A couple of days ago, I dropped my phone twice in one day. Now, I’ve dropped my phone before, and there have been no problems, save for a scratch here or there. But this time, something happened, and I couldn’t click the power button in. I spent hours Googling solutions. I ended up being able to download apps to let me put the phone to sleep, and even use my volume buttons to wake the phone. But, if my phone ever died or otherwise turned off, there was absolutely no way to turn it back on.
I checked into getting it repaired professionally, but between price and time, that wasn’t a realistic option. I slowly began to realize I only had two options: start looking for a new phone (when this one still isn’t paid off), or take it apart myself and see if I could fix it.
I’ll admit it: I really like my phone. It’s a (take a deep breath) Motorola Droid Razr Maxx HD. (What a terrible name.) I got it off Ebay for full price so I could keep my unlimited data. It has a great screen, amazing battery life, and it still running smoothly after a year or so of pretty intense usage.
Last week was an odd week on the blog. It was one that humbled me in such profound ways. The readers of this blog shocked and amazed me with their kindness, encouragement, and continued support of what I try to do here.
My series of discussions with my Atheist friend concluded on (what I felt was) a high note. The number of readers of that series numbered into the thousands, even though the writings were so long. (I copied and pasted all the posts into a single Word document just for the heck of it, and it was over 100 pages long–single-spaced! So if you read most of those, then congratulations, you finished a book in a week-and-a-half.)
People in all parts of my life were reading (at least some of) these pieces. People at work, church, Facebook, and Twitter all sought me out to encourage me in these conversations. The diversity of people who were keeping track of this stunned me and humbled me. I couldn’t believe how many people would spend their time reading stuff I wrote and listening to my own thoughts and opinions about things.
I fight with pride a lot.As I was telling a friend today: if you take a guy that is fairly smart, can put disparate concepts together, can talk well, and you make him a Christian, you get something very dangerous.He starts believing the press others say about him and begins to think he is much more mature than he actually is.This is me.My entire life people have set me apart for “something big for God.”Being able to understand and communicate even the deepest truths of God and His Word doesn’t equal maturity one bit.Seminary has certainly been showing me just how independent I try to be from God.
But nevertheless, something does resonate within me when I think about my place on the national/world stage.I feel like I’m being tailored by God for big, visible things out there in the world.I don’t know for sure what this means, and I’m fine with it not coming to pass, but I feel like I’m being prepared for a weight I could not bear apart from prior work by God.
But that’s not the point of this post.Now, like I said, I was grabbing coffee with that friend of mine – a friend who is quite visible on the national and international stage.But he’s been struggling with something recently that really struck me.He pointed out that no person ever used by God for really big things ever did it apart from great levels and displays of suffering.His problem was that he shirks from suffering while seeking comfort – the very thing that is antithetical to what he’s called to.I have a similar problem.
I’m only 22 and I feel like I haven’t suffered much.Some really dark family stuff, spiritual dark months of the soul, and severe emotional pains (loneliness and heartache, mainly), but really no classic forms of real suffering.Yet, in spite of this, God has given me a very developed theology of suffering and God’s Sovereignty within it.This terrifies me.I can not get away from this haunting sense deep in the recesses of my mind that severe trials lie ahead of me.So severe that God needs to prepare me now to survive the pains to come.
In one sense this reaffirms my desire to be well-known, influential, and in front of many people.On the other it sobers me, realizing (perhaps for the first time) what it means to “count the cost.”So perhaps all those that have been praising and building me up for big things in the future have actually been painting a target on my soul for the refining pains and trials of God.
So for those of you out there seeking renown, fame, and exposure.Know that if you really are doing it to God’s Glory, then no servant is greater than his Master, and you should expect nothing less than fulfilling in the body the sufferings of Christ, that His life might be seen through your death for your good and God’s Glory.