Thursday, April 02, 2009

Lost it


My spiritual director looked at me and stated quite emphatically-

“You’ve lost your inner authority. You’ve got to get it back.”


That wasn’t fun.

But it was honest and raw. He didn’t mean that I had lost my faith. He was telling me that I was operating in reaction to whatever was happening around me and not with a God-purposed response.

He’s right.

There’s a difference between a reaction and a response. It’s easy to be directed by circumstance. It’s an entirely different thing to be directed by values and principles and a divinely inspired sense of purpose and vision.

A friend told me today that entropy is the process where things move from order to disorder. Order has to be something intentionally embraced and cared for. Otherwise the natural tendency is to move towards reactive, disordered responses.

My spiritual director was basically telling me that I’m in an entropic, downward spiral. It shows up as disorder in a person’s life. And no matter how hard we try to mask it others begin to notice. More importantly God notices it. And he says through good people, “You’re losing your inner authority.”

That’s something that’s getting my attention. Big time. I've learned to pay attention to someone else's wisdom.

My sin is that I don’t live into my potential as often as I could. Don’t defend me. There’s a truth to that. I’m working on it but when I replace my ‘inner authority’ (the compass of God) with reactive tendencies I don’t come close to my potential. And it’s noticeable. Predictable, destructive patterns emerge.

My spiritual director asked me to do something spiritually significant (a discipline)to both get my attention and fess up to God. This entry is part of that process. Not the whole of it, just part. I confess I’ve lost something of my ‘inner authority’. I want it back.

But I’m learning something more. I'm going to have to take a step of faith. In all honesty, that might be one doozy of a step into the unknown, into a more radical trust. I'm not even sure what that means exactly. It's both scary and invigorating.

I'm motivated. You see, I need to regain my voice and self-confidence. Reclaim who I am in Christ. This is what we call a ‘kairos’ moment...a moment in time when one sees the possibilities of and enters into a God designed life-change.

As esoteric as all this sounds, there’s some big truths that are coming to the forefront. Things like: Don’t live reactively. Tap into this Christ of history and faith who lives in and through you. Embrace His authority and guidance to give your life an ‘inner resolve’. Use your gifts and talents to give voice to those things that move the heart of God. Step out.

My spiritual director was telling me. "You’ve been in a better place. You don’t serve anyone well when you go small. Recapture the fire. Live into the possibilities God has set before you. Go for it."

God’s using my spiritual director to get my attention.

As a teacher and writer I know that God uses the ordinary stuff of life to talk to us in redemptive ways. Sometimes it's people directly speaking into our lives. Sometimes it's what someone writes or how they treat you.

Maybe God is using these words to get your attention. Maybe one of you needs to recapture his/her ‘inner authority’.

So, what will you do? Do you listen to the voice of God that’s whispering in your ear? Will you seek Him with all of your heart, mind, soul, and strength? Or will you follow the track that’s getting you lost and putting your heart in jeopardy?

Of course, those are the questions I’m asking myself. And I am listening. I will seek Him. I want my heart to be healthy, my responses Godly, my intent to be purposeful.

Hold me accountable to all this, huh?

4 comments:

Cynthia Rosati said...

This is an incredible post of honesty and enlightment. I think this is a wonderful example of true friendship. With others, God, and yourself. Bringing one back to one's soul....beautiful!
I think this would be a fantastic topic for Higher Ground. It is only when we know our true soul, that we can be one in God. It takes work, care, and constant renewal. One of my favorite books is,Care of the Soul. For us to have a full life to share with others, it is mandatory we care for our soul. The book shares the thought that we need to cultivate depth and sacredness in everyday life. I for one would like to meet a spiritual director,and hear them share their knowledge.

Mike said...

Thanks Cynthia. Let's talk about this when we see each other again. Maybe Monday night.

Ryan Karpeles said...

Thanks for sharing Mike. There is a line that has stuck with me in moments similar to these:

"Christ is always holding onto you tighter than you are holding onto Him."

Will be praying for you.

Mike said...

Blessings to you Ryan. Looking forward to seeing what God does with you and Taylor ...he's got something good planned for the two of you.