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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Trying to get Home.

 As I sit in Eugene, OR I am amazed at the twist and turns my life has taken. It seems like as people we are always trying to find home, even trying to define what "home" is for our situation. I think we all desire home to be a place of rest, a sanctuary, a respet from the outside world, a place we can let our hair down and relax. I have always struggled with that. I am from the South and I know in the South home is defined by family and familiarity. Knowing everyone at the grocery store, seeing old schoolmates at the football game on Friday nights, and Sunday afternoon at the grandparents' home. That just never felt "right" to me, I always felt out of place, I always felt like there was more.....whatever that meant. Don't get me wrong, I love my family and my old friends. Some of the best moments of my life, some the hardest laughs I have laughed, involved my friends and family. They have created memories and shaped my life more than they will ever realize, but......there is always a "but' right. It never felt like home, and that always made me feel weird, out of place. Miranda and I have both struggled with this for years. The desire to do more and see more, but the obligation to be "normal" and happy at "home." Miranda felt called to missions as a teenager, and I felt called to live a life for the Gospel. These callings seemed to be pulling us away from "home", and that created tension and even guilt on our behalf. Leaving friends and family, even for the sake of the Gospel, is hard, scary, and yes even weird in some people's eyes. We always got the old line, "There are plenty of people that need the Lord right here." And we tried for years to quench our calling by serving back home, the desire was never quenched. We always felt weird and out of place, always felt as if there was something lacking. We found out through many years of struggling and heart-ache there was something lacking, trusting in God and being prepared to say, "Yes!" matter how scary. Enter The Crash and Eugene, OR.

A little over two years ago, Quinton Williams, "Q", told about an idea he had to plant churches in a different way. Send groups of people to a town to act a missionaries and plant a church from the organic nature of those people, ministering to those around them on a daily basis. Instead of a husband and wife going at it alone, what if they had help from other like minded people called to a city. Instead of bringing your church from back home to a city what if you CRASHED into the city looked for the heart beat of the city, and found out what the real needs are, and then try to serve those needs. I was in! Well, two years later I was standing in my front yard in Boaz, AL looking at everything I owned packed in to a Uhaul trailer and a minivan.....reality hit like a punch in the face. I was was leaving home, all that I had ever known, everyone that I had built close relationships with, everything that was familiar, everything was in the rear view mirror.

Fear and trembling gripped my entire body, panic overwhelmed me.......I was leaving home!

As I sit 3000 miles away from people that understand my accent, the true importance of Bear Bryant, understand what a grit taste like, the pleasure of REALLY good cornbread, and know why it is life or death and you HAVE to choose Alabama or Auburn, I realize something. I am home.....but yet Eugene is not home. You see I have realized that home is not a place it is a state....a state of living. I have realized that my home involves a bent and broken guy following God no matter where He leads. Screwing up along the way, but saying "yes, I will go", before I know where........."where" is. I have never felt more at home than I do now, WITH my family trying to go and do what God would have us to do. I don't want to paint a Utopian picture, it is hard and we struggle greatly, we screw up all the time. But, even in our failures, even in moments of tears and doubt, something feels right about this. I am not sure how long we will be in Eugene and I am not sure where God will call us next,but I know for my family we will be at home following that call. Do I sometimes long not be asked if I am from Texas, or hear "hey can you say that one more time for my friend" or even not to be asked if we really eat every part of the pig in Alabama.....YES! But, do I feel at home living an adventure chasing after God, YES! So, don't let your fears hold you back from chasing God. Are you worthy enough to chase God and tell others about Him....NO! But here is a secret I heard one time, "All pastors fall into one of two categories, 1) Unworthy, 2) Dead."