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.