Have you ever felt emotionally or mentally fulfilled but just spiritually empty?
Yeah. That is where I am at right now. I have this 100% belief that God is real and that He sent His one and only Son to die on the cross. My faith is stronger than ever. However, my relationship with God is severely lacking. Isn’t that weird? To have such strong faith but still lack a relationship with the One that completes me.
Honestly.. it sucks. A lot.
It was spring break here at ACU this past week and I found myself on the road a lot, and it was in these times that I felt truly mindless and numb. But I was blessed with the opportunity to be with family and friends after these drives and I was able to reflect and process these feelings and emotions.
Towards the end of spring break I had the chance to go with some friends out towards Medina lake. This was some of the most fun I’ve had on a spring break trip and much of that was due to the company and the seven hour kayaking trip we all decided to endure.
And when I say seven hour, I am not exaggerating. Not. One. Bit. This seven hour kayaking endeavor brought us to a 15 mile trip down Medina river in cold temperatures. And this was one of the hardest but most fun things I have ever done.
Now, to be clear. We went in with the knowledge that the trip was going to be about four hours, and it wasn’t till after that we found out that the trip is actually supposed to be nine hours. Whoa.
Little did I know that this trip was going to impact me in ways I never thought they would.
At the beginning of the trip I was towards the front and led at some points down the river. We took our time (it was supposed to be four hours right?) and enjoyed the nature surrounding us. At this point the sun was shining and it was warm and it was wonderful weather. About two hours have passed and only a few people have fallen in but what made this suck even more is that the sun was no longer out and the temperature started going down. And it went down fast, to maybe 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
It was at this point that we started hitting some shallow rapids and we had to get out and drag our kayaks out to deeper waters in order to move along down the river. Another hour passed and we hit an obstacle. A dam obstacle. No joke, there were fallen trees in the middle of the river and we could not pass. The bad part about this was that on either side of the river were steep hills. We were in the middle of the valley. So, we hiked and climbed and dragged our kayaks out of the water, over the hill, and walked about a football field’s length down the bank to put our kayaks back in the water. This all took about forty five minutes. It sucked.
But this was not the end of the trip. Farther down the stream we kept running into obstacles and difficulties like the weather, rapids, and wind. We were getting a bit miserable. It was at this point that our group started to split up and I found myself rowing down the river with no one in sight in front of me or behind me. I was on my own.
I make it sound more dramatic than what it actually was but it was at this point that I started to see much of what God was trying to tell me. There were buzzards eyeing me as if it were straight out of a Stephen King novel. At one point I should have fallen in, but by the grace of God I did not. When I got to a bridge crossing I met up with the forward members of the group and waited with them for those who still remained behind.
We were all just about spent but we kept going and eventually made it to the end of our trip and we warmed up ate SO much food. It was awesome.
I think there are some similar circumstances from my trip on the river to my spiritual walk with God. However, I did not see this connection until I was kayaking down the river for forty five minutes by myself.
Life is smooth. But when we hit the rapids we fall in and we have to get up and drag our vessel to deeper waters. We have to bring ourselves to a place where we can trust God. There are buzzards all around us that are hoping that we make one misstep or even stop moving so that they can get their next meal. Satan wants us to stop moving so that he can prey on us and take us over. We are constantly hit with waves forcing us to fall in and take on water. But what matters is that we get out and keep rowing. We get out and keep going down the river.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”Jeremiah 17:7-8, ESV
We trust in the Lord because He defeats all fear. He defeats all anxiety. He roots us and sends us down the river to our resting place. But I know I have to cry out for Him.
“When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the broken-hearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”Psalms 34:17-18, ESV
It is not fun admitting that I suck at this. Crying out for help. I am a prideful person. I am willing to show my vulnerabilities but just enough so that I am not asked anything deeper than what I am willing to share. So this is me saying that I need to work on my relationship with God. Constantly. Consistently. Prayerfully.
Starting some new habits this week and seeing how my super charged nature thrill will push me in the future. I’m not writing this blog out of despair, but out of hopes of holding myself accountable to pursue God and His plan so that I do not settle for lukewarm.
There is more out there for those who follow God. We just have to chase after it. And take the Journey Onward. (I know I am the cheesiest guy).
Pray for me and reach out if you feel the need to.
I also started a vlog this week, PLEASE let me know what you think and whether or not I should keep doing it or just stop. It’s also my first time editing a video so cut me some slack.
I also shaved my head, sooooo, check out the vlog if you want to hear more about that!