Monday, April 16, 2007

letting go

There is a group assembling for a short-term missions trip to the Philippines & Japan this summer. I have been expecting to be part of this year’s team since the summer of ’05. But is it God’s glory or just my own satisfaction that I seek? I asked the Lord for a very specific confirmation that I should pursue this dream. There was only silence.


Sunday night, I released the dream, and Monday morning I submitted the official decline.


Now, I feel kind of foolish for having practiced Japanese in the car. Ee-YAH-nah Oh-TENN-kee-dess (It is an unpleasant day).


Unknown said...

I learned a smattering of written Russian (?) in a very similar circumstance.

Letting go is tough, but so is trying to discern Gods will.

Thanks for the new post, by the way :)

Craver Vii said...

(Russian for okee-dokee)

spaghettipie said...

I've been praying about your decision, and am thankful you posted the answer. I understand your disappointment - I was pretty bummed when I realized I wouldn't be going on the Sudan trip next month. It will be interesting to see what God chooses to do through your heart for the East instead. Keep us posted!

Anonymous said...

I have had similar experiences in which my desires seemed to be leading me in a different direction than what the Lord had in mind. And eventually I submit. How is it that we discern these things? Have you every felt wrong about it later?

Every Square Inch said...


I'm always grateful for your heart for the gospel. It's an EGG in your life.

However, I was curious - what confirmation were you seeking? Was there a restlessness that perhaps this wasn't what God intended? No critique here. I'm just trying to learn how we as Christians process the dreams and desires we have.

Craver Vii said...

Wrong Charity?? Moi?? As in admitting a mistake? Never! Hypothetically, ...aah, forget it; I can't keep a straight face…

It's not that I eventually got so numb that I was used to being wrong, but I try not to worry about it too much, because I don’t want to sin by hesitating, rather than act in the moment on what I believe is right.

Lest you think me impulsive, this decision was months in the making. But after praying, I laid out a fleece before the Lord, and the final decision was immediate… like tearing off a band-aid or pulling a loose tooth.

Every Square Inch, the method of confirmation I sought will have to be kept under a lid for now, sorry. But let me say that I discussed it with a mentor/pastor, and he approved both the process as well as the final decision.

Shiloh Guy said...

Craver, sorry. I know it's tough. I've been at the same place so many times in my life I could keep you listening for a month of breakfast meetings! And it still hurts every time!


Lara said...

Craver- I think we've all been there. We get passionate about doing something for the kingdom and put ourselves in a place to be best prepared. And go.

I often wonder how God will use those efforts at preparing for a place we wouldn't go to. I have very little use for all the Russian I learned (and so little of it is left any more), but I keep hoping it wasn't for naught (and in God's economy I can't believe it was).

Still it is a loss and grieving can be appropriate. All that to say, I understand where you're at.

Anonymous said...

Every Square Inch- you pose an interesting question and one that should have it's own post and comments too, that is: how do we discern the will of god for our lives? or how do we seek confirmation? it would be interesting to hear people's honest experiences and practices with that.

L.L. Barkat said...

Well, I don't know. I think I'd keep practicing Japanese. Language takes awhile to learn. (Maybe God wants you to get fluent first! :) Seriously, life continues, and maybe this opportunity is for another season. Maybe.

(And, hey, studying a second language is good for staving off dementia... a better choice, I suppose, than reaching for the hemlock...)

L.L. Barkat said...

Oh my goodness...

just as I was navigating away, I caught a glimpse of your latest self-appointed award up in the right hand corner. Amusing! (What IS that poor little animal?)

Craver Vii said...

That is not a "poor" little animal, it’s the sultan of stench , Pepe LePew , Mr. Stinky .

I have no idea how it got there.

Anonymous said...

Curious, how DID you get the confirmation? Many people's experiences are different, what was yours?

Japanese? With your knowledge of the Word, have you considered Greek? Or Hebrew?

Craver Vii said...

How could I NOT continue to practice Japanese?! It is so absolutely cool!! Yes, maybe another trip... I hope.

Hebrew might be a bit much, although the pronunciation would be a real treat.

Greek? Yes, I have thought about it, and if I see a reasonable opportunity, I will probably go for it. If I do though, it wouldn't be a short stint, but a long term plan where I can end up cradling the Septuagint in the rocking chair, with a tall glass of iced tea on the side. You know what I mean?

spaghettipie said...

okay, that last comment would definitely be affirmation for your receiving the "Thinking Blogger Award". I mean, who has dreams of curling up to read Greek with a glass of iced tea?

Craver Vii said...

Ha! You mean “Wishful Thinking Blogger,” right? I’ll bet that a good percentage of the crowd we hang with would also like to know the Greek writings better.

If I were fluent, I would like to have Greek discussions with some of my brainy friends: Doulogos or the Armchair Theologian, or others. My own son-in-law, who is in seminary, studies Greek. We could make fun of my daughter without her knowing.

D1, if you’re reading this, ignore that last line. I would never, ever, ever make fun of you in Greek with what’s-his-name. And I have sworn-off lying as well.

Anonymous said...

Craver -- Of course I didn't mean YOU when I asked if you ever thought you discerned God's will wrongly. I was directing that question toward other commenters! :)

I also love the new award, whoever may have put it there!

Anonymous said...

Discerning God's will is tough. Or maybe it's just tough for me because having that kind of faith is tough.

I heard the story of a professor meeting with a student at a Christian university. The student wanted direction. "I just don't know what God wants me to do!"

The professor said, "Why do you think God cares what you do?"

On the one hand, I want to slap that professor. Of course, God cares what we do!

On the other hand, I know what he means. Sometimes, I think God is ambivalent in the specific was I choose to serve him. The specific mission trips I take.

On the third hand, wherever that hand might come from, I've laid out the fleeces before and heard crickets. To mix metaphors a bit.

Craver Vii said...

On discerning the will of God. The Lord may not reveal each and every detail, but if we are obedient in the parts that we do know, sometimes these situations work themselves out. Ultimately, that’s how I got my answer for this missions trip.

Marcus, two things. First, there are a good many professors that could use a slap once in a while, even at Christian universities. Second, and let’s see if I got this straight… you have three hands, but you’re concerned about mixing metaphors?? ;-)