The Casting Dock

faith&life&me and lots of thoughts.

Thinking through life. Thinking through myself.

So many thoughts swirling around. That seems to be a trait of mine–all this thought swirling. Jerry often tells me that I just need to turn my brain off.  I’m sure he’s right. He usually is. But it’s just a huge part of how I’m wired. I need to mentally process and prepare for things.

And then I usually end up daydreaming into the future. It’s helpful and hurtful. Sometimes it inhibits me from being truly present in the moment and appreciating the day that I have before me.

Nevertheless, I spend a lot of time thinking.

I often wonder how my faith, my relationship with Jesus, really influences my daily life. I wonder how it should be influencing it. I don’t know many things for sure, but I know that Jesus is alive and active in this world. We live in a world where experience is considered a strong indicator of truth or reality and Bible aside, history aside, my personal experience is undeniable. I have seen this thread of protection and provision woven throughout my life in various ways and there are these supernatural spike moments where something crazy, out of this world happens. Either to me or someone I know. And in my core I just can’t deny that. Regardless of all the questions and the skepticism, at times, I just can’t deny that. I’ve seen it with my own eyes.

But the challenge comes in knowing what to really do with that on a daily basis.

In the mundane.

I don’t feel called to a life of usual church “ministry” either here in the States or abroad and I know I am not wired to be a particularly vocal “evangelist” in the typical sense of the word, telling people at the grocery store about Jesus. I’ve struggled with that one for a long time and felt self-conscious and like an inferior Christian at times because of it, but it’s just not me.

The sermon at my church a couple weeks ago was about evangelism and how it can take different forms. I appreciated it for many reasons, but especially because it spoke to people like me, people who believe that relationship should be the catalyst for building trust and showing someone the importance and need for faith. My own personal actions, my consistency, my loyalty, my hope should speak louder than words. Over the long haul. My pastor called this “relational evangelism.” That makes sense to me. It jives with who I am.

The challenge for me comes in knowing when in that relationship to be more vocal, to show a little boldness. I definitely still have some timidity in that regard, some embarrassment even. And that’s not good. Personality aside, that’s just not good. For me it’s not so much the action of whether or not I am actively talking about Jesus–to the person at the bank or a longtime friend–but the reason behind it. And right now I know that I often don’t bring it up because of this insecurity, this fear or timidity or shame.

It’s just not good.

And it makes no sense, really.

If I believe in the power, awe, and life-giving nature of Jesus (which I really do!) and if I care about these people with whom I am building relationships (which I really do!), then why am I so hesitant to share? And why is my daily life not oriented more in that direction? And I suppose, more importantly, what would it even look like for my daily life to be oriented that way, to be seen and lived through this lens of the power of Jesus and the centrality of faith when I am never going to be a super outspoken evangelist outside of a relationship with someone? I know it’s about being loyal and being consistent and building trust, but I feel like there is more that I am missing. I feel sometimes a little aimless in my daily life these days. Like, what am I even doing aimless. Yeah, I work and save money and spend time with friends and take care of daily life tasks, but what am I doing with any eternal purpose?

I guess what I want is to find this (elusive) balance between being content in who I am as a non-traditional-not-gonna-be-preaching-it-from-the-street-corner-evangelist and yet knowing when and how to challenge myself and step out in boldness and faith. If I believe that this faith thing is the most important, only eternal element of this current life, it should be impacting my daily life in much more tangible ways. It should be coloring my daily life and daily decisions more than it currently is.

I’m just not really sure what that looks like for me.

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4 comments

1 Steph { 03.17.12 at 9:37 pm }

I think men have a special ability to turn their brain off. I for one, *don’t* have that gift.

For whatever its worth, here are my thoughts
1. There are so many ways you reflect Jesus in how you live and how you love people.
2. I wouldn’t worry about. I think it’s a by-product of growing up in an evangelical world…it makes you always anxious and always guilty about not talking about Jesus…I just somehow don’t think it’s a good thing.
3. This book: ‘Speaking of Jesus’ by my man Carl Medearis was really helpful to me.

2 Mama Logan { 03.20.12 at 7:02 am }

When you first stated that Jerry tells you to turn off your brain, I thought – “WOW! That’s what his dad tells me all the time.” (I agree with Steph on this one!) Then I read your thoughts and felt – “Please don’t turn that brain off.” Those thoughts stated my own feelings so very clearly. It was like “getting it on paper” for myself. SOOO keep that brain going! The answers will come BECAUSE “Jesus is alive and active in this world.” Love you!

3 Lisa { 03.20.12 at 7:44 am }

Steph, I may have to take you up on the book recommendation…and I appreciated your thoughts. They brought a nice sense of ease like I just need to chill a little.

Mama Logan, glad to hear I am not the only one and thanks for the encouragement to keep that brain going…at least one Logan appreciates the trait! :)

4 Erica { 03.20.12 at 8:36 pm }

So glad I decided to check your blog. I like getting a glimpse of your thoughts!
The pics made me happy…. Dash and christen’s face are priceless during “tremendo” game! Thursday we can teach the game to the rest of the world…. You have full permission and I encourage you teach it too;) so it’s easier for us. Love!

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