Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Black Jack: Quitting and Splitting (5/17/2012 - Transferred Archive)

Top of Mount Evans in Colorado
On December 31st, 2009, my wife and I believe that God wants me to be done playing blackjack.  It came as a shock at first.  We thought I'd be playing blackjack for years to come.  When we prayed about what I was to do next, we sensed that he was leading me to record and perform music.  So, I began applying for music positions in various churches all over the US.  I just assumed that I should be looking for a job involving music - although, he ever said I'd find one. I'd  received many responses over the following month, from various parts of the country.  I had a couple of "first tier" interviews.  A Skype interview, and a phone interview.  Eventually, a church planter in Evergreen, CO who had responded to my application with some email questions, flew me out for a face to face interview.  It seemed like a great fit, for both the planter and myself.  He seemed like the type of guy that I would really enjoy working with, and his vision seemed to make sense to me.  But, I got an email from him, stating that it wasn't in the stars.  The Planter  felt as though the Spirit was telling him that I was not the one to be hired, even though we liked each other, and he liked the music I had written and played.  He later asked me to consider being a pastor of discipleship.  Although, we both knew that it would be some time before the plant would be ready to hire someone for that position.

Even before I had even flown out for the interview, I found myself drawn to Evergreen.  I was almost obsessed with the place.  What bothered me about the obsession,  is that I didn't seem to have any particular reason to be drawn there.  As I looked at pictures of the town, browsed web pages, and read stats on Wiki, there was nothing that stuck out to me as amazing or even very unusual.  But for whatever reason, the whole idea just seemed like it was so amazing.  Not just the idea of moving, but moving specifically to Evergreen.  A week later my wife told me that she was obsessed with the idea of moving to Evergreen as well.  I confessed my O.C.D thoughts back to her.  Does God really determine the times and places that men should live?  If so, he must turn our hearts whichever way he wishes.  Was this a "calling" to move, in which case it didn't have to "make sense", or even come in a vision or dream or audible voice? 

We'd told some friends of ours about our obsession, and they decided to browse about the web for morsels of Evergreen as well.  They were, and still are friends who seem to have many of the same ideas about the church and about how to approach life.  We'd been spending lots of time praying and hanging out with each other over about ten months leading up to the obsession.  

When I didn't get the job, my wife and I figured that Evergreen had just wormed it's way into our heads because of the job opportunity.  So, we tried to dismiss the whole notion of moving to a place that didn't make financial sense.  We told our friends that we were probably not going.  But, apparently, they'd begun their own obsession.  We wished them well, but didn't see ourselves moving to a city with no job, while not knowing anyone, and meanwhile, having no apparent *reason* to move at all!

A couple of weeks later, our friends came over for dinner and told us that they were definitely moving to Evergreen.  They were done wrestling with the thought, and their minds were made up. Crazy!  They just knew that God was asking them to make the move.  We weren't considering it anymore, but we'd been having that feeling that we were going to move somewhere.  And, even though we were still plagued by thoughts of moving to Evergreen, we tried to squelch all thoughts of it.  

After a few weeks of praying and thinking, my wife and I realized that God was asking us to move to Evergreen too and that our struggle with the notion was just trying to "make sense of it."  Because we didn't have any other reason to move, we'd been fighting it.  But, deep down,  we knew that it was going to happen.  So, we had double-family garage sales for a couple of weekends, and sold almost all of our stuff.  The rest is history.

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