Open hands and empty pockets

Last month, I had the opportunity to get out of the hustle & bustle of the city and spend a few days on something called a contemplative monastic retreat. When I first heard about it, I thought I’d be sitting and.. “meditating” (aka for me.. sitting quietly, wondering what to do with myself) for 3 days straight – but it wasn’t that. There were times of teaching, discussion, prayer, and guided solitude. Basically, it was a time to slow down enough to actually deal with the reality that the huge God of the universe was looking right at me. And doing so with love, despite being fully aware of exactly who I am. Overwhelming really. Overall, it was a beautiful time. This blog post (plus a 100 more) will not do justice to how meaningful that time was. (But if you are curious, just reach out to me and let’s talk.)

So yeah, the teacher at the retreat talked about the idea of coming to God with utter honesty about your fears, needs, and all the ways where you are lacking. And in a sense.. being okay with it. Just sit in your emptiness and come to God. It’s an opportunity to trust Him to be enough – it’s an opportunity to express faith in Him.

This led to the thought that actually.. we should be concerned if we think everything’s under control and we think we’re fine. It’s a concerning spot to be in, because it means that we think we don’t need Him. We’ve got this life under control. That somehow, we’ve got this covered!

Yeah, that frightens me. I think if we’re honest with ourselves, we should be able to see how much life… is not in our control at all. It just takes one phone call for our lives to be shook. One doctor’s appointment. You hear some news then BOOM. We’re overwhelmed with just how dependent we really are for there to be a God out there.

This is something I’m learning now. My wife and I are expecting our first child later this year – this awesome baby boy who squirms and kicks most when we’re watching Postseason NBA basketball (that’s my boy!). And man, with this little guy on the way.. the stakes just get so much higher with everything. What do I really have – what can I really do to ensure that this boy enters the world healthy and strong? Read some books? Make sure Hazel doesn’t fall into the temptation of drinking soda or Starbucks? What do I have… really.

So while taking full responsibility as a husband to Hazel & as a future dad, doing all I can.. I still have to be honest: GOD, I NEED YOU! I’ve got nothing. But I’m hanging on to Him. Trusting Him. In reality, He’s all I’ve got. And He’s PLENTY enough. Trust Him with me.

I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. – John 15

Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. – Matthew 5