Monday, October 20, 2008

Frustration's Okay ... for a Purpose!!

I'm sure one of the overriding emotions that frequently comes across from me is "frustration". Frustration with church, with God sometimes, with people. I would freely confess that I am a frustrated individual and the over-riding advice that I have received from church pastors is usually "Get over it" (speaking of that phrase - Pete Day has written an outstanding post on this very subject coming soon on this blog - keep watching!). However that's all changed and I found a fellow kindred spirit in the sermon that Rob Rufus preached; "The Struggle for the Authentic - Part 2". By the way in his next Sunday's sermon, Rob described that message as;

"Probably the most powerful message I have ever preached in my entire ministry".

I've been really enjoying reading Christopher Paolini's latest novel; "Brisingr" and during it the main dragon Saphira has a thought about human beings that is quite profound. She says this;

"Saphira knew it puzzled Eragon why she did not participate more in conversations. Her reasons for silence were simple; save for Arya or Glaedr, she felt most comfortable communicating only with Eragon and in her opinion - most conversations were nothing more than pointless dithering. Whether round-eared, pointed-eared, horned or short, two-legs seemed addicted to dithering ... for her, choices were simple; either there was an action she could take to improve the situationor there was not - and everything else said on the subject was so much meaningless noise".

If many more of us adopted that mind-set then I am sure that many, many meetings could be cut quite short! One of the huge frustrations I had during the days when I sat on the CU Exec at Birmingham University was how issues such as whether we would work with the Catholic Society to do a University Carol Service could occupy so many hours of conversation! So it was an incredible thing to read some of Rob Rufus's comments on frustration in Gideon's life. He said this;

"Frustration is a sign that you have got passion! You can't change anything unless you have got passion! Passion - if it is not fulfilled - results in frustration!"

Rob then went on to speak about the opposite to passion and frustration - passivitity;

"If I meet a person that has never been frustrated then I know that is someone I don't want on my leadership team because they are passive. Frustration is an indicator - it is a measure of where God has called your destiny".

And he ends by saying;

"I would rather have a 100 frustrated Christians who want greatness in their life than a whole bunch of passive, loose-wrist people that are happy with the unacceptable all around them who live their whole lives in smallness".

So - frustrated Christian - take heart! God may be using it to draw us out of our wine-presses of comfort to the destiny that He has planned for us!


jul said...

Wow, so now I can see hope in frustration, any word on confusion yet? haha sometimes living in the new covenant is very perplexing because everything is so different. Every time I run into a situation I haven't yet had to deal with since seeing grace I'm stumped all over again because the old way of coping/surviving doesn't fit or suffice anymore!

lydia joy said...

This was an encouragement to me too! Perhaps it is where I have been of late!! It's like you said awhile back about not being satisfied with where you are at, simply because you know there is so much more, you want to live in your inheritance more and more......Julie, I love how you said exactly what I feel and am experiencing - I love it when you do that!

Chris Welch - 07000INTUNE said...

must download these latest messages. Getting Error 303 messages on your links. Is City Church under attack at the mo?

Great post. Did you ever read Cry of the Human Heart....basically the "Earthing tool", the God Given attractor which yanks God's Kingdom to Earth IS

,,,the deep groaning tool of Romans 8
The Spirit who helps us in our weakness to express the inexpressible...with groans too deep for words.
Leaders who say "shutup" like the priest did to prophet Samuel's mum...are unknowingly trying to silence the very Kingdom prayer Jesus taught us to pray...

"Your Kingdom Come...your will be done on Earth as it is in heaven."

Maybe the truth in the Spirit is this is not a prayerbook prayer as the Catholic and Anglican church have made it...
but more of a decoder of a deep subterranean groan that every believer receives when the Spirit of God comes into him or her.
The job of tradition and religious spirits is to destroy this "Wailing wall" of the believer, and substitute the mouthings of formalism.
Percy Collett describes real prayer that get things happening as "the cry of desperation". It was this cry that got him a 3 day return trip to glory.
Truth is...according to Romans 8, all we're doing is joining the very cry of the whole see the "sons of God come into their own" and set creation free.
This stuff, far from disqualifying you Dan, and others who read here, is why I like hanging out here.

Dan Bowen said...

Yes their website is getting constant attacks from Muslims I believe, so I will check those links and try and make sure they're up to date!

I love what you wrote, Chris about the cry of all creation - its so true. "All creation groans and waits". Awesome!

And girls ... I so love reading your comments and knowing you join me in "reality blogging" of the real sort! I was telling my mum the other day that I've got no intention of trying to resurrect a religious facade over what I write. I just want to be me - struggles, pains, and all - but also victories!

Sheila said...

Dan - I'm thinking of the saying, "You don't *know* victory until you've been in a good fight!" ACK! You're in one, these days, and I look forward to sharing in your victory spoils...your new depths of knowing God and manifesting Christ to me in ways I have not yet seen. You'll do just that, you realize it, don't you??

As one who has struggled, off an on in her adult life, with depression...I pray for you in this season, and think you do well to be transparent in a way that is not overly "all about me". I hear you talking more about Christ, than I hear about your struggles, so I know you are looking at the right things - the things that will tend towards your healing!

Victory is imminent, my friend. Hold the line, and DANCE until it comes to you.

Dan Bowen said...

Awww wow thanks Sheila!! I so love reading and hearing your advice - it's so wonderful and so in a spirit that I can imagine you telling me this over a cup of coffee while I perch on your kitchen chair :-)

I'm glad that you don't think I am "all about me" - would HATE that and trust you guys to point that out ASAP if I ever become tempted to go that way.