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Monthly Archives: September 2011

Up We Go

It’s interesting that you wonder in your blog if you’ve “peaked”. i believe that in your life when you arrive at a peak, you will look off into the distance for the next peak and set out for that one. i think that for people who have your kind of faith, that is the only scenario.

That was a quote out of an email I received from an old friend and blog-reader just yesterday. Since I read it, I can’t stop thinking about it. It was such a simple, yet wonderful visual for me. I honestly hadn’t thought of things like that before, but suddenly I saw myself standing on the top of a huge mountain, with a sense of accomplishment, like, “OK, I conquered this…what’s next?” Then looking ahead and seeing a mountain just as large, ready for me to challenge.

The cool thing about being on a mountain-peak, I can see all around me; ahead of me, beneath me, behind me. And the mountain ahead of me isn’t any less beautiful than the once I’m standing on, or the one behind me. Even the ground is appealing and beautiful. And yet the path down the mountain, across the way, and up to the next peak is still mostly invisible from this view.

As I envisioned all of this, I was reminded that we all need to come off the mountaintop at some point. We can’t jump from one peak to the next; we’ll never make it. We have to go back down, and move forward until we get to the place we start the next climb.

All this talk about mountains and reaching the top, I feel the need to share another, more important metaphor. But watch out, this one might offend you.

If we’re honest with ourselves, we would say that we’re all trying to reach the top of one mountain or another, and what it all boils down to is us trying to find the meaning and purpose in our life. We climb the mountain of success because we think if we reach the top we’ll feel empowered. We take the trek up mountains of love because we think if we find “The One” we’ll be complete. We reach for fame, money, recognition, peace, power, enlightenment, Nirvana…fill in the blank. The thing is, those mountains are all illusions. We get to the top and realize we’ve spent all that time climbing an anthill, and we feel no more purpose, hope or wellbeing than we did before we ever started.

I may be young, but I know this for certain: there is nothing that we could attain, in all of life, that will compare to a place in God’s presence. And if we are narcissistic enough to think that we could attain/earn a place in God’s presence on our own, we’re out of our mind. The most humbling, and most freeing thing in all of history, is that The God of Creation would reach down the mountain, and pull us up to where He is, through His son Jesus Christ. Nothing else in life promises that. The very thing we need in order to be near Him; in order to know God, is Him. It doesn’t get any simpler than that.

If we want to break the analogy down all the way to literal mountain climbing, one might argue that you can climb a mountain on your own, and you can reach the top through your own hard work and discipline…That too is a deception. As you are climbing that mountain, you are not the one commanding your heart to keep beating at the proper rate. You do not cause your lungs to inhale and exhale. You, my friend, are not even telling your legs and your arms to pull you up.

Perhaps you are a person who would say that there are several paths up the same mountain that reaches the same god. But that’s like saying there are other ways to get to Jupiter aside from using a space-shuttle. It simply isn’t true.

Max Lucado put it this way, (I’m paraphrasing here) Let’s say God told us the only thing we had to do in order to get into heaven (or be in His presence) was to jump to the moon. Now, I might jump higher than my 5 year old cousin, and Michael Jordan might jump higher than me (he would too I’m really short) but compared to the distance we all need to go…none of us are gonna make it.

If you get nothing else out of this entire post, (or anything else I ever write) take this: The God of the universe has had His hand extended to you since you drew your first breath, in an invitation to experience a life you could never imagine on your own. Take it. It’s free.

If you don’t know Him; if you don’t even know whether He exists…ask Him. Ask Him to reveal Himself. This could be your first step up the highest mountain you’ve ever seen.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on September 23, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

I’ll tell you what I DO know.

Last time I posted something I was sharing how I had no idea of what I’m doing next in my life. I have a lot of ambitions; a lot of big goals/dreams…but I’m not sure which of them I’m supposed to pursue.

Two months later…I’m still in pretty much the same place. I made it out of MN in one piece, (though the travel plans changed about 10 times) and safely to my mom’s house in MT, but now I’m in this sort of limbo. I’ve never lived with my family in MT (they moved while I was away with CTI) and I can’t afford to live in CA anymore (which stinks because I love CA) so I still feel a bit like I’m living with a host family. My stuff is still mostly packed in boxes and suitcases, and I am switching back and forth between rooms, depending on which sisters are home from school. I certainly don’t feel settled yet, but I’m hoping that will change soon. I’m working on it!

I’ll tell you what I DO know though:

  • I know the Lord has given me this time to rest and reflect on all that He has done in me the past several years.
  • I know He’s calling me to wait on Him and trust in HIS timing; not the world’s timing, or my own timing.
  • I know that, even though I’m “doing nothing” (so it feels) He is continuing to teach me more about His character, and showing me more of who I’m meant to be in Him.
  • I also know that, while I don’t know what I’m going to do for a “career,” I need to get a job for the time being. And while I do that…I think I’m supposed to start writing.

Now, this writing thing, it really scares me, because I’ve been feeling like that’s something God may be asking me to do, but I have no idea what to say. I don’t know what I’m writing for, or what length. So, at the counsel of one of my dear friends, Miss Margaret, back in Willmar, I decided to start small and see what God does with my tiny step of faith.

My thinking is to just start by sharing my story in a short article; sharing how God has moved in my life, in and through me having Cystic Fibrosis….

And that’s as far as I’ve gotten. I have no idea what I’m supposed to do once I’ve finished writing it, but I’m trying not to worry about that just yet.
So that’s what’s going on in the life of The Gretch, but I also wanted to take this opportunity to give one last thank you for all my supporters who have given of their time, prayer and finances in order to support the past season of my life.

To all of you: THANK YOU!
For those of you who were planning on giving this year but have not yet, there is still a need for you. I do still have about $1,000 to finish up my fundraising with CTI (which is incredible I think, to only have that much left, considering in the past 7 years I have had to raise a total of  $32,000! The Lord is so faithful!). If you are a monthly supporter, know that I am officially finished with CTI and that you can cancel your monthly support checks if you have not already.
Thank you. Thank you. THANK YOU!

I have said this many times before, but I wish I could articulate to you just how much you have blessed my life simply because of your willingness to give.

I will try to keep everyone posted on my life as I know more.If you would like to know specific ways that you could be praying for me, here are a few:

 

  • My health. The rest I’m getting is good, but I’m certainly not where I should be. My health took a huge loss from all the traveling and such the past few years.
  • A place to live. I decided to look at Spokane Valley, WA. I’m really excited about this because I like the area and I know some people there. Bonus: It’s close enough to see my mom/sisters in a short drive.
  • The fire in my heart. I don’t want my passions to fade just because I’m not living the life I’ve become accustomed to living. I want to seek out new opportunities to serve and grow in the Lord. And I REALLY want to continue doing music!

Well, that is all for now.
Until next time…
G.

*If you would like to make a final donation to my CTI account you can do so by clicking here: ctimusic.org. Or sending a check with my name in the memo to PO Box 100, Willmar, MN 56201.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on September 12, 2011 in Uncategorized