Thursday, June 20, 2013

Vomit, cheese graters, whiskey, ninjas and hearing from God.

In the wee hours of July 4th, 2001 I vomited down the freshly painted khaki flat finished wall of our bedroom.  Did you know flat paint is not known for its vomit resistance? Actually just the opposite!  Sopped it up like biscuit. 

This was right after I first tried clawing my way through the blinds on our window thinking it was the bathroom door.

Which was right after we arrived home and I fell into bed leaving one foot on the floor to keep the room from spinning.  Which by the way, had never worked before, but hey, it’s what “they” say to do.  You’re always hoping this is time!

Which was right after we left the 4th of July party where I continued to put off my wife as she beaconed me to leave.  She didn’t understand that I had no choice but to settle a dispute about the inferiority of Southeastern University and the superiority of East Central University. “Baby, our honor and integrity must be maintained!” Which now looking back seems kinda odd since we were 200 miles away either one of those schools.  And somewhere along the way I think there were some derogatory Larry Bird references thrown in so I’m positive I had other reasons for staying.

Which was right after I consumed my weight in bourbon whiskey…my weakness.

Which was right after I was standing in the living room of our home promising my beautiful wife Christy, all 7 months pregnant of her with our first child Winston, that we wouldn’t stay at this party long and I would behave myself.  I convinced her that I fully understood she was way pregnant, it was July in Oklahoma hot and that the two did not mix well.

There you go! Me being real, open and as transparent as possible.  Just like I promised in my last post.

So, now that you've rewound, lets fast forward all the way to sometime in 2006 when I found myself over the kitchen sink pouring out a very expensive bottle of Gentleman Jack bourbon and saying, “God what are you having me do?? Do you know expensive this stuff is?” I kind of threw that out there to him hoping to get an Abraham about to sacrifice Isaac kind of miracle.  Like at any minute God would realize the cost of what he was having me do and stop my hand.  Then I’d look over and see one of my AC/DC concert t-shirts entangled in a bush that I could offer as a sacrifice instead.  Did not happen, but God did ask for the t-shirts later that same year though.

This is not an anti drinking post!  I want to get that straight. This is about responding.  This is a post about me dealing with my “demon” and the sin in my life and what God was asking me to give up.  Yours may be to stop gossiping or neglecting family and church for a hobby or cheating on your spouse or gossiping.  Oh, did I mention gossip twice?  Huh, for some reason we overlook that one as being on the same playing field as “the big sins” as if there is a big sin list anyway.   But this isn’t an anti gossip post either. If you want to check out all the things Paul included gossip with you can; it’s in Romans 1:26-31 NIV , you might be surprised.

When I talk about God “speaking to me” I’m not referring to an audible voice.  That would be cool but I’ve never had that happen though I’ve asked for it plenty.  What I meant was I knew that something or someone rather was telling me to dump out that bottle every time I opened up the cabinet to get the cheese grater out.  I just felt it, that’s the only way I can describe it.  This was pretty often too. We eat a lot of cheese at our house.  So one day that’s what I did.

I’m serious when I say it was unexplainable.  I just reacted like I had done in the past in training on way to becoming modern day ninja.  But I can’t talk about that…it’s still classified.  P.S. Hello NSA, I’m pretty sure using the words “ninja” and “it’s classified” will get me some face time in your system.  Just kidding. Ha ha!  Good luck with that whole Congressional hearing gig you have going on. It’s a joke. Get it?

Seriously, I was standing next to the sink and unexplainably dumping what I was using to create a sin I was hiding from my family.  Notice how I said, I was using this to create the sin in MY life? You see the product itself wasn’t sinful it was my abuse of it that was.  It was my sedative after a stressful day at work and before Christy and kids were home.  I could get a few drinks down in that hour, then conveniently pour one when everyone got home because one was acceptable with the fam and it would mask the others I had already downed. 

I wasn’t facedown puking on the wall much anymore so I felt like I was doing a better job and that was good enough; even though I was in a comfortably numb state a lot of days.  But to be honest I wasn’t even thinking about any of that.  My self-justified sinfulness was far from my mind at the time of the dumping.  I was only thinking, “something is telling me to pour this out.”  At times that’s just how God works.  What I am learning now is there are times when he just wants us to act out of simple obedience especially when it doesn’t make sense. I mean look what he did with Isaiah in the Old Testament Isaiah 20:1-4 MSG .

God, he’s known for messing up a perfectly good human plan.  Now looking back it was just one of many little things God has urged me to do to get me where he wants me.  He had to mess up my plan so I could get started on his.  God wouldn’t have entrusted me with the family and ministry I have today had I not stood over that sink years ago.  Why would he?  If he can’t trust me with the little things then why in the world would I expect him to trust me with bigger things? In Luke 16:10a (NIV) Jesus says in a parable, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can be trusted with much…”  He’s talking about money here but it so aptly applies to many areas of our lives.  Finances, family, ministry, hobbies, business, church…the list is endless and like a fingerprint is different for everyone.

What is God calling you to react to?  Many of you will be thinking about something right now you know you have been pushing away.  You’ve been closing the door on the cheese grater but it’s time to react like a ninja.  God wants to do more with you and through you! He has greater plans for you but you gotta take care of this first!