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Tulsa Workshop: Thoughts from a Plane

April 10, 2013

jetplaneThe following was written from the plane as I traveled home from the Tulsa Workshop.

I find myself thinking. Thinking about who I am, where I am going, what God has called me to do.

Called to Delta, Colorado. Sounds funny. When people here I’m from Colorado they talk about the mountains. They almost always tell me about their favorite spots. Then they ask me about Delta. Where is Delta in proximity to all of the really cool places in Colorado. Not very close.

Someone asked me at the Workshop if I skied. I told them I have not skied since moving to Colorado. They were shocked. I mean why live in Colorado if you aren’t going to ski. With the force of his conviction I am starting to wonder.

No, when I told friends we were moving to Delta, Colorado a few years ago they all wanted to come and visit. They all told me they were planning a trip. I had lived near Tulsa, Oklahoma and never had one friend threaten to visit. Grandparents, cousins, brothers and sisters, without question, they came but it wasn’t to see me. Others? I can’t recall any of them saying hey Darin we are coming to Owasso to visit.

But when I told them Colorado it was different. Until I explained where Delta was on a map. The tune changed. The plans wavered. Schedules became booked. Don’t worry friends. I don’t hold a grudge. I’m not bothered. You see Delta, Colorado is on the other side of the mountain. The uncool part of Colorado. The part not close to Pikes Peak or Estes Park or, well I think you get the picture. Close to nothing, well Utah but unless you are a Mormon that doesn’t count. Just kidding, well, no, not really, no I guess I really am kidding but unless you really drive into Utah there isn’t a lot happening either.

I am going back to Delta, Colorado. I have a late flight because I have trouble telling the difference between a.m. and p.m. when booking tickets. And I have trouble really looking at my reservations until the day I am supposed to be at the airport.

So I look at the email confirmation in the morning and have to text my wife from Denver to let her know I made a small miscalculation about my return trip. Not going to be there around lunchtime, more like bedtime, well, more like after bedtime.

But this does give you time to think. Time to think about what you have just experienced. Time to think about what God has to say about what you experienced. So as I type here thousands of feet in the air, I wasn’t paying attention when the pilot gave the exact number, I think. I look down and am almost sure I am over Kansas, the state I grew up in. The place so many years ago where God got ahold of me and, because he is God, vowed to never let me go.

Do you remember career days and school counselors growing up? When they tried to help you figure out what you were going to be when you grow up. It hits me as I fly the friendly skies as the warm light of the iPad fills my seat, that the entire process was a total waste of time. Maybe that is what I am thinking. How bogus. I wanted to be a D.J. and I still remember Mr. Blide telling me those guys don’t make much money. Was that his name, Mr. Blide. Probably not but I can picture his face and he had a son that was a year behind me in school and he beat me out for the starting guard position on our J.V. team and if he hadn’t I’m almost sure I would have played professional basketball somewhere, well that is if I didn’t just have a left hand. Sorry, I digress.

I think I am finally in a place where I understand you don’t grow up. It is a myth. A myth created by someone who didn’t want to see us reach our full potential. Didn’t want us to live free. Didn’t want us to have faith like a child. Someone who wanted to cage us right out of the gate. Career day. School counselors who tell you D.J.’s don’t get paid. Who tell you to stop dreaming. Conform. Follow the rules. Figure them out and follow them. Don’t push. Get paid. Stop believing.

I am flying back to Delta, Colorado because I haven’t grown up. Because I don’t want to grow up. I never want to grow up and no I’m not a Toys-r-us kid. No, I am a child of the King. A part of a kingdom that will never end. Yes, one who has to make a living, but still. One who has been set free.

I live in a town that no one will probably ever visit but it is where God called me. How do I know this? Well someone told me. They really did. after I accepted the position and moved out to Delta, Colorado a lady in my new congregation told me that God had told her two years earlier that at some point I would minister here. Wow. In a Church of Christ. I wasn’t even working or thinking of going to a Church of Christ then. What was she thinking? Listening for the Holy Spirit? She is going to get a reputation. The thing is one of the members of the fellowship I used to work with received a similar word. No, not that I was going to Delta, Colorado but that I was going. That God let her know I would soon be moving. I remember the day I went to inform her of our decision to leave. She was a very dear sister in Christ to me. She has a great heart for God. I was going to miss her. Miss her spirit, her heart, her love for others. Some of my best stories of God working at that church have her name connected. I was worried. I loved her and didn’t want her to be hurt. I can still see the meeting in her living room. She shrugged her shoulders and let me know God already revealed that to her. How I wish we were charismatic so that this would all make sense. That is a joke.

So I fly back to Delta, Colorado. I am excited. I want to hit the ground running. What did I get from the Tulsa Workshop? There is no better time to be a member of the Church of Christ. All of the poor mouthing, finger pointing, and blame gaming are over. We are going to take the fresh wind of the Holy Spirit and not look back.

We are going to stop looking over our shoulder and worrying about what anyone thinks. Okay, I’m going to stop doing that. A lot of people are already there and the ones that are are seeing God move in powerful ways. It is time for everyone else to get on board. That is what has hit me as I fly, a little turbulence, U2 “In God’s Country” just came on my iPhone….not a bad moment to hit that tune….. not a bad moment to be alive. Not a bad moment to say I’m not going to grow up anytime soon…

God bless.

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