Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I Need A Mountain Fix!

It takes a lot of guts for a man to speak the truth in love to another man. And a friend verbally smacked me down last night. I needed it. This blog has been taking a direction that is becoming less and less inspirational, and more and more negative. And that is because I have been feeling more and more tired, uninspired, and generally negative. That is a pretty strange phenomenon for being only a few days away from my wedding, huh?

I need a fix. And I’ll get it next week. People have various ways to “fill their tank” and “sharpen the saw”. My drug of choice: the mountains. And next week I’ll be in the beautiful Cascades in the Pacific Northwest at a private secluded cottage.

Ironically, God feels the same way. Mountains have played a prominent role throughout the Bible. The ark of Noah came to rest on a mountain. Lot and his daughters went to live in the mountains. Moses went up on a mountain to spend quality time with God. David went for protection from a raging Saul to the mountains. Elijah heard the still small voice on a mountain. There are famous mountains like Horeb, Sinai, and Zion sprinkled through the Old Testament. Jesus went up on a mountain to pray many times. And when Satan wanted to tempt him, where did he take him? To a high mountain. When John saw the New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven, where was he? Yep! You got it.

One of the Seven Angels who had carried the bowls filled with the seven final disasters spoke to me: "Come here. I'll show you the Bride, the Wife of the Lamb." He took me away in the Spirit to an enormous, high mountain and showed me Holy Jerusalem descending out of Heaven from God, resplendent in the bright glory of God. Revelation 21:9-12 (The Message)

So I’ll post when I get back. And hopefully my words will reveal a new power, contentment, rest, and peace that I will find in the presence of my new bride and on the top of a mountain. The mountains are my drug, my fix, my refreshment.

And thank you J-Dawg for your brutally honest words! The wounds of a friend are better than the kisses of an enemy. I appreciate it. I am not going to delete the post we discussed because it was honest, raw, and the way I felt at the time. Will it come back to bite me? Probably! But I can never be accused of not being honest and speaking my mind.
So blog reader, what about you? Do you need a fix? Or are you running on all eight cylinders and doing just fine? Can friends sense a loss of joy and power in your life? If so, I suggest you get back to where you were when you were at your best. And of course, I'll always recommend a trip to a mountain.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Turn The Page!

Denial is like poison. I hate it. The worst part of denial is that searing pain you feel when you realize that you have been in it for some time. And denial is like a turd in the punchbowl at the prom. This should be the happiest time in my life. And yet I feel like I have been poked with a sharp stick as I sobered up today and had to face reality.

OK, so I am divorced and have been for almost nine years. During that whole time I was in denial about my children. I thought they were doing fine. I thought they saw at least one small positive about the whole ordeal. They are very much like me in one aspect: they can BS with the skill of an academy award winning actor. I guess they inherited that from me. I spent most of my life never being completely honest with anyone, much less myself.

So I am getting married in less than two weeks. I tried to make myself believe that this new blended family would work. That way I could feel happy about the collaboration of some very wounded and dysfunctional people.

Granted, I can deal with the fact that my soon to be stepson hates my guts. And I can even deal with the fact that my soon to be stepdaughter is being ruined by my soon to be wife. My lady love has yet to learn how to be a parent first and a friend second. And that type of relationship is scarring her daughter for life. But that is another story.

Today I had to come to terms today with the fact that my own children are shunning me. Maybe I am a bad father. Maybe they just don’t know how to process the fact that their dad is getting remarried. Maybe they have never really been able to communicate with me. If that is the case, the problem lies with me. I am the man, like Nathan the prophet said to King David.

I love my son more than any man on this planet. He is in another state doing an extremely amazing thing today. And I had to hear about it second hand through my daughter. I called him last night but he never returned the call. My daughter reached him successfully. Thank God for caller ID. That way we can let anyone we don’t particularly like go straight to voice mail. I asked him to be my best man at the wedding. He has yet to even call me to discuss the wedding. I hope he makes it. Because I’ll rent a best man or have my future step son (see above) be my best man. And that would be the saddest thing of all.

My daughter is my pride and joy. But she hasn’t been happy in a very long time. I had lunch with her today and I actually cried as I drove back to work. When did I lose her? Where did my little girl go? Did I ever have her, or am I completely full of crap? She shows so much tension towards my soon to be wife that I guess we will just see each other twice a year, Christmas and her birthday. I am between a rock and a hard place. I was told once that women try to pick someone who is just like her father. Will she end up with someone with whom she can have a true, honest, intimate relationship? Because if she picks someone like me, she will be screwed.

A new chapter in my life will begin soon. As I look back, I see a house that has been left in ruin and once connected inhabitants who have gone various ways in the winds of this world. And it hurts to see an empire in dilapidation. And now I take to myself new members and begin again. I feel old and tired. My wife will need strong leadership and a committed superhero husband. But I feel like she will get a false smile and rehearsed lines in order to keep a happy household. I love her, a lot! And if loving her means that I lose my children, then I briefly frown at God and yet still trust Him that He has this whole thing carefully thought out. I rely on God to take care of my children. I miss them so much, even though they are always within earshot. And I feel like I am watching them slip though my fingers. But the truth of the matter is that they haven't been in my palms in a very long time. I have been in denial. And I hate that realization.

Let the wedding come and let the new chapter in this already amazing life begin!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What is it about a gun?

What is it about a gun? My friend Beth was in the Ukraine and she visited the Kalashnikov plant where they manufacture the amazing AK47. She talked about firing it in fully automatic mode and she beamed like a lighthouse as she relived the experience. She can’t weigh 100 pounds soaking wet. Yet she felt really powerful. Her words: “It was so cool”.

Power is a funny thing. We all want it; lots of it. Jesus promised we would receive it after the Holy Ghost came in Acts 2. He said that all power was given to him. And he also said we would do the same things that he did here. So where is the disconnect?

Most of the Christians I know are fighting a real battle. They have to fight for their kids against the indoctrination of garbage like MTV. They have to battle their lustful thoughts every time they walk through a shopping mall and see women dressed like little whores. They have the daily battle against doubt, discouragement, the culture of a damned world, and propensity to do our own thing because the influence of rebellion and unrest is wafting through the air. Women have to battle for the affections of their husbands. Students have to find their place on the campus against the wall of peer pressure.

In the twelve step program, people recite over and over how powerless they are. But are they really? And isn’t it power that will eventually ease the war.

It’s time to arm up! It’s time to kick the enemy in the gonads. It might seem a little hypocritical because I have posted things in the past that were more of a faith statement than a report of current events. But I’m starting to get my power back. And it feels good. Maybe it’s my impending marriage. Maybe it’s God’s merciful intervention. But then again, maybe I’m just sick and tired of letting the bully come in, throw me down, and take my lunch money.