Saying Goodbye #6: That One Backfired!

Landers, CA has fascinated me for 20 years.  From the First Nations gatherings at Giant Rock, to the UFO chasers, to the occultism of the Integratron, the stories have been more to me than just data, informing a strategy.  It is intensely spiritual Exhorter land.

Currently it is a party area where the cops don’t interfere, as well as being a dirt bike and dune buggy paradise.  Crime and crud define the current brand of the old lake bed.

I have been there many times, taken the occasional land-wise visitor there, done both warfare and worship, by day and by night.  At times I have just sat there and quieted my soul, listening to the majesty of the star song in the clear desert nights and been enlarged by it.

It was on the MUST DO side of my list of possible goodbyes, as I uproot from CA and move to SC.

I decided to record “A Celebration of Heaven” there as my act of closure.  Megan packed up a suitcase full of gear, Christine flew in from Canada since she has a vested interest in this series, we added plenty of cold drinks and sundry ancillary paraphernalia to my car and headed up there on Wednesday afternoon about 2:00.

There is a very defiled patch of land on Highway 62, right about the county line.  In the two decades I have been going up to the high desert, there have been numerous attacks and near death experiences compliments of those critters.

This time they hit the car hard, killing the power steering pump and breaking the mechanism for opening and closing both rear windows.

I made it up the grade, barely, and pulled off to the little church in Morongo Valley so I could inspect the damage and plan our way forward.  Back in the early days, when I was driving a dilapidated Buick Skylark up that grade, they would leave a hose available so I could cool down my gimpy radiator, before challenging the next grade.

We limped into town (population 3,500) and found a mechanic who said he could change it out, overnight, for $810.

While I dickered with him on the process, Megan secured a taxi which took us to the nearest rental car place five minutes before they closed for the evening.

We got dinner in town, and took the hour and a half drive back home.  Before we went down the hill (since the downhill side of the highway has more savage critters than the uphill side), Megan worked the phones and put together a team of intercessors with unresolved hostility issues.

Needless to say, we made it down through the swarm with negligible difficulty.

On the way home, we dissected the situation.  All of us were aggravated over being victims, not something we have a great deal of grace for.  But a compelling picture emerged that God was in this, and we should just roll with it and not fuss.

Thursday morning, I called the mechanic to be sure he had the part and that all was in order for the afternoon pickup.  The phone was disconnected.  Disconcerting to say the least.

Megan added another member to her warfare team.  We left an hour early and arrived there to find the car done and the price stable.  We drove the rest of the way to Yucca Valley, disposed of the rental car, got a fresh load of ice for the cooler, gassed up my car, and then wrestled with the fact that it was way too early to go to the staging area, since we wanted to record at night.

Adding to that, our team was sorely out of alignment.

The varmints had successfully taken out the newbie on the off-site team.  And they had hacked our team to cause problems.  We wandered over to an air conditioned burger joint and sat at the back, doing preemptive hydration, and trying to find the way back from our disconnect and misalignment.

God graced the time and within an hour we were in a good place, functioning as a team again.

We adjourned to a slightly more appealing restaurant and had a wonderful meal in a context that surfaced memories and emotions for some of our team.

Then, off to Highway 247 and our rendezvous with a new patch of the desert.   The land reached out to welcome me about eight miles before Landers.  I wept inside over that.  I have been there many times and the land has never acknowledged my heart towards it.  I have occasionally at different places around the world had land welcome me, but it was a first for Landers.

We had warned the intercessory team that we would lose cell phone connectivity shortly after we passed the Integratron.  Interestingly, it did not happen.

We drove the dirt roads in my ordinary passenger car, with low clearance and street tires.  At Giant Rock, I turned Northeast.  I had known in the spirit we would be recording in a new place I had never been to, over in that direction.

I wound my way around the first hill successfully, feeling no draw to stop and explore.  Got part way up the second hill when some bad judgment on my part got the car stuck.  We spent at least half an hour getting it unstuck and went the rest of the way up the hill, but knew that this was the place.

