Saturday, January 5, 2008

Rehab, here I come.

Rehab, here I come.

I want to write a book. I want to be Cameron Conant or Matthew Paul Turner and speak at the Catalyst conference to thousands of incredibly hip people from hip churches and see my small, smirky photo on the back of a paperback in Barnes & Noble. I think it's because I want to tell people that are hurting that God loves them but a recent email forced me to reconsider my motives.

The email was an invitation to come speak at a residential rehab.

To tell you the truth, I didn't hesitate for a second. A year ago, my first thought would have been "how is this going to help me get a book published." But I started to realize that God doesn't work that way. I think his work is less of a sprint and more of a marathon. I think we face bears before giants. Or at least that's what David did.

Have you ever had a chance to do something, something that was smaller than what you really wanted to do? You wanted to have your art hung downtown at a gallery but instead got an invitation to hang it in a small coffee house? You wanted to go to Africa for missions but instead were asked to minister to the homeless in your own city? The big neon thing you were expecting was replaced with something less shiny?

At first glance, that's what the rehab speaking gig is. There will be maybe 50 people there. There will not be a big stage or a loud musical introduction from a band. No one will be there to buy the book I self published. I can't invite my friends or ask people that read my blog to come so that there are some friendly faces in the audience. No one there will even have access to a computer so my web traffic won't jump at all. But, this is exactly the kind of thing I think God is calling me to.

I want to tell hurting people that God loves them. Deeply and desperately. That he is ready for them to come home. That he is waiting. And who needs to hear that more than people in rehab? People that have lost their families, their careers, their lives. I can't hope to heal the hurting and then walk away from an opportunity like this.

Imagine if David had done this. Imagine if while tending sheep God had sent him a bear to learn how to fight and he had said, "No thanks, no need. I'm only going to deal with giants. I only want really big challenges." It would have been a mess, but instead he was ready for Goliath because he spent years in the field quietly battling lions and bears. He was even anointed as king and then sent back into the field to wait some more. That would be like a publisher offering me a 10 book deal and then sending me back to write advertising at work for another few years. I would be crushed, but David wasn't.

I'm going to rehab. I'm going to figure out with my friend in PR how to speak at rehab clinics around the country eventually because there's brokenness there and that's where God's love is needed.

I think I found my bear. As the year begins and you feel tempted to look for your giants, don't forget to start with bears.

10 comments:

Sonny B. said...

Jon, I for one am looking so forward to you speaking at TREK. By the way the bear is actually a cub because we have less that 20 men and women.

OB1 said...

I remember one time I was working a night time shift (10pm-3am) at a factory cleaning the floor and restrooms. I was a minister and could not find a job that would pay for me to be in the ministry. One night I asked God to use me. After cleaning the cafe one man came in and said he needed to get his life right with God. I was shocked to hear that in that "let me tell you what me and my girl did last night" atmosphere. Here God was using me at 3am to speak to a man who would never come to a church. God knows where you need to be to speak to the person he has planed for you to meet.

Maybe this is a bear in prepration for the gaint or maybe there is one person that needs to hear only what you can give, in that unique way you have to give it that will speak to their heart the love of God. And maybe they will be the one who kills the giant. Either way let Christ be glorified.

Thanks for coming Jon

Bill Reichart said...

Jon,

Thanks for visiting ProvocativeChurch and for your email.

I have been confronted recently about how important it is for me to surrender to the love of God. Praise God that He pursues and chases after me and that when God sees me, He is seeing me in Jesus.

thanks for your blog.

robyn collins said...

at the risk of sounding "ministerial"... this is a "good word"... "good word"... the thing we say when something is particularly heart piercing. sounds like the TREK is just the beginning of a new journey... His ways are not our ways, take notes along the way - you may be collecting info. for your next best seller...

Writeaway said...

I have been slaying giants and the interesting thing is that I too am being sent back. I lost my job this week... now I'm out hunting bear.

Kurt said...

Good stuff. Thanks for stopping by. Paul said it was a marathon where perseverence and longevity win the race. I have numerous contacts as well as experience in Recovery, let me know if I can be of any help.

Pistol Pete said...

Good thoughts. I likewise battle my desire to be known with my need to make Christ known. I pray the former doesn't get in the way of the latter.

CK said...

"Have you ever had a chance to do something, something that was smaller than what you really wanted to do? You wanted to have your art hung downtown at a gallery but instead got an invitation to hang it in a small coffee house? You wanted to go to Africa for missions but instead were asked to minister to the homeless in your own city? The big neon thing you were expecting was replaced with something less shiny?" ... this is a valuable thought. We're always thinking "bigger is better" in our culture... we often miss the crucial and precious details in between.

Gretchen said...

Speaking from my own experience--too many loved ones of mine ended up in rehab at some point in their lives--I commend you. Giving hope to the hopeless is a wonderful thing...

Rich Barrett said...

Been tracking with your blog for a little while but that post was inspirational and convicting. Thanks!