CQ…Clark Here

Thoughts and opinions. LOTS of opinions.

So THAT’S it!!

Beth read an article in one of our monthly scuba magazines that talked about how good it is for people to go on vacations.  It improves one’s health, mental state, outlook on life, you name it.  And one of the surprising discoveries of the study cited by the author is that the anticipation of the vacation is as important to the whole process and outcome as is the vacation itself.  That was no surprise to me, I have loved planning our vacations for years.  I love planning the route, the timetable, what things would be cool to see, what to leave out.  I love sending for brochures, searching online for photos of wherever it is we are going.  I love reading and studying about the vacation, and I do so for months in advance.  The enjoyment I get from the planning and anticipation is as important and significant to me as the time we spend actually on the vacation.  And when we get back, I enjoy basking in the memories of the most recent vacation.  For a few weeks.  And then I start planning the next one.

But not this time.  As we were talking about the article and I had time to reflect, enlightenment came to me.  This is my major problem with the upcoming missions trip to the Dominican Republic, and here is anxiety number three!  I have had absolutely no input on this trip.  I have had no enjoyment in planning, in anticipation.  Oh, there’s been anticipation, alright, but none of it positive.  I have been dreading it because I have absolutely no idea what is going on.  The total sum of my knowledge with this trip is what type of clothing to bring, we can’t flush our toilet paper (it gets put in a basket beside the toilet.  Wonderful.), and we are leaving out of Buffalo on January 28 and returning on February 4.  That’s it!  I don’t even know who holds our tickets, I have no brochures, no ideas for sightseeing, or relaxing, or reading, or…or anything.  And I hate this!  This is not how I’m wired.  This is so far out of my comfort zone I can’t even see my comfort zone.

And I am sure that is part of the point.  That I need to learn that “God is sufficient.”  That I learn what Paul learned so long ago, that I must focus, not on what I can control, or can touch, but to simply let go.  To give God the wheel, and simply go where He desires me to go, and do what He ordains for His kingdom.

The past ten years have been very difficult.  The lessons learned, the hardships, have all been nearly more than I could bear.  My soul cries out, “How long, oh Lord,” and I have no end in sight.  I recognize the truth of this, but the ache does not disappear.  I do not doubt the existence of God, nor of his goodness and love for me.  But what I am left with right now is to simply wonder how long must I lay here, broken and battered?   Will there come a season of peace, contentment?  When?  How long, oh Lord?

This trip to the D.R. is significant.  I do not know how at this point, but time will tell.  I look not for a mountaintop experience, nor do I desire such.  But for now, even with all my anxieties, fears, and doubts, I know that God is in control.  And for now, that is sufficient.

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6 thoughts on “So THAT’S it!!

  1. Barb Z. on said:

    oh, my….strap yourself in, Clark…God will have fun with you next week!! No, really, I can so relate to how you feel. I was the vacation planner. That is why mission was so hard. Having to trust in the Lord in this area was new. Prayers for you as you reflect and prepare.

  2. Chuck on said:

    I look forward to your posts when you return. I had many of the same issues with the unknown and loss of control. (you’ll get past them) Physically you may be exhausted, but you will be renewed in your spirit like you’ve never been renewed before. I did my first missions trip to the DR in ’92 with Compassion International… it was a life changer. I will pray for you both while you’re away.

    • Chuck, that’s a pretty big task for God to fill. Koinonia was probably the biggest soul-saver I have ever had. It saved my life in so many ways. For God to top that? Well, I’ll let you know. Thanks always for your prayers. You are a great brother, and I treasure our friendship, as scattered as our contacts are.

  3. Hey, Clark! Thanks so much for your realness about all of this. It’s completely understandable that you are feeling tired and frustrated from a long strand of hardships, uncomfortable with lack of control over this trip, and feeling inconvenienced and dread toward doing something you don’t want to do (this trip). If anyone understands these things, it’s me! I’m currently struggling with all of these things simultaneously, too. Just in different areas of my life. My experience is showing me that, as distressing as circumstances may be, it’s still yet ‘easier’ to get lost in the drama of it than to challenge myself with the Word. So, I would like to encourage you – from a Christian sister to a Christian brother – to turn your focus to the promises of the Lord and to challenge your mind (and heart) to consider this D.R. trip as an opportunity rather than a hindrance. It may ‘just’ be personal growth that comes out of your experience, but He’s placed this difficult thing in your life because He loves you and wants to see you grow just as any father does for his child. He wouldn’t have placed this in your life if He didn’t believe you were capable of doing it in a way that would glorify Him and further His purpose. However, that is ultimately up to you. Here are just a few verses I thought of. I’ve put you on my personal prayer list! 🙂

    REST…

    Matthew 11:28-30
    Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

    Romans 8:28
    And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

    SUBMIT…

    James 4:7-9
    Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

    Proverbs 4:7
    Wisdom is the principle thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all they getting get understanding.

    Proverbs 2:10-11
    When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:

    2 Timothy 1:7
    For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

    SELF-SACRIFICE…

    John 12:25
    He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.

    Romans 12:1
    I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

    • Debra, thank you! I read your verses, and felt immediately refreshed. What a weekend! If ever there is a doubt Satan is alive and well, just take a step of faith like I did for this missions trip and see what happens. I have never experienced such relentless attacks and negativity in my life. But I am determined to do what God has planned, I will not let go. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement. much appreciated.

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