containment, mostly of the sense of urgency that seemingly only I felt. I described it to my inner circle as a feeling of being on methamphetamines in an assisted living facility.  It was like I was playing a lower level in a video driving game, one that I had seen and surpassed many times before.  Nothing and no one seemed to move fast enough.  Everyone else seemed to be in slow motion and unable to anticipate what the next move should be when the path to future was already paved and clearly laid out in front of them.  With every passing moment, my blood simmered up to a low rolling boil as I contained the rage.  On the inside I was screaming, “What is this?  What altered reality have I fallen into?  Is this the Matrix?  Guys,…Stop making checkers moves in a chess game!  You can’t use a pawn to crown a rook and make him a king.  Get focused, do the right thing, and let’s go!”

After six days of feeling trapped in stalled traffic on the highway to nowhere, I screamed at God and said, “Dude! I can’t execute mission because I am stuck in the land of the lethargic and languorous.  Can you hit the ignition switch so we can get moving again?”  All energy then evaporated. Sight and motion ceased to exist.  In a direct way and with an unwavering tone, He said, “Be still and know that I am God! This matrix you speak of is called the world.  You are adrift in the labyrinth of purgatory between two spaces.  You walk in the world but you live through Me.  They may be lost but now you are misplaced and misguided.  Get back to our space so you can begin fishing with and for my people.  This inner voice is My spirit. He bears gifts of peace and justice so that you can speak the good news of the one true King – Me.  Get off your high horse and stop behaving like a wild bull.  My children are delicate and I have called you to be gentle with them.  This flummoxed state of mystified bewilderment only happens when you release my hand.  When you let go of love, you lose patience; the thing that I always have for you and an important trait you must have to make a difference with my children.  Since none of this is about you, it cannot possibly be done your way or without Me.  Wallowing in My word will cool your jets.  Then, and only then, will we be able to execute a smooth, soft landing to ground you again.”

The thunder of His voice in this instance was sheer shock and awe.  I then heard this song playing in my head:  Life can be only what you make it.  When you’re feelin down you should never fake it.  Say what’s on your mind and you’ll find in time that all the negative energy, it would all cease.  And you’ll be at peace with yourself.  You won’t really need no one else.  Except for the man up above because He’ll give you love.  Cause He’ll give you peace of mind and you’ll see the sunshine; and you’ll get to free your mind and things will turn out fine.  All you gotta do is take your time; One day at a time…It’s all on you.  What you gonna do?  My Life – Mary J. Blige

Then Ephesians 1:17-19 came to mind. It says, 17 God of our Lord Jesus the Anointed, Father of Glory: I call out to You on behalf of Your people.  Give them minds ready to receive wisdom and revelation so they will truly know You. 18 Open the eyes of their hearts, and let the light of Your truth flood in.  Shine Your light on the hope You are calling them to embrace.  Reveal to them the glorious riches You are preparing as their inheritance. 19 Let them see the full extent of Your power that is at work in those of us who believe, and may it be done according to Your might and power.(The Voice)  God then said, “That’s great.  Now say that same scripture to yourself for yourself.  This game is about loving my people!  If they want to play checkers, let them.  Not everyone is a chess player.  One day you will thank me for uniqueness.  Right now your job is to meet them where they are and introduce them to Me.  Not all of them are going to come to the foot of the cross.  But that is not a reason for you to get discouraged or lose your composure.  Love them all and connect with the willing.  Yes, the time is near but there is freedom in My son.  Now come on!  The exit point from this convoluted medium is at the intersection Affection Avenue and Love Lane.  We are in an apex and need to continue on this way.  Hold My hand so we do not get separated again.  I love you and you are going to be alright.”

Realizing that I have not had my best moments in recent weeks, I saw an opportunity to change course. And so I did.  I began immediately by walking and driving much slower.  Reducing my speed allowed me to see the subtleties, nuances, and contours on the path that leads to the cross.  His words made me learn again that not everyone sees life the same way, are driven by the same things, or react to the same stimuli.

