Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Mid-life Crisis


Well, that does it. At 35, I'm now middle-aged. It's time to go buy a red convertible and let my chest hair hang out of my silk shirt, while driving at high speeds with the top down, my long hair flowing, on my way to the jewelers to pick up my gold chain necklace. I wonder if ear piercings are still cool. Hmm, I wonder if "cool" is still cool. When did I lose touch? Oh, yeah, when I was about 17.

Seems like a good time to review my life. Let's see...

Left home at 17 for the US Air Force Academy. Got married immediately after graduation. Stayed securely in military and government jobs for the next 13 years. Moved around, had a couple of kids, managed to stay married, kept my head down, didn't rock too many boats, accumulated a bunch of toys, made it to 35.

This was the adventure I signed up for? Where's the mystery? Where's the risk?

As you know by now, we have embarked on that mysterious, risky adventure as of 6 months ago. Last night, as some saints prayed over me to seek God's word in whether I'm where I should be, the Lord spoke a vision to one of them: I was sitting in the cockpit of a small helicopter, like the types I've flown that have no trimming mechanism and will flip over if you let go, and Jesus was in the back, beckoning me to come join him. Looking down at my hands, the saint saw that I had just moved them from the controls. I was still guarding them like a new instructor might do while a student attempts to hover, but I had finally taken my hands from them. And Jesus was still beckoning.

I don't know if you understand how scary it is to let go of control in your life. Subconsciously, you do, and you probably avoid it without realizing it. In reality, control is an illusion, but we fool ourselves into thinking we have it. Giving up altogether is dreadfully risky, and Jesus is asking me to back away so far from the controls that I can't grab on again when I'm scared. He wants me to sit with him, to focus my attention on him, and let my life go.

Friends, the risk is in what I might lose: the world or my life. Jesus said "For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?" (Mark 8:35-36)

The mystery is where risking it all will take me: "'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'" (Jeremiah 29:11)

Come to think of it, when Peter the fisherman concentrated on Jesus to the exclusion of all else, he walked on water.

This is the adventure I signed up for. Who's with me?

- Gabe 1/10/12