This has been quite a week for me. From dealing with my daughter’s tragic accident which left me both thanking God and asking, “God, why are you picking on me?” to my trip to Lakewood Church which rekindled my vision for what I am doing yet again – being involved in starting a movement for God here in Nashville. Let me tell you another thing God has done. I was sitting in a meeting with the head of marketing for Lakewood Church and Joel Osteen Ministries and received several phone calls, all at once. Like many of you, I certainly couldn’t bear to turn off my phone, so I had it set to vibrate so I could see who was calling.
I noticed I had gotten a call from my wife, Paula, and I thought, “I’ll call her back in a few minutes.” And then I got another phone call within the minute, from my editor. And I thought, “That’s odd, I am supposed to speak for my publisher tomorrow on the unveiling of my newest book, “A Renegade’s Guide to God,” maybe he’s calling to cancel.” Next I get a call from the Director of Publicity for my publisher and then I thought, “Sure enough they are trying to cancel because now they are both trying to call me.” Right after that I got a phone call that I recognized as coming from the New York area. And I thought, “Hey, my publisher, Rolf, is always in New York my editor and publicist have called, maybe something’s happened to him.” Then my wife called back. And then the publicist called back. And I thought, “This is too many coincidences all at once. Something bad must’ve happened.” Still reeling over the bad news phone call I had gotten earlier in the week, I dismissed myself to retrieve my messages.
The first one was from my publicist who was all enthusiastic saying that NBC had called them and requested that I be on the Today Show next Tuesday morning to serve on a round-table discussion on the place of Faith in American culture. I was absolutely blown away. I had to ask several times “Are you sure it’s the Today Show?” She said, “Yes, are you willing to do it? I need to call them right back.” And I said, “Absolutely.”
The next phone call obviously was to my wife Paula and I said, “Have you heard?” and she said “Yes. I’ve just been on the phone to New York and they are going to fly both of us up there, put us up, be met by a limousine, and take us anywhere we want to go, all at the expense of NBC.” And I thought, isn’t this just like God? I remember last year having an opportunity to go to New York and I said to someone, “I think New York is a great place, but the only way I’m going to go to New York is if someone else is paying for it.” And here was this prophecy coming true.
After what I’ve been through this year, all the stress of changing churches and losing jobs, and children going off to college, and careers being up in the air, and books being written and released, here is God’s one more sign that He’s been working overtime in my life. I’ve gone in the last three months from the lowest lows to the highest highs. And it’s almost as though God is laughing, “I want to keep your life interesting. I don’t want you to get bored. I know that your mind tends to wander so I am going to make your life more like a roller-coaster than a straight interstate highway.” Yea God!
But you know what? He wants the very same thing for you. How about you? Does your week go from one extreme to the next? Can you see the divine hand of God’s providence in it? Here’s what I want to ask. Pray for me as I go fly up to New York and prepare to appear on this panel. Pray that God would give me wisdom to be able to speak words of grace and healing, that I wouldn’t be just another religious guy on TV with “stupid” tattooed across his forehead, giving the same, old, inflammatory, divisive answers to the same old questions that maybe people intend to trap us by. But there is a more gracious, loving, and thoughtful answer.
Having contemplated speaking in this arena, I feel the Holy Spirit reminding me, “Go up and strike the themes that are the themes of your life. Go up there to help. Give them hope, give them encouragement, give them love, and make it practical. That’s what I want to do. As a matter of fact, that’s not a bad way to live, is it? If you want to help change the world, if you want to help the world with a message of hope while it’s swimming in pain, give them hope, give them encouragement, give them love, and make it practical. That’s how I spell HELP.
More to come… Get all your friends to watch Tuesday morning.