Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Too many times in my life have I walked dangerously close to blatant disregard for the Holiness of the Lord. Too many times, have I let Him down.

I am a passionate person. I was created to be such. In the past, one of the ways the enemy would distract me from my focus on Jesus, was through new interests or hobbies. These would begin as a casual interest, and over time, usually a short amount of it, I would become so passionate about my chosen interest, that I would become obsessive.

Some have told me I have an obsessive personality. They are probably right. The things I would choose to cling to were things that were harmless on the surface, but became idols in my life because I chose to give them so much attention.

Part of these were welcome distractions from the perceived stress and tension of life. That apparently is my weakness and entry point for the enemy. I tend not to recognize growing passion or its transition to obsessive behavior while it is occurring. At least this is how it used to be.

I like to think that is behind me, but at times I am not so sure.

Certainly there were times that I would draw my family into my "hobby" so that I could justify the time I spent on it. An example is cycling...bicycling...not the motor kind.

It began as exercise to increase my activity level. I was suffering from depression, and my doctor told me I needed to get active, to get an occasional endorphin rush. That would only come if I got exercise.

I got a bike, and I got crazy. I spent thousands of hours a year completing 10's of thousands of miles on the road. I was in great shape. I grew out of depression, right into obsession.

I got bikes for my family. That seemed to be the answer to all the time I was now spending away from them. We would do rides together. BJ liked to lead. He was small, maybe 5 years old. He really loved riding too, but at his young age, and small size, his little legs were completing many more revolutions per minute than the rest of ours. He would not complain, but clearly got a better workout than the rest of us.

Upon return home, I would have to go out an "burn up" the road, as the time with my family was slow and only a warm up. I became very good at it. The Lord blessed me with significant lung capacity, and the ability to breath well during exertion. I became very competitive. My weekends were planned out in advance. My families schedule revolved around my riding habits. If we left town, even to drive an hour away, my bike went along. When we arrived, I was out on the road, working it out.

In towns we visited I would connect with riding clubs. They became my family, as my own were back at home. Deanna tried to talk to me about it from time to time, but I wasn't listening. "I need this," I thought. I was no longer depressed, so it was obviously helping me, right?

My heroes became cycling greats. I met Greg LeMond (3 time Tour de France champion). I rubbed elbows at times with professional cyclists. I loved it. This was my element.

As I began to realize what was happening to me, I cut out an 'ichthus' (Christian fish) an put it on my bike. I Christianized my bike...now I could be a witness.

Problem was, I was not setting a good example for my children, and my relationship with Christ suffered.

In the ensuing months, as God recaptured my attention, our lives began to change for the better. He redirected my passion to the things of Jesus Christ. I began to devour every (Christian) book I could get my hands on. I learned rapidly. I grew significantly. So did my family.

I learned many important lessons. One was, my children are watching and emulating me. I needed to pattern my life after Jesus, so they would do the same. I could no longer offer up empty lip service to my King. My children saw it, called me on it, and change was necessary.

These became the years the Lord used in BJ's life. He saw his father change dramatically. He saw passion for Christ, desperation for winning the lost, and need for loving and encouraging family.

The Lord used this time in my sons life to radically grow and transform him for Kingdom work. He was found faithful.

It sounds as though I am claiming credit. I am not. I caused suffering in my family. After responding to the Lord's call to obedience, HE DID GREAT THINGS in BJ's life!
I give Him all the glory and praise for what He did.



At 1:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

God just used you to reveal in my life that I was doing the same...

Thanks for sharing... I always appreciate and save many of these because they help significantly at times. Thanks for being used to impact me regularly.

At 5:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good to see you're still using this blog. I hope to meet you when you come to Peru. Keep pressing on!


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