I can remember it like it was yesterday, I ran back into the house to the kitchen because it was a church night and also my birthday, I had recieved a Bible from Grandma and Grandpa Pixley (even though I could not read yet!) and I wanted to take it to church with me…as I turned to go back out the front door to the car with everyone waiting on me I was confronted by Jesus standing over the kitchen door…
Later in life I would be confused about the accuracy of what I saw because I would hear that He was seated on the “right hand” of God, but from my perspective He was standing at the “left hand” (what I failed to appreciate is that by being on the Fathers right hand that naturally meant he would be on the left hand of anyone facing Him, which I was)…I could clearly see the Fathers feet and legs, but not His face, however Jesus face was clear to me…
The confusion over how we interpret the scriptures has been a humorous metaphor since then…I assumed that if he was at the “right hand of God” it would be my right hand…but the Bible was always written from His perspective and not ours.
As I saw this vision, apparition, whatever you want to call it, He posed a very simple and straight-forward question to me in the form of a statement…”I want to be your Boss”…
To my six year old mind there was no higher authority…my Dad was the highest authority I could appreciate, and all I knew was there was someone he answered to called his boss…
There was no discussion of pay, or reward, it was not a business transaction…it was purely about Lordship…no promises from either of us, no mention of heaven or hell, a simple yes or no to the issue of who would be the final authority in my life…
I did not immediately answer…I thought about it for a second…I knew in my heart that this was not a quick and easy question it would go with me the rest of my life…and it has.
Recently Courtney and I were driving back from a conference and I started sharing some of the silly ways I had related to God growing up…like when I was in Jr. High School and keep telling the Lord every night that if He would just appear, if I could just see him once it would be enough, I would believe forever…and his response was always a tongue-in-cheek “Blessed are those who have not seen yet believe”…I would argue with Him, “Yes Lord, I know it’s better to believe in you without seeing you, but this would really help my faith, if I could just once see you”…
It wasn’t until many years later that I thought about the funny exchange taking place …here I was arguing with God for proof of His existence, and He with a perfect demeanor (probably laughing under his breath) was giving me proof by speaking into my heart, I was essentially having a conversation with Him expecting a different kind of proof and failing to appreciate the fact that the argument itself proved He was there…and had a sense of humor.
I’ve recently read some blogs about how we are doing our kids a disservice by forcing them into early choices of huge magnitude, I mean you wouldn’t let a 9 year old choose their spouse, so why let them make such huge eternal decisions at that age?
All I can say is I never looked back.
My Mom wrote in my baby-book that I had made a decision to follow Jesus all on my own with no one around, and had simply told her about it.
No sinners prayer, no head bowed and hand raised (although for many years I confused sensitivity to the Holy Spirit as conviction of the Holy Spirit, a confusion my church model reinforced and encouraged every week) I came into a Kingdom and became a citizen of a Heavenly city, one I have been seeking ever since.
Here’s my point in all of this…my entire life has been one gigantic pursuit of God, and I cannot see any signs that it will diminish, I am not going through a crisis of faith, I am not “wounded” and so bitter that I cannot find my way, give me freakin break…I’ve come to far through to much to let human nature get in the way of my hunt for more of Him.
Divorce, death of loved ones, rejection by friends and lovers, I have been exiled, hounded, accused of witchcraft and worse, been robbed by believers, lied to and about, used, abused and taken advantage of in just about any form you can know and still I love Him and I love the church because she is His joy…
I am not a novice in this stuff. I am not ignorant. And my primary claim to fame is I have been chasing Him my whole life unabated, unhindered and unhinged. I have nothing to prove, not that anyone else would believe it anyway.
I have discovered in the chase that skeptics rarely find Him, and the more skeptical you are of other peoples experiences the less likely you will be to ever have those kinds of experiences, so whatever you doubt about me, really just reveals what you are after in the first place…I have been accused of being to heavenly minded by the best and the worst of them so one more opinion won’t ruin the recipe.
The chase is (and always will be) about faith…not only is it impossible to please Him without faith, its impossible to pursue Him without it.
I don’t care what others think, and I am not interested in building up a following, a ministry, a message, or any of the other popular cultural entrapment’s that waste our life and love.
But because I have been chasing Him like the White Stag in Narnia, I also know when the trail is cold and when there’s poison in the pot…and I am not to shy to share that.
Ad because He loves the church, I love her to, I have not given up on the church, but that does not mean I approve of how we are dressing her, some things are beneath the dignity of royalty and should be brought out and tossed, that does not mean she is not valuable, on the contrary it is because she is so beautiful that we should desire to see her clothed properly and not uncovered by the traditions and trappings of men and ego.
I have hung out with people who have raised the dead and raised millions and I am not impressed by anything but an active pursuit of Jesus. I really do not give a rip whether you are an apostle or an apostrophe the issue as far as I can tell is how much do you love Jesus, and that my friend will show up in how much you pursue Him…a hungry man won’t choose a remote over a meal…you cannot hide real hunger no matter how big or small you are it shows up in your choices.
So I am on a mission, a mission to pursue Jesus with everything I have..it’s really that simple.
At this point in my journey I have discovered that many of the models of church and culture I have accepted are not grounded in Him the way I thought they were (or I did not think about prior to now) and it has been shocking and abrasive to find reactions and responses that do not align with this hunger inside of me to find Him.
But the hunger always wins, it always has and always will because from that June 4th day until now the drive to find Him came from Him and is fed from a river deep inside that both satisfies and drives me further up and further in.
And I have found Him, from the laying on of hands to Led Zeppelin He has invaded my world with His shadows and His light, and the more I find Him, the more I need to find Him.
And that’s really all you need to know about me…beyond that everything else is just window dressing, I will always pursue Him from Ancient Sacred writings to modern poetry, from sunsets and Mesopotamian cuneiform to quantum physics and theological mechanics, from preachers both near and far in both time and culture, to teachers small and unheralded I will find Him, on prayer walks, in fastings, in Word, in deed, in company, in exile, in communion and in creation I will search for Him, worship Him, devote myself to Him again, and again, and again as I always have.
I above everything else in my life am in love with Jesus, Yeshua, YHWH, the Bridegroom the Way, you may not agree with me, may even be offended by me, but I don’t work for you…not since I was six.