Monday, September 28, 2009

At the Base of the Mountain...

I set my bag down on the ground and take a seat in the dirt, tired from the journey. I have finally reached the base of the mountain, the towering monstrosity that I have been dreading most of my life. I knew this day would come eventually. It was only a matter of time. I knew that in order to reach my dream of becoming a bestselling writer, of walking out God's promises, I would someday have to face this mountain.

I find myself gazing up at the towering Goliath. This large, immovable beast seems to taunt me as I stand in its shadow, telling me that I will never overcome it. I will never overcome the odds of becoming a bestselling author, I will never overcome my family issues or the difficulties of my own existence. If I squint, I can make out a sneer carved into its face. How frightening. How discouraging.

In the shade of this great beast, I find that I have time to ponder where the beginning of this journey started, back when I decided to take a stand in my workplace for what was right. I had the chance to sit down and be quiet, to work peacefully and ignore the things that were wrong within my own environment. To be complacent. But I felt God calling me to something so much greater. My own ethics, my own morals and principles were tested to the limits. The company eventually fired me through unethical means. That seems so long ago.

I guess that would be where the second half of my journey started. The part of my journey where I was called to rely on God for all of my financial needs. Everyone around me asked me if I was going to look for another job and I replied with a nervous no. God made me a promise at the beginning of my employment with that company, a promise stating that would be the last conventional job I would have to work in before my writing career would take off. One thing I have learned in life is that if God makes a promise, we can all count on Him to follow through with it, no matter how long it lingers. No matter how long...

Through the last couple of months, God has supplied every one of our needs. Bills have been paid, the fridge has been full, all with the part time pay that my wife has been bringing in and the generosity of others around us. And yet, God has at the same time been setting us up to make the way for Him to perform a miracle. Unemployment insurance hasn't come through, neither has state aid. We had a couple hundred dollars in our savings account that my wife and I both felt that God wanted us to give to those that have been a great influence in our lives.

At a time like this, some would urge me to cash in my chips and call it a day. To fold would be my next move at the poker table, disappointment etched on my heart for the rest of time. But then I stop and wonder if I am being set up for God to do the miraculous. It reminds me of a Bible passage that was brought to my attention earlier last week, where Gideon (who's army consisted of 32,000) was fighting the Midianite army (which consisted of 135,000), and God asked Gideon to filter out a considerable number of his men so God Himself could get the glory for the battle:

Judges 7:1 So Jerub-baal (that is, Gideon) and his army got up early and went as far as the spring of Harod. The armies of Midian were camped north of them in the valley near the hill of Moreh.2 The LORD said to Gideon, "You have too many warriors with you. If I let all of you fight the Midianites, the Israelites will boast to me that they saved themselves by their own strength.3 Therefore, tell the people, 'Whoever is timid or afraid may leave this mountain and go home.'" So 22,000 of them went home, leaving only 10,000 who were willing to fight. 4 But the LORD told Gideon, "There are still too many! Bring them down to the spring, and I will test them to determine who will go with you and who will not."5 When Gideon took his warriors down to the water, the LORD told him, "Divide the men into two groups. In one group put all those who cup water in their hands and lap it up with their tongues like dogs. In the other group put all those who kneel down and drink with their mouths in the stream."6 Only 300 of the men drank from their hands. All the others got down on their knees and drank with their mouths in the stream. 7 The LORD told Gideon, "With these 300 men I will rescue you and give you victory over the Midianites. Send all the others home."

Is my own life a reflection of what God did back then? When all of my financial opportunities are cut off at their sources, when all hope looks lost, will I persevere? If I have the faith of a mustard seed, can I really point to this mountain and tell it to move?

I look up at my Goliath again. That sneer is still etched in its face. How can I, a mere human being, a nobody persay, move this mountain out of my way so I can reach my destiny? Let alone have the faith to move this mountain? Rent is due in a couple days and I don't have a dime of it. Our cars are wearing out, everything we have needs an upgrade. And yet God has me in His hands. God is whispering in my ear, reminding me of the promises He made me so long ago. So very long ago. He tells me to stop concentrating on my circumstances and start focusing on Him. He tells me to stop concentrating on what can go wrong or is going wrong and tells me to focus my gaze on the goal He set forth before me.

My goal is on the other side of that mountain.

I begin to build myself a campfire, for the sun is setting and the wind is growing cold. I feel alone here at the base of this mountain, but I know that God is here with me. He has promised me that He will move this mountain out of my way. All I can do until then is be patient and try not to figure out how to move it on my own.

The mountain rumbles, as if it's laughing at me. How peculiar. I wonder if it will still be laughing when God smashes it to pieces before me and paves a new route to my dreams...