In high school and university, I swam competitively. I wish I could say that I was Olympic caliber, but I was far from it! I was OK for competitive swimming. The most nerve-wracking part of swim team was tryouts. Because I wasn’t at the top of the roster, it was never a sure thing I’d make the team. It was hard to know if I’d trained hard enough and gotten my times down enough to make the cut.
If you’ve been in church for an extended period of time, you’ve heard about “stepping out in faith.” What is meant by that phrase is that you do something you think God is asking you to do even though you’re not sure of the outcome. Challenges are made to dream “God dreams” as if God dreams are always meant to make you outwardly successful. You’re told to pray to be put in situations that are impossible where only God can take the credit for you surfacing on the other side. So, like a good, driven Christian, I did just that. What people don’t tell you is that when God answers prayers to grow your character, increase your faith, teach you dependence on him and to strip things that get in the way of trusting him completely, it’s harder and more challenging than you could imagine! Even worse, God’s timeline doesn’t match up with yours, and his idea of results don’t necessarily benefit you directly! What’s up with that? (I’m only being slightly facetious.)
As I was driving through the Utah Salt Flats (see notes below for Tuesday) wondering what in the world we were doing leaving a great job for complete uncertainty, following a calling based on what those outside of church would attribute to us hearing voices, I began to have those same feelings I did back when I would be at swim team tryouts. Will I be able to make the cut? Do I have enough faith to see this through? What if we are missing something? Am I going to fail God, myself, my family, those friends who are cheering me on? Or am I in WAY over my head destined to get one of those horrible calf cramps halfway down the lane on the final pool length of the race?
“My plans are much bigger than yours. Just trust me.”
That’s what I heard while I was obsessing about my insecurities and uncertainties. I wish I could say that I was flooded with joy at that moment. I wish that I could say I was infused with great faith and an assurance that everything was going to work out. I wasn’t. What happened was a reminder that without uncertainty and doubt, there would be no need for faith. I was reminded that I’m not the one in control. I needed to, once again, surrender my desire for certainty and control and notoriety. This is going to be a lot harder than I thought…
“Please sir, please eat me. You’re so beautiful – I’d rather be eaten by you than fed by anyone else.” -Hwin to Aslan in Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis (HT:Alan Hirsch)
June 28, 2010 – Monday
We got up and out pretty quickly from Rawlins. Today was one of the shortest days of driving, and we were looking forward to getting to our hotel with time to relax a bit and swim in the pool!
By the time we got to our hotel, it was time for dinner. We ordered Papa John’s, which is one of our favorite pizza delivery places! It was nice to arrive with time to kick back. After downing the pizza, I took the kids to the pool giving Erin some much needed alone time.
June 29, 2010 – Tuesday
Today, we drove from Salt Lake City, UT to Fernley, NV just outside of Reno. Let me just say that there is NOTHING in Utah or Nevada except salt and barrenness! I never imagined that a drive could be so boring! I kept thinking about all those poor pioneers who headed out west in covered wagons crossing this terrain. I think I’d have gone insane. One highlight of this leg of the trip, though, was eating at a hole-in-the-wall Mexican place… mmmm! Tomorrow is our last leg of the trip and is only 3.5 hours! California, here we come!