To our amazement, we had FOUR BARS of cell phone signal when there should have been none in the previous 15 miles.  We were connected to our intercessors via Glympse app so they could track where we were at all times.

When we moved from the stuck spot, they were relieved since it was the confluence of three demonic structures.  The top of the hill met with their approval.

Megan and Christine went to work with the set up.

I helped briefly, then detached, switched out of leader mode, and worked to connect with my spirit and my fire while the sun went down.  Getting there had required soul to be front and center, in charge, and competent, while also allowing my spirit to choose the location.  Now soul needed to step back.

We had been concerned about wind and heat but neither was an issue.  There was a gentle breeze that cooled us off quickly after the sun went down, but it was never strong enough to interfere with the quality of the recording.

This was a very different kind of message that I shared.  It was my spirit worshipping my God.  I could not even see Megan and Christine from where I was seated.  I was not teaching.  I was not considering any future audience for the recording.  Much of what I spoke of was beyond my soul’s capacity to understand.  I didn’t bother to share background material, like I do in a teaching setting.

I just worshipped with words, from the songs of Revelation.  It was about me and God.

When I was done, we lingered and savored for a while.  The stars were elegant.  We had chosen a night with no moon, for that very reason.

After packing up, we headed down the hill, feeling our way along in the dark, without a map and no moonlight.  I did not go back the way I came, because I wanted to avoid the bad patch in what could barely be called a road where we had gotten stuck before.  My city car was not made for off-road adventures.

I ended up in a worse place and it took nearly an hour to get unstuck.

I was not able to find my way back out of the desert the usual way.  I think it was God who arranged that so that we did not go through the defiled patch by the Integratron.  I imagine there is some sort of covenant within a contract affecting everyone who comes and goes into the desert by their gateway.

We eventually made it into Yucca Valley, took a comfort break, and then headed down the hill, arriving back at the office before daybreak.  The angels kept us in phone contact with the intercessors through the most impossible territories, and the intercessors stood watch all through the night until we got home.

A priceless bunch.

Something profound happened to me as the land, the Exhorter’s stars, and the incredibly unfathomable theme of the songs in heaven all left a deep imprint on me.

This was supposed to be my closure-and-goodbye trip to Landers.

Now I am more deeply bonded to that patch of desert than ever before.  I cannot envision saying goodbye to it.  I wonder when and how I will return.

Meanwhile, I try to ignore this unexpected twist in my complex journey of uprooting from California so I can arrive well in South Carolina.

Quite ironic that a week from tonight I will be at New Testament Church for a welcome ceremony, blessing my entrance into the state – at a time when a piece of my heart is more deeply in love with California than it has ever been in the last 45 years.

Copyright June 2018 by Arthur Burk

 

 

Posted in Good-bye | 12 Comments

Saying Goodbye #5: Angst

Part of saying goodbye means getting closure on places where I invested a LOT and got very low return on investment.

I spent some time studying my big four and decided that three of the four were pretty well worked over and settled out.  That leaves one, for those of you who are math whizzes.

I circled around it for a while, trying to figure out why that one had not resolved over time.

Here is the story.  It was a community with a pretty low-end reputation.  A Nazareth, if you wish.  I ended up there in a roundabout way, and fell in love with it the first time I went.

I built some relationships, shared vision with people locally, and began to execute a long-term strategy.  Relationships deepened, and we began to do a few modest activities.

The momentum attracted the attention of the area apostle who had been treating the city with benign neglect for years.

He came down with a case of jealousy or insecurity and ordered me to meet with him.  He asked for a detailed overview of what I was doing and what I was planning to do and then told me he was in charge in this region and he would like me to leave, quietly, without an announcement to anyone, and not come back.

I had five minutes to decide, over lunch.

He promised to maintain what I had put in place.  I folded and slipped out of town quietly.  He dismantled everything I had built and abandoned the town.

That is where the rub is.

Did I make the right call?

I don’t fight for control.  Should I have?  Should I have negotiated a different deal?  I knew he had no credibility and would not do what he said.

