When any major event arises in life, confusion easily follows. We should also understand that seemingly minor changes can have drastic consequences. Much like the whole chaos theory notion of the Butterfly Effect, e.g. that a butterfly in Venezuela flaps its wings twice and a tornado results in Texas.
Before you say it, I fully realize that Texas weather is such that if you don’t like it, just wait 15 minutes and it will change, but that is not the intended topic today.
I ask the question where are we going rhetorically, as we have to first set the litmus test of our goal that we have in mind. Mine has much to do with setting the context of our ministry and also developing in my own walk with the Lord.
So we started the Jesus Underground based on a calling and a drive, which is still very alive today. Like any seed, it must be watered and patience must be utilized in order for it to properly grow into something, and that something will be whatever the Lord desires it to be. Our technology is thin… we can’t seem to even get a simple video together, processed, and online in time for Sunday services. For that matter, we can’t even get an audio podcast together for proper publication.
I went on a 21 day fast to get some answers and direction on the matter. By day 15, I had a good idea of the elements I was missing. I am not Andy Stanley, even though he has been an incredible mentor for me. I am not Craig Groeschel, although he has also been a mentor and an incredible force in getting the Underground started, and continues to help and support us in material and a good online platform with the LifeChurch team. I am not Francis Chan, David Platt, or even Todd White, who is a partner in this whole effort.
I am Jay, the guy who lives in a van and lives the life of a nomadic (some say homeless) peregrini monk with little to nothing in the way of resources, and only the love and example of Christ to work from.
What I was reminded of involved what exactly I have to offer God, and that is about the equivalent of a toddler bringing Mommy a wilted weed blossom like it’s some professional bouquet of roses, replete with ribbons, Baby’s Breath, and a singing delivery boy (or girl, I haven’t really thought this analogy out well).
I write. It’s one of the best things I do. I have written 3 books of poetry, one bad novel, and been published a few times. I have read publicly from little book stores in Chattanooga, Tennessee, to reading with Viggo Mortensen in Little Five in Atlanta before anyone knew who the heck he was. (He was awesome, by the way)
Back then I thought I was American Indian. Everyone had legends (all untrue) but no one had done any real genealogical work, at least before me. I met a new string of cousins that way. And we are Welsh. Very Welsh. Enough Scot thrown in to be really obstinate.
So the point is not to fake it till you make it but rather trust God’s judgement and go with what you know. I know poetry, I know writing, I know blogging.
We can talk later. Sure, I like giving sermons, and a full time Underground is a thing. It will happen, and it will happen soon. But I have been neglecting the gifts I’ve been given naturally when they could help propel the actual mission I have been given, and that is to live among the peripatetic, and to be one. That is to learn to empty myself and let Him fill me while learning the ways of my long since passed ancestors, long before John William in Monmouthshire (the guy who got us here, an Anglican minister) and even before Philip ap Philip (his grandfather, late 1400s-early 1500s).
I have declined to go as deeply as I can, or should. I have went forward to the exclusion of going inward, and I need to do both. I have been busy to the exception of being still, and that is largely due to the hectic world around me that constantly vies for my attention and inadvertently seeks to drag me kicking and screaming away from Him.
I must go back to what is Him, and what is Celtic. There is a gate to enter into, and it is small without many others. We all have things that we are drawn to, things that can, if not moderated, get in the way of what God has told us to do, and sometimes we simply misunderstand the utter simplicity of the path He has set before us… to pick up our cross and follow Him. To live life as it comes without adding too much grandiose additions to it, to allow Him to work around us in the words of the Psalmist, “Be still and know that I am God, I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”(Psalms 46:10 ESV).
So where am I going? The same place I started to begin with. The only change is that there is more to the path than any of us anticipated, and the end result will hopefully bring glory to the one who deserves it.