Posted by: Brad Stanford | March 7, 2010

Back From The Dark Side Of The Moon

The thing about traveling somewhere very foreign to you is that you will never be the same afterwords. Perhaps moving from big city in Texas to small town Texas isn’t as drastic as visiting a completely different culture far away, but it has changed me nonetheless. Fresh air, a visible Milky Way at night, and quietness all influence my day-to-day attitudes. The lack of hurry-up and the associated me-centered anger that can be found at the poorly-named “rush hour” in the cities is nowhere to be found. Being out of the city is just downright good for the soul.

Lately, I’ve traveled to another distant place, this time in the country of Business. This particular trip was to a lonely place where everyone was waiting on me. Nothing could move ahead until I get done. I have felt the weight of my corner of the world on my shoulders, and it’s very, very heavy. But I can’t afford to hire any help, nor do I have the time (right now) to train anyone. So, this chapter doesn’t end until I get certain things done. I’m doing them as fast as possible, to the point that my family has asked me to come back from the dark side of the moon so they can remember who I am.

They have been more than accommodating during this orbital trip, they’ve been mission control. They’ve made sure that there were meals, lessons, and chores taken care of. My days have been spent building the winter fires in the morning, working all day until dinner, seeing everybody until bedtime, and then working until I fall asleep. I’m not saying I’m better than anyone else, and I’m certainly not saying I have a difficult life, by any stretch. But every mission has a start time and a stop time. Sometimes to complete your work, you have to re-enter the atmosphere, get a new ship, and go back up. Sailors come home to port, fix everything that needs to be fixed – like nets and relationships – and go back out again. That’s where I am this week.

Each trip or mission to a foreign place – a place where you are inexperienced – changes you, and it should. Besides – why accept the mission if you’re going to stay the same? Why work on the project if its going to keep the status quo? Why make a resume and place yourself in the nameless pool with everyone else? Missions are about doing something that no one else is doing, becoming someone different, and taking people along with you.

So, even though I’m exhausted, under pressure, and wondering how this chapter ends, I will persevere. In fact, there are some new projects starting to rear their heads that must be fit into the current swirling fray. I welcome the additions, because I was starting to get into a rut of managing my current situation, simply making it work. New possibilities make me remember that I’m not here to manage troubles, I’m here to walk on water, to heal, and to do things that make people say, “How is it possible that a wimpy jerk like him is doing amazing things?”

It’s because God has a purpose that is bigger than I am. Each mission He takes me through places designed to make me less jerky, and less wimpy. The wake God wants me to leave behind is Kingom-shaped, and it won’t happen because I simply decide to live well. I’m not that strong, and everyone knows it. It will be because He makes it happen in spite of me. The exhaustion, pressure, and wonder remind me that the process of changing from coal to diamond is in full swing.

If someone pointed out my flaws, my failings, and my hypocrisy in the flesh, they would be 100% correct. The same could be said for the coal. It’s ugly, smelly, and good for burning. But after a long process, there will be a diamond. We can’t even judge how great a diamond it will be by looking at the coal. We have to wait.

So instead of praying for relief, I’m praying for strength, focus, and endurance. “Diamond sooner than later”, is slowly becoming my mantra. I’ve already seen some of my edges beginning to shimmer in the light. All I know is that I want more, not less. And if these assignments – these missions through my inexperience to the other side – will make that happen, then I’m all in.


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