[Estimated reading time: 3m34s]

If I had to identify my deepest source of shame, it’d be about something I don’t even think I was ever supposed to have—the ability to create a work of God out of thin air anytime I’d like.

I hear an accusatory voice say to me every day, “If only you had the character you should’ve had by now, God could trust you with (insert your dream here).” It seems the whole issue lies within turning stones into bread—something God created that belongs to everyone into what I create for myself using my God-given gifts.

Something evil happens when you’re guided not by the voice of God, but the amalgamation of what God has told everyone you’ve ever heard testify throughout the course of your life. Truly what will always be the beautiful task of bearing witness to what God has done in one’s life can be stewarded poorly, manipulated by the enemy of my soul to say, “Why hasn’t God done that for you? I’ll tell you why…”

God is the same in any tense—past, present, and future—but the directions he gives and even the mediums by which he gives them are unique and profound and specific. He doesn’t speak to me the way he speaks to you. He speaks Arvin, but he’s also fluent in (your name here).

But God is not a pair of shoes. You don’t get to see him beautifully exhibited in someone else’s life and simply ask them where that came from. The intentional lack of a roadmap has often been twisted in my life to serve as proof that I’m not trustworthy with a roadmap.

He gave (insert your hero’s name here) a roadmap, didn’t he? How come you can’t be trusted with an all-inclusive plan?

The whole thing is false. To even engage in the argument is to become distracted from what’s really going on. I know that. You know that. But I’ve too often spent the first 15-30 minutes of my quiet time apologizing for my inability to conjure up his power on my own without him.

What makes me think that’s what he wants from me?

Someone told me the true definition of witchcraft is “manipulation of deity.” Have I been wasting all this time repenting for my inability to manipulate him?

If I let myself be dramatic, surrendering to the self-pity in hopes that might motivate God to come through, I fashion myself a lover whose candles are lit and house is empty in hopes God will come and create a life with me. Is he still standing at the door and knocking? Why won’t he come in? Perhaps it’s the camera I set up in the corner—uploading live proof that he chose me and my house this time. He waited for Lazarus to die before he showed up. He waited for Jairus’ daughter to die before he showed up. What needs to die here? Could it be the battery in my camera?

If my quarter-century were a painting, the portion of the canvas that would immediately demand your attention is the part where a man escapes persecution with his wife and two kids. The strokes are beautiful and the punch lines exist right in their proper places—underground-hiding and country-jumping until it’s Oklahoma’s turn to tell a story.

And the canvas goes absolutely White—people, politics and lies: Welcome to Your Dream Come True™

Oh, he’s a preacher just like his father.

You should really read his blog.

I heard his book got picked up by a publisher.

and I don’t know how you’d evoke PRESSURE in a painting, but that’d be what you notice next.

Any other career would simply demand you show up and pay attention, right?

How come showing up for this one resembles not showing up at all?

Would this be any different if I were here with a Baal or Dagon?

Of course, the good news is we get to zoom out and realize this is nothing more than a blog post that’ll be utterly forgotten once Our Daily Bread shows up.

Thankfully, these are just the musings that enter a young man’s mind when he silently considers himself important but is still waiting, refusing to pick up any rocks, spears, or nails. The whole thing has me shook.

Did any of our legends or heroes wonder as they diligently sought and waited on God,

“Okay, but what if He doesn’t show up?”

And did that curiosity disqualify them? Did God cancel his RSVP when he found out fear and doubt were invited to the party? These are rhetorical questions, of course, because we all know the right answers.

I’ll move on because there’s simply nothing else to do here. Sadly, getting stuck here seems to be the fate of too many dear ones. Wonderingwonderingwonderingwondering until stones start to soften and you make a bet with yourself that the Greek word for bread is actually “stone.”

These are the nights where it’s almost 100% better to journal than blog, but I’m the one with the camera is the corner, hoping I’ll capture what proves me worthy.

SHOOK, part 2
For Us Dreamers