Over the next few days, I noticed that by seeing the delicacies of the shades and not just the bluntness of the primary colors, I have been able to walk beside a few people. Because I was not travelling ninety to nothing, I appeared open and approachable and they were willing to ask me where they could find Him.  Two souls are now oriented in His direction; a place they may not have been if I had blown past them.

The experience was a terse reminder that:

  1. I serve at the pleasure of the One True King.
  2. My power is influencing others; my gifting is inspiring them; my pain is fear and my weakness is speed.
  3. I need results to open up to connection. Others need connection to produce results.
  4. When we go for broke, sometimes we break things.
  5. There is no perfection in life; but in everything we do, we pursue excellence through Him.
  6. He is always there to help us make a mid-course correction. All we have to do is ask Him.
  7. No matter how bad we blow it, we always have a home. He continuously makes us new.

You’re making me new, making me new, everything new. I’ve been changed by you like only love can do.  You’re making me new.  No warning signs, no sirens or flashing lights.  And just like a thief at night, you so unexpectedly showed up and rescued me.  I got a feeling that I can’t explain, like I’m crawling out of my skin.  I was dead till the moment that you said my name.  Now my heart is beating again.  You gave it all for me, came and set me free.  Now your love has overcome.  Royal Tailor – Making Me New

Live life big! You will fall and sometimes really hard.  Don’t hold back because of it.  Keep your spirit of courage and use the gifts He has given you.  Stay in Him and with Him.  When you lose your way, seek Him.  His arms are always wide open.  Jesus Loves You!  “I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us”  Romans 8:39 (MSG)

Hot, Hot, Hot!

If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends.  Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top.  Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead.  Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage.  Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.  Philippians 2:1-2 (MSG)

When a space orbiter has completed its mission, it must re-orient itself before landing back home on earth.  Prior to landing, it has spent weeks in outer space, exploring and encountering the foreign and unfamiliar.  In order to re-enter safely, its speed, pitch, and altitude must be carefully controlled.  In most cases, it has also been travelling nose first in the upside down position.  The spacecraft must first be turned around to the tail first position.  Then it has to slow down as it begins its descent into the earth’s upper atmosphere.  The reaction control system then engages and pitches the craft 40 degrees so that the tail faces the atmosphere, thus placing it back into the nose first position.  The same system then rotates the craft right side up.

Because the shuttle is lined up over Asia as it hits the upper atmosphere and is travelling at 17,000 mph, its outer shell heats up to about 3000 degrees Fahrenheit.  As it descends, it banks hard and serpentines to reduce its speed.  As it gets closer to its landing spot, its pitch changes to minus 20 (almost seven times steeper that the descent of a commercial airliner) and control of the craft switches from computer to manual.  The commander then lines it up with the runway, pulls up the nose to slow the rate of descent and lowers the landing gear.  The shuttle touches down, the parachute and the speed brake on the vertical tail deploys.  It comes to a rest, is powered down and remains unapproached and untouched for about 20 minutes to allow the noxious gases to dissipate.  The door then opens, the commander and crew disembark, and the craft is serviced.

Re-entry (or reconnection with earth) is fuel intensive and requires a lot of insulation to prevent the spacecraft from overheating and breaking up.  A successful mission requires a well-built shuttle, a faithful flight crew, and a stalwart mission control team.  Since the conditions of space travel are always challenging, a critical failure in any of the three areas could cause catastrophic results.  For instance, undetected damage to the heat tiles at lift-off, failure to close cargo bay doors, or improper data analysis by flight control personnel could have disastrous consequences.  And so goes the support needed for our connection to or reconnection with our Lord and Savior.

