Chapter #1: Choices

27 06 2007

chasing daylight

“I am convinced that most of us could summarize our lives around five or six defining moments – moments that if we had chosen differently would have radically altered the trajectory of our lives” p. 22

I have only read through the first chapter of “Chasing Daylight” and I have enough to blog on for a month. Each page seems to unlock another insight into seizing each moment of our lives for Christ. God’s using these moments to shape us to be the person that He has called us to be, but are we listening to him? What if God wanted to intersect your life right now and in that moment change the trajectory of your life? What if God wanted to meet you in such a way your life would never be the same again? What if this next moment would change your life forever? If you knew a divine moment was coming, how would you live today? How would you prepare for it?

Looking back, I’ve already seen incredible divine moments in my life. What are some of those defining moments in your life that shaped you to be who you are? After 30 reflective minutes, I boiled it down to six. Each moment dramatically altered the path God had for my life. Each one contained a choice and a challenge to draw closer to God or move further away from Him. And in each one I was stretched me to follow a God who would always be faithful to me.

1. 8th Grade. My appendix burst, I was in isolation in the hospital, the doctors weren’t sure if I was going to make it and my mom asked “if you were to die tonight…you know you would go to heaven, right?” I wasn’t sure, but that night through the words of mom Christ became real to me.

2. New Years Eve, High School. I was feeling down, disappointed, and discouraged about life. I was all alone in the house and cried out to God “Where are you?” Pretty much as a last resort, I began to read the Scriptures for the first time and I came to know this God who was seeking me.

3. The Challenge. The youth director was leaving and challenged all of us at a banquet to “step up, get involved and use your life for God.” Wanting something more than just what this life had to offer, I asked,”God, What do you want me to do?” As a college student, I began volunteering in a high school youth group. I was not that effective in teaching or leading…actually it was pretty laughable. It’s amazing that God even picked me to be on His team. But that one decision led me down a path to seminary and a life of equipping others for God’s mission.

Before I get to 4-6, what events and choices have shaped YOUR life so far? Decisions that altered the direction of your life? I believe for many of us, one of them might just be this moment right now.

Reflect and share a choice or two from your life.

Live the Adventure!

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5 responses

27 06 2007
Macair Gordon

Hi Tim,

This blog is great!! I can’t wait to see what happens with this book. I hope Sandy has some for us to buy, I’ll be the first in line!

This is a really deep question. The most life altering choice that has shpaed my life could be summed up in one sentence. I stopped living my life as a victim! After MANY bible studies God slowly revealed to me how wrong my thinking was. Yes, bad things did happen while I was growing up that were beyond my control. That was the whole problem, I let them control me!

That attitude of playing “poor little me” has dire consequences. It truly keeps you locked in chains in a very black and cold prison cell. The scariest part of all of that was I was able to keep a “happy” face on the outside. Needless to say my biggest struggles have been with my thoughts.

It took God literally taking most of the people I loved out of my life for awhile to get me straightened out. I keep telling Mark he has no idea how much money I have saved him! Talk about some very intense one on one with God. He truly is the best counselor around. With me, he knew I wouldn’t talk to anyone else except him. That even took awhile.

I can tell you the chains fell off with a very loud thud when I finally decided to let God use everything that has happened to me for HIS Glory! FREEDOM AT LAST!!! What a wonderful thing!

27 06 2007
Tim Kade

Macair,
Thanks for being authentic and honest about your struggles. It’s amazing how often we “pretend” everything is fine on the outside, but underneath it all things are a mess. You hit on something that every follower of Christ must go through – letting go of the past and taking responsibility for your future. Lately in my life, I keep going back to the word “surrender.” Surrendering everything to Him. The ways God is working in your is so evident. Thanks for being you.

BTW-we have copies of Chasing Daylight available Sunday.

11 07 2007
Matt Mueller

Greetings All,

I know I’m getting on board kind of late here, but I just got this book yesterday and wanted to add my two cents about the first chapter, Choices.

Looking back there are many moments that have shaped my life up to this point. I feel like I am still striving to know and grow closer to Christ daily, and with every moment I learn more. As a child my family rarely attended church. By the age of 18, I had probably only been in a church 10 times. In elementary school I always seemed to believe that God was there, somewhere. But as I reached middle school and my tumultuous years in high school, I grew to deny God. My life had taken a tailspin because of my dependence on drugs and alcohol.
All of my relationships were based upon getting high and God no longer seemed relevant. I wanted there to be something more, to be some deeper meaning to life, but all I saw around me was sad, hurting people. Chasing highs become my new religion. I rarely contemplated anything beyond my current state of being. Living this way for about five years began to take its toll. Relationships with family and old friends had deteriorated into nonexistence, and even though I was always surrounded by people I began to feel cold and alone.
About this time my sister had a daughter, and I remember holding her in the hospital and thinking how I wish I could start over. How could I have gotten things so wrong in such a short period of time? A few months after my niece was born my sister went back to work, and my beautiful baby niece began to stay at my parents’ house during the day. I began to spend a lot of time with my niece, holding her, playing with her, and laughing with her.
Now that you have the setup needed for my life altering moment, here it is. I was at a Meijer’s one evening with a friend of mine, high as a kite, looking for munchies, when who did see, my brother-in-law and my one-year-old niece. I quickly step into the next aisle as to not be seen. Even though my drug use brought immediate satisfaction, it had begun to become my shame as well. We hurriedly obtained our munchies and sped on to the checkout line, when suddenly I heard it, “UNKA MATT!” It was my niece and she was going bonkers. There no hiding now, I was caught red-handed. I begrudgingly approached my brother-in-law who politely talked to me, but obviously noticed my state-of-mind. My niece was still going bonkers with a huge smile on her face, and continued to yell my name as she left the store.
It was at that moment that I realized I could not and would not let her see me like that again. I quickly went home and spent the next few weeks calling, yelling and crying out to God, to help gather the courage to fight. I confessed to my family, friends, and co-workers anyone who would listen. God sent me people, too many to name, to witness to me and help heal my pain. It was in that moment at Meijer that God used my niece to help get me sober. He used it to strengthen my relationships with my family. He also used it as a starting point to get to know him and his grace.
I look forward to reading the rest of this book. I like the point that McManus continually brings up in this book and in his others, that the path of Christ in not a safe and easy path, but one filled with adventure, hope, and even a little danger to keep things interesting.

13 07 2007
Tim Kade

Matt,
I appreciate your honesty. I’m always amazed at the ways God intercepts out life to gets our attention. And the coolest thing is He forgives us completely, gives us fresh start and moves into a life of following Him. I’ll be praying for your journey through the rest of the book.

2 11 2007
Jodi

Wow Matt…that’s an amazing story of how God transformed your life. Thank you so much for sharing it with all of us. I love that you were able to be so open and honest with us…That means a lot!

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