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Just let go

April 10, 2014 Leave a comment

There’s a great scene in Fight Club where Tyler Durden tries to convince the narrator to “just let go” and give up the control he thinks he has over his life. It is a powerful scene that encapsulates many of the themes of the film (and Chuck Palahniuk’s brilliant novel), but what always stood out the most for me is this: People spend much of their lives trying to control the things that happen in their life, when in reality we have little control. By shattering that illusion of control, Tyler leads the narrator on a path toward self-actualization.

Control is a difficult thing to relinquish. We all want to feel like we’re in control. We can take care of ourselves. We have our own plans. Put your best foot forward and you’ll get the job, the girl will like you. Work hard and you’ll be successful, respected. Eat right and exercise and you’ll be in good health. When that illusion of control is shattered like the windshield of Tyler’s car, it’s a traumatic experience, not necessarily as violent but always painful.

There have been times where I have felt close to God, as though I am walking lock-step in the path He has laid out for me. There are times when I feel as though I am all alone and my unheard prayers and cries are echoing off the bare walls of my bedroom. This is the latter. It’s easy in such times to ask “where is God” or “doesn’t He care?” Recently, however, it occurred to me that maybe times like these happen because he cares. Maybe it’s his way of saying “Jeremy, just let go.”

The more we rely on ourselves, the more we try to maintain control, the less we rely on God. Maybe sometimes God takes something from you to show you that it wasn’t what you need, that your heart and your mind are focused on the wrong thing. I have a hard time letting go. I have my own hopes, dreams, and desires. I have my own plan for my life. I have my own ideas of what it means to be successful and secure. And no matter how much time I spend trying to convince God that my plans are the best — and believe me, I have spent a lot of time doing exactly that — I know that God’s plan is likely very different. Read more…

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How Isaac Hunter Changed My Life

December 14, 2013 5 comments
Isaac Hunter: 1977-2013

Isaac Hunter: 1977-2013

At this morning’s memorial service, friends and family of the late Isaac Hunter shared how Isaac impacted their lives and how he will be remembered. It was a touching tribute for a man who achieved so much and fell so far in such a short time. One thing that was quite clear is that Isaac had a profound impact on the lives of many, likely in more ways than he ever realized. I wanted to share my story as a slightly different example — of how Isaac forever changed the life of someone he didn’t even really know.

For those who don’t know, Isaac Hunter passed away on Tuesday of an apparent suicide, approximately one year after his struggles with sin caused him to resign as Senior Pastor of my church home, Summit Church. I say church home for a reason. I had attended a few churches before Summit, but only as a visitor on Sundays, where I would sing songs and listen to a sermon before going about the rest of my week. Summit is the first church that became my home: a community I would serve with, fellowship with, laugh with, and grieve with. Isaac’s vision (“relationships matter”) made that possible.

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What makes you happy?

August 19, 2013 Leave a comment

Stuart-SmalleyEvery day when I come home from work, my dog greets me wagging her tail, excitedly jumping around and hoping I don’t notice that she pulled my (insert object of the day here) off the counter and chewed it into pieces. Just once, I wish I could be that happy. I wish anything made me as happy as my dog gets by getting to sniff some grass. Could anyone be that happy? Is it even possible?

Throughout most of my life, I’ve thought of happiness — true happiness — to be kind of like a fancy Porsche: I recognize its awesomeness when I see it, but realize I could never have it myself. But maybe I was looking at happiness the wrong way. Maybe it’s more obtainable; I just have to know where to look. Read more…