I exclusively work where I am wanted and welcomed.  And I was certainly wanted and welcomed by the people in the town.  Just not the guy from a nearby town.

I hated the idea of a big old church brawl with all of the trash talk that goes on.  Been through my full quota of church politics and squabbles in my life.

I simply don’t know if I made the right decision.  And I don’t think I will ever know this side of eternity.  But I need to settle that before I leave the state.

I have blocked off some time to go there.  I will sit in my car a few doors down from a bunch of places where I have good memories, where people loved and laughed, dreamed and dared.  I will wait to see what bubbles up in my spirit.

I will also go sit outside the restaurant where I got my decamping orders to see what happens there.

One of the big issues is the relationships.  I left without a goodbye, according to “The Deal.”

One person has kept in touch with me slightly over the years.  I will write ahead of time and see if they are willing to meet with me discretely.  I think they can help with the healing process.

Depending on the feeling at the time, I might knock on the door of one or two other people.  God might or might not have them at home.

Or I might just show up at a particular church.

Or not.

I am aggravated by how much this is prowling on the back of my mind even though I am some time away from going there.  Apparently this is some significant unfinished business.

Makes it more important to go there.

But first, a day trip to Oxnard and Ventura to prowl around the detritus of a couple of not-good years in my life.

Oh by the way, the apostle in question eventually got the left foot of fellowship and is no longer the Grand Pooh Bah of that region.

But that doesn’t change my second guessing my own decision . . .

Copyright June 2018 by Arthur Burk

 

 

 

 

Posted in Good-bye | 13 Comments

Measuring a Mind

I am on the road, briefly.

My hostess gave me a choice between the room where there is a (thoroughly cleansed) time portal and one where revelation of the Father comes most easily.

Contrarian that I am, I chose the room with the bookshelves.

After setting my suitcase down, I studied the titles to see what I could learn about the husband I had not met yet.

Bonhoeffer, C. S. Lewis, Rushdoony, Kuyper and their ilk announced their presence and weight with the boldness worthy of those luminaries.

I loved the fact that they were unceremoniously rubbing shoulders with “Death by Living,” “Blue Like Jazz” and “The Best in Tent Camping.”

Clearly my host is eclectic and can run the gamut from Chalcedon to Appalachia and has no need to neatly compartmentalize his jumble of intellectual pursuings.

It’s gonna be a good few days.

What I liked most of all was the bookmarks in sundry books.  He didn’t finish reading most of them.

A restlessly inquiring mind!

What’s not to like?

Copyright May 2018 by Arthur Burk

 

Posted in Daily Flavor | 6 Comments

Saying Goodbye #4: The Harbor

One night this week I went to Dana Point to say goodbye.

This is a harbor town about an hour south of our office.  The Mercy redemptive gift makes it wonderfully different from the drivenness that marks most of So Cal.  It is where we often take our out of town guests when we are done with business at the office.

My first experience with Dana Point was when I took my brothers sailing there in a borrowed 15 foot Coronado.  I successfully capsized the boat twice that afternoon.  Obviously we all three survived, but I smiled inside as I thought of the young, dumb, intense person who just HAD to live on the edge, back then.

One of those descriptors has changed over the years.

When Megan came to California, her father came with her, ostensibly to help her move, but mostly to check out this guy she was coming to work for.  After she was settled in her new digs, I drove down the 55 to Newport Beach and then drifted all the way down PCH to Dana Point so he could have some exposure to the vagaries of the California coast.

We had dinner there at the Wind and Sea, for the first time.  When he left for Michigan, he told his daughter that he was feeling comfortable leaving her in my care.

Every once in a while, I pass a test the first time.

I remember when Hanna was with us for a while, she, Megan and I went at the end of her tour.  Hanna and I were planning a scouting tour across Europe at that time.  Hanna knows I am pretty picky about eating out and she was thinking out loud about restaurant options in Holland.

Megan got caught in the crossfire of our humor that night, in a fairly memorable bit of repartee.

