Friday, October 12, 2007


I think the worst feeling in the world, at least for me, is helplessness. That sudden realization that there is nothing you can do in a situation. I was reading about Mike Coolbaugh, the first-base coach who was killed by a foul-ball line-drive a couple of months ago. Sports Illustrated had an excellently written article about the effects his death had on his family, team, and the young man who hit the ball.

And then they re-told the moment. I was already emotional over the story, but the description of his state when they reached him really tears me up. Because (having some First Aid training and such) I realized that there would have been absolutely nothing I could have done except what one person did: sit there and cry "Don't leave, Mike!" It is a tragic story, and a terrible feeling.

Maybe that's why I like to attack things. I hate even the feeling of helplessness, and the reality of it is overwhelming to me. At work, that is what makes me want to quit - when I feel helpless about a situation. But I think that because that is something that I fear, I also tend to see it when it is not there.

The only good result of helpless feelings is the thought "All I have now is God." And I think God is saying "DUH! That's all you should need!" Every time I hear that phrase (or say it myself) I think of how ridiculous it is that the very last place we turn, our last resort, is God. Shouldn't He be our first resort? Shouldn't we turn to Him before it becomes hopeless? Isn't He much more capable anyway? That's not such a helpless feeling.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


Why do I feel sometimes that my spiritual gift is dealing with dissappointment?

Monday, October 8, 2007


Well, I got back from the Catalyst Conference 2007 late Friday night. It was an amazing experience. Last year was a brand-new experience for me, so it was all surprising. This year I expected Andy Stanley to be good (duh!), but really didn't know who else would challenge me. Well, in between Patrick Lencioni (funny, but lost his place a lot!), Francis Chan, Rick Warren, Craig Groeschel, and Andy Stanley again, it was better than last year!

There seemed to be a lot of speakers talking about what the church is DOING now. We seem to work so hard on making sure that our church is growing, our church is getting a new building, our contribution is coming in, our people have things to do. Maybe the focus should be (at least 50% of the time) outward. There are so many problems in the world: diseases, massive poverty, hunger, the sex trade, and so many more. We can all chip in. There are so many good charities and organizations that we can give to that will help with all these problems.

But there are also so many people that need our help right around us. While poverty in the U.S. is nowhere near as dire as it is in Third World countries, it still affects so many. The challenge for me is not only to help those around the world, but also to be reaching out to those around me who need help. For me, that should be easy - there are neighbors of mine who are very unfortunate. It's not as easy to help people face-to-face as it is to give to a charity, but it is just as important. If not more so.