sometimes Jesus is too much to handle. i have multiple stories and prayers intertwining and beginning to make sense, but i just can't fully get it. here's where it begins:
i've never been a good driver, i'm a bit of a goof... the kind of guy that needs things done for him. for instance: my best friend also chooses my clothing, and makes sure i know where to go and when. i'll come up with my own way of doing things, that requires a lot of extra effort, and generally is counterproductive, and i can't be left alone with shiny things or else i may laugh for a while. and i get lost really easily, and can't drive without praying... or else i go in ditches. Jesus has made me need him directly... i feel sort of like peter sometimes - you know, kind of the hapless hero, bigtime screwup type? God's always made a habit of using those types. anyway i wrecked my transmission because i screwed up with the transmission fluid before i left for camp.
i got back, my car still wasn't ready. i was desperate for wheels, but i didn't have any, so i stayed home and went stir crazy. in my prayer time i asked God to get me back my car so that i could go back to my 'ministry'. and the words "minister to your family" rang really loudly in my head - louder than any thoughts.
now i've never been 'tight' with my family... in fact very much the opposite. we in the past have fought very intensely with each other - recently it's been better, but still never 'great'.
so like jonah, i did the cowardly thing and ignored it. (stupid...) anyway, each day i ignored it we'd get a phone call "you're car isn't ready, the part isn't in" or "it's ready!" then it won't move for us... it happened a few times before i realized that my house was the fishes stomach, and that i needed to take action... so i prayed "God help me to minister to my family, i'm scared, i need you to give me the opportunity" and that was it, i didn't actually do anything physically, just prayed and trusted something would happen... my car came back, and i went about my 'ministry'... not to my family.
i started working at the freeway, a fantastic coffee house / christian community / salvation army church (by sunday night). it has become a home to me. the pastors are very welcoming, cool, and challenging. i like it.
i have a brother (in Christ) that has not been talking to me lately. it was hard because he was talking to me a lot before the school year began. i wasn't able to get ahold of him. i prayed we would get back in touch. last night we made plans to hang out this friday. big answer to prayer, sweet.
saturday night i realized that i have a very large ego these days, and that in the past week i've become pretty apathetic as opposed to the way i usually am. i prayed that God would make me uncomfortable and broken.
sunday i went to junior high in oakville, worked (by work i mean play) there, and then went for a coffee - meanwhile my grandparents spontaneously showed up to celebrate my birthday - a month in advance, though i wasn't there.
my grandparents gave me an ipod accesory thingy (still figuring it out...) and 200 dollars - which overwhelmed me. my grandma said as she wrapped my present she felt the spirit calling her to put it in there, and as she said that she was crying.
i haven't been able to spend that money.
monday i got my car back from another fixing - we got it back the same day - and went to the freeway to pick up a shift. the new pastor was in there - jordan - he was having an intense looking cup of coffee with a man there. after which we got to talking. he challenged me and made me think about my motives, intentions, and comfortability. needless to say, he made me uncomfortable, and then later that night, a conversation with my dad broke me. yay Jesus! prayer answered.
today i made plans to hang with some of my old small group after - awesomest kids on the face of the planet - after senior high, i'd had a good day with tips and wanted to spend the money.
i approached darin and asked him for some prayer. so we went and prayed. i had him pray that i would take from the conversation with jordan what i was supposed to, and learn what i need to learn. i also asked for him to pray that my guys and me would get closer with each other, get closer to God through our experiences together, and the laughs we share, and that we would all get home safely.
we went out, bought three tubs of ice cream for the three of us, and then picked up the pizza and sat in the middle of the parking lot eating, and eating... and eating. then we packed up, and headed home. on the way we turned on to a windy road. it was raining, and very steep and hilly. going down a hill i pressed the brake pedal and my car started skidding, i steered harshly and slammed into a sign and recovered, my wheels way out of line.
needless to say, my guys were shaken very much, and very scared. they thought they were going to die. i continued down the road at about 10 km/h. i told them about darin praying for us to be safe. they now love him.
we arrived at their houses, and prayed together, thanking God for keeping us safe, and they also prayed that i would get home safely. i love those guys sooo much, they are brothers. they said that it was the best night of their lives, flattering, and that we should do it again next week, minus the scary driving stuff.
there is a prayer answered - crazily.
my car is going to canadian tire in five hours to get checked out. it can't drive well, and i had to be picked up by my father. it wasn't a fun conversation explaining that another car is in need of repair. this is my third car accident. the first two wrecked the cars completely - that is why i pray before driving... and maybe because i love the guy i'm talking to.
i talked to my mom on the phone, she assured me that my dad wasn't upset, just tense. so when he got there i had already talked to darin and told him what happened. i asked my dad to pray with me. we prayed for safe driving home. then i realized i had an opportunity to minister to and for my family. when i got home we prayed together about finances, life, and the car and read psalm 42/43. check! prayer answered
and it's now looking like i'll be needing that 200 dollars to get my car back.
yeah, Jesus really isn't very straightforward, but times like these help me realize, even when we don't see directly what is going on, that it doesn't mean it isn't happening. it's just very subtle.
i like the adventure and mystery of loving Jesus.