Serina was much more interested in water than the hundreds of millions of dollars worth of tax write-off boats that were moored in the harbor.  I remember four dolphins that almost jumped out of the surf to hug her that early morning.

That was before we knew of her anointing for fish.  Later we looked back and just marveled.  How did those fish out in the big ocean know there was a big spirited fish lover on the rocky shore?

I remember walking the harbor for a few hours with a mom and daughter who met me there.  The daughter had just come out as gay and the mother was distressed.  I asked the girl to share her journey, and she gladly did.

It was a memorable experience.  On the one hand, the girl was rejoicing in having someone actually listen to her and not try to argue her into a corner.  On the other hand, her mother was struggling with all the stuff that came out to me, that she had never heard before.

We have probably made a couple dozen trips down there with some guest or another over the years.  Some were memorable experiences.  Some had faded into oblivion long ago.  Most included a stroll by the slips, savoring the wordsmithing of boat names, followed by dinner at the Wind and Sea.

Last time I was there the service was atrocious and the food not noteworthy as well.  This was quite a turn from the history of the past twelve years.

This is an ordinary consequence of the economy having an upturn.  Food service industries have a harder time getting good staff when there is a full employment economy.

I wandered down to the beach for a while, when I first arrived.  It was the only time I had been there at high tide.  A fun view.  I had selected that night because it was full moon, but the sky was overcast, so I missed the benefit of moonlight on the water.

Based on the dud of an experience last time at the Wind and Sea, I tried a new restaurant to close out the evening.  It was high on the bluff, overlooking the whole panorama.  Both the waiter and the chef were a remarkable downgrade from the previous one.  It is ironic.  The more people have the money for fine dining, the less fine the dining is.

Ah well.

I dawdled over dinner, not really looking at the details of my many visits there.  I just soaked in the gentle joy that marked the flavor of that file in my memory.

I wondered briefly where I would find an equivalent safe place in South Carolina.  And what my firstfruits visit there would be like.

As I drove away, I gave the city one last hug, knowing I will likely never be back.

It has been a kind place to me in an unkind season of my life.

Copyright May 2018 by Arthur Burk

 

 

Posted in Good-bye | 11 Comments

Hand to Hand Combat

In the early 1900s, warriors trained with bayonets for warfare that was highly intense, personal and risky.  But presumed necessary.

Today, technicians sit at a computer screen several nations away from combat and attempt to cause enemy casualties without any risk to themselves.

War has progressively evolved from a primary mindset of doing damage, to a primary mindset of self-preservation.

Now, imagine flipping it.  You take the drone operator out of his air-conditioned office and put him on the ground, facing a White nationalist demonstration that has turned into a full blown race riot.

He might feel just a tad bit ill equipped.

This is most of the church today.  We have become drone operators praying valiantly, asking God to deploy His angels to do prodigious feats at our command.

A few people staff the hospital in the rear echelons, offering deliverance and inner healing to civilian and military casualties of war.  Good people.  We need more of them.

But most Christians are unarmed believers, living in a war zone, wishing for peace, while doing all kinds of work-arounds to avoid the people who are hurtful.

Unfriending or banning someone on Facebook is simple.  However, it gets awkward and expensive to keep firing your boss, your pastor, your spouse or your doctor.

That means, we need to become skilled at hand to hand combat.  We need to be able to silence the demons in other people without drama, against their will, effectively, so we can do Kingdom work.

Work-arounds is another word for running.  This is not our primary calling as Noble Subjects.

So do an assessment of your environment.

-Do you have a boss who is routinely unjust to you and others, or who violates your boundaries with time, or who uses shame as a tool?  It might be he simply has a rotten management style on top of a broken soul, but it might also be that he is packing a load of critters who need an education.

-What about your family?  Do you have a spouse or a child who is routinely verbally cruel or who has a hair trigger temper?  Might be their junk.  Might be their critters.

-What about your community?  Is there someone overtly making a play for your spouse?  Is there someone with a foul mouth who you just can’t avoid?  Is there someone who routinely steps into your space and violates your boundaries — knowingly?

