I am fresh off a weekend of filming in 30 degree weather for a film called “The Brotherhood” written by a dear friend; Wade Byington and directed by both Wade and Rankin Dean. We filmed one of the final scenes which I’m sure counts as one of the most intense scenes in the film. It for sure ranks as the most intense scene of my life.
It was scary. But it was fun. It was the choice my character had to make that made it these things. Isn’t that funny? How choices can lead us down a road of intensity no matter what it is. As I’m processing this idea of what intensity is to me I am seeing how I’ve made choices so beyond my own understanding because of the heat of the moment, or the impulsiveness of it all. I don’t know.
Where can we find God in these moments of intensity? It reminds me of that completely wild story about Jesus casting out the demons of the man whom was called Legion. What on earth was going on in the minds of those who saw this? I’m sure it was quick and intense that there really was no rational logic of any sort going on in their minds.
6 When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. 7 He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God’s name don’t torture me!” 8 For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you impure spirit!”Mark 5: 6-15 NIV
9 Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”
“My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.” 10 And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area.
11 A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. 12 The demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.” 13 He gave them permission, and the impure spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.
14 Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened.15 When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid.
That is sort of how I feel in these moments of overwhelming intensity. Afraid. Fearful. Terrified. Undertaken by adrenaline. But how can I let God in these moments? How do I let God take part in every single breath I take?
I had a difficult week this past week, not because of filming, filming actually helped me..in a weird way. But this past week I’ve been feeling lonely. I’m surrounded by so many loving people but I have this aching feeling in my heart and it bothers me. So much. Loneliness is a dangerous thing…IF handled poorly. Thankfully I have some pretty awesome friends but I wanted to dive into why I feel this way and there was a speaker in chapel at Abilene Christian University today that really spoke to what I was searching for. He said:
“We all crave presence because we all crave God.”Shane J. Wood
Presence. The feeling of someone’s presence. Of God’s presence. That is a powerful statement and one that I have not been able to shake since Shane J. Wood said it. I’m conquered by intensity, loneliness, and sin, because I am craving any presence that is not God’s.
I am filling God’s presence with the presence of other things when all along I am truly craving God to fill this void inside of me.
I bought Shane’s book that he spoke about and I am so excited to share my thoughts on it, I’m hoping to release that sometime next week.
I’m not quite sure what these next steps forward are but I do know they are with God. This last week was difficult but I know that spending time diving into His Word, talking with Him, and seeking out His truth will ultimately reveal that His presence is good. Even though, I’m sure that this is quite obvious.
It’s funny. I’ve been a believer for a couple of years and even some of the most simple concepts bring the toughest battles for me. I laugh at the history of God’s people in the wilderness yet I get caught in that same wilderness day after day. It’s humbling.
I read a verse this week that kind of simply blew my mind.
Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.Exodus 33:11 ESV
I’ve heard the hymnal “What a friend we have in Jesus,” but to see it simply stated in text overwhelms my heart.
As a man speaks to his friend.