Saturday, April 01, 2006

"Sometimes we must leave our safe places...

...and walk empty-handed amongst our enemies"

I've had allot of people ask me "where in the world did you come up with Beast1624" or from some of my christian friends "I have a real hard time typing in that address. It just seems wrong." Well, really it just represents where I started and where I am now. Let me explain...

There was a time when I wondered: is it worth it? I knew there was a God. I've been lucky. I've never doubted. I'd seen too many things over the years to ever question 'Does God exist?' But I had begun to envy the comfort and wealth of those who I knew didn't care about God. They didn't have to struggle to make a living. Everything they touched turned to gold. They treated their employees with contempt and ruled over them with an iron fist yet their businesses prospered...they didn't have trouble finding good help. They were healthy and fit no matter how much they partied or indulged. They didn't struggle with their appearance or their finances like the rest of us did. It all just came naturally...just fell into their laps. They held up to ridicule and mockery all the things that I was taught you were supposed to do...all the things that were right.

It seemed like everything I had done, all I believed was in vain. What good was it? Had I been stupid to play by the rules? Even though I tried to do what was right, even though I treated people beyond fair, still I struggled to keep my head above water. Our business was a constant struggle: solve 1 crises and have 4 more even worse come up. People either didn't believe my intentions or took advantage of them saying "if he's stupid enough to play fair let's steal him blind". Get slapped with litigation at every turn but when we had a beef with someone it gets ignored. What good had it done Mom and Dad? Dad died WAAAAY too young...Mom died pretty darn young too. I began to resent the very foundation I had built my whole life on...what Mom and Dad had built theirs on and taught me was the way to do things.

Then, when the world looked like it was caving in on me, when it seemed like I was going to be crushed, a small voice said "Just give me 1 more try. Come with no expectations and ignore the 'holy' ones". I did. I spent some loooong days thinking, searching, reading. I realized that I had been a dumb ox...a 'brute beast'.

I began to realize that the real important things don't have anything to do with money, business, success, possessions or prestige. When life was over it would boil down to 2 things: who we loved and who loved us. I had been set free ("free at last, free at last, thank God almighty I'm free at last!"). I realized I had been in prison since I was a child (it was a 'born into the family business' thing) and that to follow the narrow path I had to deny the things that I thought meant something. I had to focus on the '2 things' that require me to 'deny myself' & suck it up and bear the burden. Like the title says: "Sometimes we must leave our safe places and walk empty-handed amongst our enemies"

Oh, and 1 more thing I learned...a 3rd thing I guess: all this only applies to me. Not you. I don't have the right to try to force what I think or believe on you. All I have the right to do is tell you what's happened to me. I can't judge you and I SURE won't condemn you for what you think and believe...that's the fun you get to have: finding YOUR path...back to that 'who loves us' thing again!

For the Beast reference check this out.
Check here for the '1624' reference.



Blogger Static Brain said...

I can relate to this whole heartedly. I have been feeling lately like my life is in vain. I almost forgot why I deny myself, but then I read that psalm again and realized once more what awaits evil. Thanks for reminding me of why we go on the way we do. God is good.

10:54 AM, April 13, 2006  
Anonymous Norman Millican said...

Stacy, Didn,t get a chance to read it all, but so far, very interesting and thanks for sharing! Your brother in Christ, Norm

7:46 PM, April 30, 2006  

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