Have you cried out to God relentlessly about these situations and nothing changes?  Have you tried to keep low profile but that just draws those people even more?  Have you broken every curse you can imagine and done deliverance on yourself and nothing has improved?

Then it might be time for a new style of warfare — hand to hand combat.  This is where you deliberately, overtly engage their demons and neutralize them.

I will be teaching on this and modeling it on the Live Stream on Saturday, May 5th, 2018.  This is going to be a new chapter in SLG’s history as we change our culture significantly to include frequent use of these tools.

Warfare doesn’t heal wounds.  But it sure is helpful at neutralizing demons in people who don’t think they have any.

I believe you owe it to your community to listen to this teaching.  Even if you are living at peace with all men, there are those you know who are not and they may need it.

I am well aware that some people will find this approach unacceptable for whatever reasons.  This is SLG, after all, and we are each on our own journey.

But the amount of devouring the enemy is doing these days is so immense, that I respectfully ask each person reading this to consider at least listening to the broadcast, live or from the archive, before discarding the tool.

Here is the link for the Live Stream on May 5th.

Copyright April 2018 by Arthur Burk

Posted in Spiritual Warfare | 11 Comments

So You Want a Father?

Imagine this.

I am at a seminar.  Fred comes up having freshly kissed the Blarney Stone, and after all of the blather about how great I am, asks me to father him.

He is followed by Sally who gives me an equally detailed story line, this time of how fatherless her childhood was.  Based on her pain, she asks me to father her.

I decline both.

I do that even though I am very clear and very confident that by design, at my core, I am a father.  It is who I am, what I was made for, where the grace from God is and where I find deep fulfillment.

So why won’t I father people who so overtly ask me to father them, and so clearly need it?

The problem is in the social contract that is embedded in their understanding of fathering, vs. mine.

You see, there is an issue of rights and responsibilities.

In the Biblical model of fathering, the father has most of the rights, and the children have most of the responsibilities at the beginning of the relationship.

For example, can you find a picture in Scripture of the child choosing his father?  Doesn’t the spiritual father usually initiate reaching out to select the child?

Think of all the mentoring relationships in Scripture that were inherently fathering.

Masses of people followed Jesus, but He picked the men He was going to father.

Paul picked his sons.

Admittedly, God picked a son for Elijah, but for sure, Elisha did not pick his own mentor.

Then look at the terms of the relationship.

It is always a responsibility-based relationship at first.  Jesus laid it on thick.  “Come follow me.”  No discussion of boundaries.  No full disclosure statement.  No promise of deliverance and inner healing.  No discussion of the stress it would put on them to be on a different track than their family.

With Elisha, when he tried to negotiate with Elijah on the terms of engagement, he got his first smack down and Elijah left in a huff, going on without Elisha, refusing to negotiate the nature of the alignment.

Even at the end of their relationship, Elisha tried to turn it from his responsibility to some imaginary rights.  Elijah clapped right back and said it was all about whether Elisha could step up to the level of responsibility required.

In the Biblical model of sonship, it is compared overtly to slavery.  Galatians 4.

And since so many people have been in slave-based organizations and have been broken there, they believe what they need in order to heal is an extravagant flow of life from their newly appointed father.

But the reality is that both in a fathering relationship and with a predatory leader relationship it begins with massive rights for the father to command and demand, and massive responsibility on the sons to obey and follow.

Now the OUTCOME is different.  In a slave organization, the control continues relentlessly.  You watch those who have been in the organization for years, who by dint of hard work and submission have worked their way up, and even though they may have some fancy titles, they are still slaves.

By contrast, a father like Jesus or Paul progressively transitions a son from massive responsibility to huge rights – ultimately to an inheritance he never worked for but can receive because he has learned to walk in responsibility.

I am continually asked to do the impossible in my fathering.  People come in with a 40 unit problem and they want me to fix their lives by tinkering with just two percent of their discretionary world.

Do the math.  I am not that good.  No father is.

