Staging a Come Back
Yesterday I taught at a women’s event where the precious coordinator, Shannon, asked me if I had a biography to help her introduce me. I’m totally fine with, “Hey, this is Lisa..” and let ‘er rip, tater chip. But some people operate a little more efficiently than I and so I directed her to the “About” page on my website.
That’s when I realized I have not published on this blog since September 11, left a somewhat depressing last entry, and have not updated any “About” information in literally years. Embarrassing.
If I were to have a title to last night’s message it would be something like, “Staging a Come Back”. The gist had to do with renewal in our spiritual lives so that we aren’t living with our “glory days” behind us when relationship with God and vibrancy were at their peak. As I told the women there, you don’t get a lesson from me unless it has first been directed at me. The past couple of years have been ones of great transition. Writing as well as public ministry has taken a backseat to the more private focus of the people in the four walls of my home. I am now a part of the traditional workforce and I realize how spoiled I was for a very long time to be at home with my nose in a book and the zeal to then share thoughts and strings of words to those kind enough to read and talk back. I’ve never gotten over missing the writing and missing you.
One of the points I shared last night is that sometimes our Come Backs are not necessarily to the same areas of calling that seem to have dwindled. Sometimes they are a Call To sing a new song that God puts in our mouth based on our current experience. One of the great joys of my past few months has been taking on the challenge of teaching our College/Career class at church. These kids in their late teens/early 20’s who are continuing education and finding workplaces of their own obligate me to faithfulness in the call when I want to use the ‘I’m too busy’ cop out. Lest you think that is a terrible thing to say, we would all do so well as to position ourselves so that we have no option but to keep using the gift with which we have been entrusted even when we don’t feel like it. If you ever stop doing it, you will stop wanting to do it. And then it will be all the more difficult to ever want or do again. The lie we have bought in the midst of busy lives is that numbing our mind is restorative. Numb your mind, and your heart will follow. And thus, we have churches full of passion-less people who are content with looking over the photo albums of their Times of Greatness and not even daring to hope those could come again.
Don’t misunderstand… I’m not talking about personal greatness. I’m talking about those times when Christ has been most evident in us, His Glory most revealed, and those people within your homes and circles of influence the most affected. You know those times of which I speak. I wonder if there be any among you who needs a Come Back of her own?
I am not a fan of the New Year’s Resolution but I do like a start date. A line in the sand that says I will not carry the baggage of back there with me over here. So that’s more or less where I am in this moment. Realizing that I need to do some things in order to want to do them again. Stephen King described doing-until-you-feel-it best in his book, “On Writing”:
“At the start of the road back I just tried to believe the people who said that things would get better if I gave them time to do so. And I never stopped writing. Some of the stuff that came out was tentative and flat but at least it was there. I buried those unhappy, lackluster pages in the bottom drawer of my desk and got on to the next project. Little by little I found the beat again, and after that I found the joy again. I came back to my family with gratitude and back to my work with relief – I came back to it the way folks come back to a summer cottage after a long winter, checking first to make sure nothing had been stolen or broken during the cold season. Nothing had been. It was still all there, still all whole. Once the pipes were thawed out and the electricity turned back on, everything worked fine. “
For all of us, the gifts remain. We just have to decide we are weary of the winter and muster the courage to turn on the lights and get on with it. Finding the beat again sounds nice but knowing the Source of the Joy sounds even better. It is my prayer for my own 2015.
I pray it for you too.
p.s. Next, I may even work on updating my “About” page. Not because I must but because I want to.