Most books I was encouraged to read in my early years were very encouraging, they presented us with the opportunity to drink from someones experience, it was and is a continuing a great privilege. However there was a recurring factor, I read of preachers, powerful people of God putting pen to paper outlining their endeavors, yet the writers only seemed to emphasis their greatness and spirituality without highlighting any faults or life’s realities. I know the trend today is a little different in the willingness to be vulnerable but still it’s not every one who does it. Indeed, many ministries would not advocate the sharing of mistakes and challenges, saying, “It will leave you exposed to your enemies,” or “open to criticism.” It brought, probably intentionally such a testimony, a picture that inspired you to what God can do but it did not help to present that it could be YOU and though YOU. They were great and mighty never dealing with normal little stuff of my life, it felt as if they had gone beyond this life, the supermen and women.
They are spiritual I was not. Don’t get me wrong these accounts did wonderfully open up God greatness in a life, but made the experience inaccessible.
It would have greatly helped if someone had written honestly of their mistakes when I was young in the faith, and shared some of the pitfalls on how to avoid them. So embracing the risk of vulnerability I am going to share with you as openly as possible as we continue our journey in “To this End.” In my challenges I felt its was only peculiar to me, it cultivated an attitude that I should not talk myself about my struggles, these were not to be talked about, these things of life, they were clearly my issues nobody else had them, or it felt like that.
It was learning about life I needed, it has taken a necessary cultural change to happen to make lives more accessible, for ministries it was a long time before people came down off their distant pedestals, and some still retain an ungodly superior or untouchable manner. As a young man when I found people who would be open and tell of their joy’s and failures it was a real release, to know others had the same struggles and they had overcome them.
I recall later on in my journey, actually the day I left the building industry to live by the gospel, one of the most helpful lines ever given to me was said, it continue to serve me well in almost 30 years of ministry life. I was taken aside and told “…all these, every one you have put on a pedestal have clay feet – that is are a mixture in their lives.” So simple but so profound, It did not destroy my honour or admiration of them far from it, it actually helped as I saw their failures, mixture of attitudes and as I got close to so-called the “great?” It did not excuse them, it did help me to see their journey, I saw real people walking with God. It helped to avoid disappointment along the way and prevented feeling let down as they made their mistakes. As I began to move, relate to ministries of great renown and stature, these people who I had put far above, I know that’s the Christ but we do it so easily to people, foolishly rather than Christ. Now I am not talking about honour, honour should be a disposition we live by, honour is positive but the negative view at its worst celebrities and super-spiritual, so-called people who set themselves distant from you, who occupy the pedestal and control from there, rather than becoming co-workers, partners, fellow journey men and women.
I needed people who would help with my life and help me to see I was spiritual even with my foibles and wrongs as I walked my journey into God. Discover that I am spiritual and can be all God wanted even with my thoughts and actions, even with my insecurities and attitudes. People who have the same challenges to walk and talk me thought them from their book of life.
This will be my aim as we continue the next chapters of “To this End.”