The last year has been a tremendous journey spiritually. It started last Lent, when I sensed a need to pray. But, like really pray. Intensely. So I did for all of Lent and for a bit after. Long prayers in the morning, using the Anglican lexicon for morning prayer. I think I was hoping for some serious mind blowing GOD showing up and lighting some roman candles. But, the immediate aftermath was more hushed tones than fireworks.

My sense of being “right with GOD” got just a wee bit off balance. My overconfidence led to a rather embarrassing moment at work where I metaphorically stepped on my new boss’s feet by losing my cool with an employee during a staff meeting. That’s the short and sanitized version. Suffice it to say, my boss was none too happy.

It caused a real reflection on the emotional and existential emphasis I placed on my job. Being an American, my identity can be mixed up in my level of education, earnings, job title and type of job. Reflecting on the tensions that built up within me prior to the melt down showed I had way too much of my identity wrapped up in my job. The importance of this has only really recently become clear to me.

We joined a small group at church, my wife and I. There was some trepidation, would this not be a good fit? Would we stick out in the wrong way? None of this has been true, but instead has been a place of much joy and weeping to the LORD. Beyond that, not gonna break the confidence of the group.

Then I started listening to church history lectures found of Covenant Theological Seminary’s website. I finished Ancient Church to right before the Reformation and am almost done with the next semester of Modern Church History, Reformation through now. It has been humbling. The Council of Chalcedon and Christology nearly broke my brain contemplating how the church got to “Fully GOD and yet Fully Man”. So very much has happened to get to where we are now. Which is both part of the journey from the past and yet the current state of things while looking to the future return of our Lord and Savior.

In the process, something inside me broke. But in a good way. My attachment to my country. Don’t get me wrong. I still honor the country of my birth. I will continue to show it devotion. But only that devotion it deserves and is appropriate and no more. Same with my employment, a certain distance emotionally.

I’ve invested more time in the relationships around me. With my wife. With my children. With my small group. With my church. I got busy living.

Soli Deo Gloria

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