Reckless Pursuit: Part 3 – How We Define Normal

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Reckless Pursuit: God’s Story of Relentless Love is in its final stages of production and will be made available early this Fall. As we move toward announcing its arrival, I will be posting regular teasers straight from the content of the book. Today’s snapshot look at Reckless Pursuit comes from Part 3: How We Define Normal.

Then, it was time. Time to begin moving. Time to cast vision and start building teams. Time to implement a new ministry structure. Time for change. This change was met with both anticipation and caution. Some couldn’t wait to jump in and partner with us. Others were openly afraid of where this would lead. And then it happened.

Resistance. Refusal. Rejection. Those who were previously hesitant became openly defiant. As a result, half of our ministry team became relationally distant. Within a couple of months, several families were disconnected from the ministry and a few had completely separated from the church.

For the next year and a half, struggle became a way of life. I fought to bring people together. I questioned my leadership ability and I battled with my emotions toward leaders who were pushing against our ministry. I was consumed with this conflict and fought to not allow it to overcome me emotionally. At times I felt myself check out, becoming distant and removed, even from Kristen. I felt persecuted and alone. I often felt sorry for myself, thinking “Here I am, giving my life to do the work of God, fighting for his glory and for the good of the people I am serving, while being met with nothing but pain and conflict. It’s not fair! This isn’t the way it’s supposed to go!”

Struggle! So much of our world is defined by it. So many of our plans, our dreams are changed by it. Does it have to be this way? Is this all there is?

Keep coming back for more from Reckless Pursuit.

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Reckless Pursuit: Part 2 – How We Ended Up Here

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Reckless Pursuit: God’s Story of Relentless Love is in its final stages of production and will be made available early this Fall. As we move toward announcing its arrival, I will be posting regular teasers straight from the content of the book. Today’s snapshot look at Reckless Pursuit comes from Part 2: How We Ended Up Here.

Panic! Fear! Dread! Unbelievable anxiety began mounting as a young mother began imagining the worst. It had now been hours since anyone had seen her four year old little boy. The father had been called home from work, the neighbors had been notified and rallied, the police were on hand and the regular baby-sitter was even brought in to help look. Still, nothing.

Some time earlier, the four year old boy and his six year old brother had been playing hide-and-go-seek as their mother picked up the house. After several rounds of their game, the oldest called a timeout for a potty break. Seeing his opportunity, the four year old snuck off to hide as his older brother went into the bathroom. When he came out, the little boy was gone.

He called and called but there was no answer. He looked in all his brother’s favorite hiding places with no success. Then he told his mom. She looked and called, as her anxiety grew with each passing moment. They retraced every step and looked in every possible hiding spot but her little boy was nowhere to be found.

The search now had to be expanded and fearful questions began to emerge. “Did he go outside? If so, where? Why? Who could have come into contact with him? Had anyone seen him? Was he OK? Did someone take him?”

Sometimes nothing is as it should be. Sometimes the world spirals off into our worst nightmare. What then? Where do we go from here?

Keep checking back for more from Reckless Pursuit.

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Reckless Pursuit: Part 1 – How It Could Have Been

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Reckless Pursuit: God’s Story of Relentless Love is in its final stages of production and will be made available early this Fall. As we move toward announcing its arrival, I will be posting regular teasers straight from the content of the book. Today’s snapshot look at Reckless Pursuit comes from Part 1: How It Could Have Been.

                The phone rang. Without hesitation, I ran to pick it up, hoping I was quick enough to keep it from waking our baby boy. “Hello,” I answered in a hushed tone. On the other end was a voice I recognized. It was a mom of one of the girls in our ministry and there was a noticeable sense of desperation in her voice.

                  “Landon! I’m sorry to be calling you so late but I need your help. It’s Candice…she’s really struggling and I don’t know what to do. I hate to ask this but can you come over and talk with her right now?”

                  I glanced at Kristen and she gave me that understanding look. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the clock; it was a quarter past ten. I turned back to the phone, told the mom I’d be right there and hung up.

                  In the five minutes it took me to get to their house, my mind went a thousand different directions. The past year or so was a tremendously difficult time for our community. Our town had been hit over and over by teenage suicide and I had watched our people move from shock to despair to anger and finally to a strange and uncomfortable apathy. I came back to focus on Candice and the questions kept flying. “What could be going on with her? Why didn’t I ask more questions? Does it have anything to do with the suicides? Is she struggling herself or is she hurting for someone else? Will I have a clue what to do?” And again, “Why didn’t I ask more questions?” I found myself in the all too familiar place of the unknown and the out of control. In response, I did the only thing I knew to do…I prayed.

                  When I arrived at the house, Candice’s mom met me on the sidewalk, thanked me for coming and began to fill me in on the situation. “Landon, I just don’t know what to do. Nothing I say seems to matter. I can’t get through to her.”

                  “What’s the problem?” I replied. “What is she struggling with so much?”

                  As she was forming the answer, I could see tears begin to surface in her eyes. “Candice doesn’t know if she believes there is a God!”

Does this sound familiar? Is this how life is supposed to be? Does faith have to be so hard? Do our experiences have to be defined in struggle? Keep checking back for more from Reckless Pursuit.

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