Wow! Another week of inspiring post lifting praise to an awesome God!
I've been blessed this week reading each post and the comments that follow. Like several of my fellow Kingdom Bloggers, I was conflicted a bit on exactly which of several possible stories I wanted to share, but the fellow visit from the Holy Spirit has continued to have direct influence in my daily life.
I've written about my commute a few times over on Tony C Today. It seems to always be a source of fodder for a good story...and a serious test of a few different virtues to boot. The commute has also been a blessing on many occasions for me as I use the time to talk with my Father about things on my heart, listen to podcast of sermons from local pastors of churches I don't attend but still love, gear up or decompress for/from work, and of course jam a little.
About four years ago, I was transitioning to a new position at work. At the very same time, my boss had ask if I would copy edit a book he had finished writing and was about to submit to a publisher. The subject covered the book of Genesis but was written from a different theological perspective than my own. He wasn't deterred that I would be approaching the task as a Christian and assured me there was no pressure to agree with his work...he just wanted me to copy edit for mechanics, grammar and check scripture references.
Let me state that I love this man and his entire family. I have the best job and working environment a person could ever ask to be placed...peas and carrots. I was determined to do the best job possible for him. As I got deeper into the book, it became obvious to me that our belief systems were vastly different. I started experiencing anxieties, not as a result of anything he said directly to me or required, but rather from my own conscience. Was it justifiable or grounded in dogma? The conflict became a spiritual struggle for me that lasted for several weeks and became a serious drag on my daily attitude.
I pressed on with editing the 700+ page book. There were times I know I avoided talking with my boss because I was becoming somewhat disconnected. My focus started breaking down as I struggled with what I should do or say based on my Christian faith. I had several conversation with my pastor who really helped me put things into a proper perspective. But still, the anxiety lingered and even haunted me at times.
While driving home from work one evening, I started praying for God to guide me, lead me. Should I stop editing because the book conflicted with my own faith? Why it took me so long to go to Him is beyond me, but I prayed, I waited and then I flipped on the radio...
The song King of Glory by Third Day was playing. I cranked it up. As I listened and began to sing along, I became overwhelmed with Joy. I popped in a CD with the long version of the same song and started again. His name is Jesus, precious Jesus. The Lord Almighty, the King of my heart, the King of glory.
I pulled off I-26 at the top of Bays Mountain, put everything else on my mind and in my heart aside, and sang to my Jesus...the King of glory! When the song ended, I played it again...and then a third time. Alone...tears flowing...filled with Joy...I worshipped and sang praises to Him.
When I started driving again, my anxiety was just...gone. I had become so wrapped up and worried that I had surrendered my source of Joy in life...the Joy that only comes when my focus is on Him. After that day, I had a number of great discussions with my boss about his book, his beliefs and also about my faith. He's a great guy who listens and doesn't judge, and that's the example I should have been exhibiting.
Although sometimes I fail, now I try not to be hampered by earthly issues when I worship or even prepare to worship. God deserves my undivided attention, and even though I'm never worthy of His presence...sometimes He pours it on extra heavy just because He loves me.
I've been a little late getting home several other evenings to spend a little time with Him since too...