The six-week 151,000 mile journey I took this Summer was akin to space travel.  The extreme time zone dislocation of minus two hours to plus thirteen hours, a trial, engaging in a multitude of diverse activities, the cultural and language differences and barriers, countless hours in a pressurized cabin, flying at high altitudes, dealing with the issues in front of me as well as monitoring those at home, a death in the family, an ill loved one, and notification of additional litigation caused me to hit the upper atmosphere at mach 30 as a flaming inferno.  However, others’ relentless prayers for me, the steadiness of the church who received me, and the guidance of the family and friends who loved me provided me with the necessary instructions and support that re-oriented my position, slowed me down, set my pitch, and controlled my descent before handing the controls back over to me.  An entire crew of people, including my small group and other supportive believers, remained in constant contact with me as I aligned with the runway, lowered my landing gear, touched down, and deployed my chute.  Now that the noxious chemicals have dissipated, I have stepped back out onto solid ground, and have received adequate rest, my prayer is this: Lord, Almighty and all-knowing God.  You are the reason for my being and the purpose of my existence.  May I always remember that!  Loving your people and imitating your ways are the greatest part of my mission.  Please forgive me for not always giving my all towards that focus, especially in my moments of stress; a time of my greatest need and the time that You use Your people to bring blessings in abundance.  Thank You for Your willingness to always pursue me and other lost or disoriented souls.  Your relentless love and Your army of servants have paved the path of faith, with which I have now reconnected, that leads to the foot of the cross; the place where You gave it all so that I may be free and with You for an eternity.  Please light a fire under my feet so that I may serve as soothing foam and create a soft landing spot for any other hot re-entry who is dangerously close to ignition or who may already be ablaze.  May I always be willing to share my talents for Your glory.  Thank You for the incredible lessons, the protection of Your will and grace, the enormous support of Your people, the intact landing, the rest, and for the fire in the belly to serve You whole-heartedly again.  It is in Your son’s name I pray – Amen.

A thousand times I’ve failed, still your mercy remains.  Should I stumble again, still I’m caught in your grace…Your will above all else, my purpose remains.  The art of losing myself in bringing you praise…In my heart, in my soul, I give you control.  Consume me from the inside out.  Let justice and praise become my embrace to love you from the inside out.  Everlasting, your light will shine when all else fades.  Never ending, your glory goes beyond all fame.  And the cry of my heart is to bring you praise. From the inside out Lord, my soul cries out.  Hillsong United – Inside Out

Whether we are seeking something more than we have known in the world, we left on a prodigal adventure, or simply allowed busyness to pull us away from the habits that support our Christian walk, re-entry is a process that requires belief in God’s greatness, commitment to service, and intense support.  God’s Church is that shuttle, ministry leaders are the flight crew, and the other dedicated servants are the mission control team.  When they are strong and work together, the mission of making disciples of every nation are met or exceeded.  Additionally, those who have temporarily left earth’s grounding are able to re-enter alive and land back on a solid foundation.  When all hands are on deck, people experience the miracles that happen when God’s flight-control crew and ground-team workers move harmoniously together.  Souls are saved by people crossing the line of faith or saved souls reconnect with the roots that keep them grounded in the faith.

My reflection on my re-entry this summer has me here:

  1. A commander is simply one many people in God’s army
  2. No commander ever has it all under control
  3. Our journeys may take us far and cause us to feel disconnected
  4. Re-entry is the necessary path to reconnection with solid ground
  5. It takes many people and multiple talents to bring people in
  6. Re-entry is rough because hyper-speed causes high heat
  7. Love and support cool the temperatures and reduce the effects of friction
  8. I must do my part to help others re-orient and reconnect
  9. His word is the solid ground and His grace is the soft landing spot
  10. Space is not the final frontier.  Heaven is.

When I’m lost you pursue me; lift my head to see your glory.  Lord of all, so beautiful; Here in you I find shelter – captivated by the splendor of your face, my secret place.  I’m wide awake, drawing close, stirred by grace.  And all my heart is yours.  All fear removed, I breathe you in.  I lean into Your love, oh your love.  Your love so deep is washing over me.  Your face is all I seek.  You are my everything.  Jesus Christ, You are my one desire.  Lord hear my only cry to know you all my life.  Hillsong United – Sinking Deep