Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Greater Wisdom . . .
(I want to preface what I am about to write by saying that I believe we too often "blame" God for what is simply the work of the enemy and part of the enemy's attack. I believe that the Bible makes it clear that we have a real enemy; that we are in a real spiritual war; that our choices and the choices of others affect us in ways that are not always God's first desire for us; that it is the devil who comes to steal, kill, and destroy; and that we often need to fight harder, intercede more strongly, and walk in greater faith and authority to see some of the victories we want and need. I strongly believe that while can work through any situation we surrender to Him, He also allows us our choices, and that much of what we accept as "God's will" for our life is not at all from Him or His first desire for us, but rather a result of the fallen world we live in, the war we are engaged in, and choices we make. With that said, today I saw something neat about a time I didn't get what I wanted, and that I do believe God was working a greater result out in . . .)
This morning we were blessed to be able to spend a few minutes on our front deck. The sun was out, the hills were beautiful and green, the flowers were vivid, the sky was a deep blue, and the coffee was hot and good. Mary Ann and I sat in two green rocking chairs we'd been given for our wedding, and the girls were sitting on the rocks enjoying the warm sun as Mary Ann and I talked and went over some stuff. Abigail was looking at a Sleeping Beauty book she had been given last night, and Bethany was reading and doing some homework she needed to catch up on. It was a special moment, and I took a picture of it to share it with you.
As we sat there the entire region was awakened by something fairly common around here—the almost deafening roar of some fighter planes practicing over Fort Hunter Liggett just to our north. It is the sound of freedom, and I love it.
I looked up and saw those planes dogfighting in the sky—banking and turning and screaming across the wide expanse. It stirs something in me very deep because, you see, that had been my dream . . . to be a jet fighter pilot. I remember to this day walking with my dad by the ocean once when I was probably about ten and him asking what I wanted to be and my replying, "A single-seater jet fighter pilot." I carried that dream up to the day when I realized my eyes were not good enough. I then went to West Point wanting to fly attack helicopters, and while I was there my eyes slipped out of Army flight school standards. So . . . I chose tanks and ended up at Fort Ord, CA, near my folks and hometown, and there I met Mary Ann and the rest is, as they say, "history."
As I sat on our deck this morning looking up wistfully at those jets so free and fast and untethered above me I glanced back down to earth and there my eyes rested on my beautiful wife, my amazing two girls, and this land in the country God has given us. I realized in that moment that if God had given me what was above (the planes) I would never have had those things in front of me (my wife, my girls, my calling as a pastor) and I realized that, while I would still love even 15 minutes in one of those jets, I wouldn't trade them for my family or job in a million years, and I am so very, very grateful I didn't get what I wanted.