And THAT is why a father needs the position of being able to inflict productive pain on a son, when needed, even though the son is still in unproductive pain from his rotten choices.

This is a model we know well all through the culture.

You go to school as a slave.  Your teacher has broad license to inflict pain on you.  You protest that your brain is bleeding and you need a break.  The teacher/father assures you that millions before you have grown through this process and you will survive too.

Why is the teacher given so much authority to hurt you?  Because they know you won’t inflict enough productive pain on yourself to get where you want to be.

You join the military.  You are a slave, with someone inflicting productive pain on you.

You join a sports team.  You are a slave, with someone inflicting productive pain on you.

The pattern is well established in the culture.

There is no question that most people need a mentor to push them into productive pain to become what they want to be.  And most mentors who are willing to push people hard, push them into unproductive pain, to enlarge the mentor, not the mentee.  That is slave leadership.

But no matter how often the principles of fatherhood are violated by a predatory leader, that does not change the viability of the Biblical model, where the rights are with the father, the responsibilities are with the son, and over time, as the son grows, there  is a transition from responsibilities to rights.

But fatherhood is NOT an ATM machine with unlimited cash for the son to make withdrawals from as desired.

THAT model of being a father will bankrupt me with one son.  AND, ATM fathers don’t produce great sons.  They produce entitled, spoiled brats who are not good for the community they are in.

Sincerely, passionately embracing a wrong model of fathering does not make it work.  It is still a busted model and if a leader allows his mentees to inflict that model on him, he will be busted by them, eventually.

ATM fathering IS NOT SUSTAINABLE.

Rejecting the Biblical model of fathering because it looks almost identical to slave-based, exploitive leaders, doesn’t solve the problem either.

There IS a model.  And it DOES work.

Copyright April 2018 by Arthur Burk

 

Posted in Perspectives, The Culture | 13 Comments

When You Have More Than One Redemptive Gift

Over the years, I have received endless emails – short and gracious, long and nasty, and every other combination – exploring or defending the concept of someone having more than one redemptive gift in their soul.

My standard answer is in this paper, but here are some additional considerations.

One of the services I offer is to coach people who are ministering to others.  I am in touch with someone who does a complex blend of deliverance, inner healing, life coaching, developing your spirit and what not.

She has a client named “Sally” who is sure she is a Giver.  “Jasmine” the life coach is not convinced.  Sally certainly manifests a number of characteristics of Giver, but is missing many others.  An alternative gift, Exhorter, is discussed, but again, there are markers for Exhorter, but some significant missing characteristics.

Here are some of the ideas I tossed in Jasmine’s direction.

1.     Check for family imprint.

Was she raised in a family where either a Giver or an Exhorter ruled with a heavy hand and imprinted his or her nature, values and thought processes on all the kids?

2.     Is there a vanishing twin AHS?

3.     Is the portion of the spirit that matches the redemptive gift of the soul, missing?

Jasmine pushed back on that one and said that she had already checked and all of the portions of the spirit are present and accounted for.

4.     Then I suggested she check the Exhorter and Giver portions of her spirit to see if possibly one of them was a synthetic and not the real deal.

5.     Is there a wound to her core gift?

Often, the expression of a gift is warped in childhood because someone in the environment does not like some facet of the gift.  I was an extremely passionate Prophet kid, but passion was frowned on in childhood and deemed utterly inappropriate.  A great number of people in different contexts worked hard to mellow me out.

They failed utterly to mellow ME out, but they did succeed to tamp down my public presentation a LOT.  I am a wild man in private but rarely in public.

So it is entirely possible that Sally IS a Giver, but a few key facets of her Giver gift were roundly repudiated in childhood so she learned to shut them off from the public, therefore Jasmine can’t see them at present.

There is a floating lack of legitimacy in Sally (not much different than anyone else).  It is not pervasive and crippling, but pops up like a prairie dog with regularity.

It could be a standalone wound, or it could be related to #2, #4 or #5.  Once the redemptive gift issue is sorted out, it will be interesting to see if the prairie dog fades away on its own, or whether it needs to be hunted down and resolved as its own issue.

Meanwhile, Jasmine is methodical and Sally is willing, so I am sure something will become clear in time.

Copyright April 2018 by Arthur Burk

Posted in Exhorter, Giver, The Redemptive Gifts of Individuals | 2 Comments

Saying Goodbye #3: Solving the Riddle

It has taken me a week to figure out why revisiting the apartments at San Bruno Terrace rocked me so badly.

If you feel like you are coming into the middle of a conversation, then you need to go back to the blog Saying Goodbye #2 and read the first part of the story.

In a nutshell, it had to do with legitimacy.

One of my legitimacy crutches was that I was legitimate because I had bigger/better/wiser/righter perspective than others around me.

And certainly, at that point in time, I was quite sure I saw the big picture and saw it clearly.

In retrospect, I was horrified at how trivial and small my perspective was, not to mention how wrong.  That is what took me out so badly last week.

Once I knew where the issue was, I fast forwarded from the crash at 26 years old to the CRASH at 33 years old when God began to talk to me about legitimacy and the fact that it came from design, not performance.

There I began to come to terms with the fact that God designed me before the foundation of the world in a package that brought Him pleasure and that original design still brings Him pleasure.

And I suddenly saw what God had been doing in the last three months.  It seemed as though every couple of weeks, on some news site, I noticed a story of the discovery of an old car in a barn somewhere. The headline would read that the car was worth $30K or $130K or whatever.

The ACTUAL picture was of a rusted out wreck of a junker, but the car enthusiast could “see” what it was originally designed to be, and through all of the mess the car was still in, and knowing full well that it was going to take a stupendous amount of work to restore it, they still were stirred emotionally because of their clear grasp of how wonderful the original was.

Clearly God has been sending me the same message again and again.  He remembers my design and still thinks He did a pretty good job.  The things I have messed up in my life are not bigger than His ability to restore, nor are they big enough to block His view of who I was, and who I can become, in His hand.

And the fact that I genuinely WAS deceived about my magnificent perspective on life, didn’t change the fact that I WAS walking in design.  I am a lover.  I love deeply, passionately and express my love in sundry ways.  That has been crunched and punched, folded and stapled, mutilated and macerated over the years, but back then, the young love was beautiful and God enjoyed watching me enjoy my joy, being myself, the way He designed me to be.

And I AM an incorrigible visionary and dreamer.  Even though my dreams were built on some flimsy foundations, and eventually crashed and burned, I was being myself, and He was enjoying my joy as Ann and I built our sand castles and changed the world repeatedly over dinner.

He invited me to enjoy the fact that I was being me in those areas, and it was good, and the fact that the package was woefully incongruent, did not in any way mean that those areas were not me, were not my design and were not beautiful to Him.

That was something I could do.  Took some chewing!  And a couple of hard swallows.  I could eventually wrap my arms around the incongruity and be OK with the beauty.

Then He dropped the bombshell.

He pointed out that my perspective is just as deficient now as it was then, relatively speaking.

Back then, I had the vast wisdom of a second grader, looking down at the abysmal ignorance of a preschooler.  I explained with vast confidence that the epistles were the wives of the apostles, and other such things that second graders understand to perfection.

And now I am the tenth grader, confidently factoring polynomial equations, looking down on the second grader who didn’t know a factor from a factory.

I don’t have the perspective of a Nobel Prize winner, but I still have legitimacy in His eyes, (and mine if I want it) because I am still walking in my design.

Admittedly, my ability to love, laugh and dream has never fully recovered from the cruelty of life, (although I do from time to time make some of you laugh) but I am walking in other portions of my design in this season.

I can at times write, diagnose the root of some problem, or move someone to a place of awe.  Good things.  They bring Him pleasure.  Even though my life is still incongruent.

And He invites me to enjoy my legitimacy now, just because He enjoys my design.

This could work.

Copyright April 2018 by Arthur Burk

 

 

 

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