COMING SUMMER 2018!
Astonished! Is about allowing God to “experience you” through your personal journey of faith. Whether through a bike trek across America, a devastating sickness, the building of a company, a suffering relationship with children, divorce, a prolonged spiritual wilderness, the bliss of a new marriage, or wherever you might be in your life, being Astonished! happens when we pull the veils of our hearts back and allow God in – more, and more, and more.
I can safely assume that like me, you’re so used to the admonishment to “experience God” that you might not even be aware of the desire that God wants to so intimately “experience you.” In fact, to some degree, we all struggle with guilt in believing that we haven’t done enough to “earn” God’s love by way of performance, church work, and the legalistic demands that are imposed on us through cultural ideologies – ideas found in every sector of our society, including pop theology. Let me say it a different way, because this guilt has become so imbedded in our psyche, we miss the point.
Most of today’s Christianity is based on guilt, fear, and performance. We attend church, pay our tithes, go on mission trips, and even read our Bibles in hopes that God will love us and be pleased. We are so desperate for affirmation from people to confirm we are doing ok.
Who told us we couldn’t ride our bikes for thousands of miles, stay at strangers’ homes, and have conversations with people who are different than us, and in the process create new friendships, eat new foods, and learn and discover things about ourselves and others we never knew?
What has happened to the adventurous spirit that forged America in the early days? Where are the risk takers, the “mission impossibles” of discovery and our own personal journeys to unknown places that exist all around us? To be clear, nothing has happened to take these opportunities away. There are millions of adventurous people living life on the edge of faith, but someone is missing – perhaps it’s YOU! Or maybe you are adventuring, but you seem to be left unfulfilled and you keep looking for more – and yet you can’t really say what that “more” looks like.
Why have we, as a nation, allowed ourselves to become arrested from the freedoms and liberties that we enjoy unlike any other nation in the world? We have become arrested in the scenes that most of us merely exist in, and we do not live. We plan to retire the moment we get a job by amassing enough money to pay the mortgage, car note, and earn that two weeks per year of vacation. All the while, we’re sacrificing experiencing life now through a narrative of the “American Dream.”
At 53, after riding over 1,014 miles on my bike for two and a half months, I came to experience God in a daring way by allowing Him to experience me. I let him in. Into my issues, my fears, my disappointments, my regrets, resentments, hopes, desires, and unanswered questions – while accepting that they may never be answered. I slept in my tent, battle climbing massive hills, enduring unexpected wounds and cold as low as 19 degrees. I refused to listen to other voices in my head or even music while I road my bike. I wanted to hear God – hear me. During this time silence was epic, and each push of the peddle was bringing me closer to that knowing that no one could know but me.
My hope is that you would be inspired to embrace the idea of allowing God to experience you! That you would stop being down on you, and not ever allow anyone else to do so. I want to testify to you that God’s love for you is way more than you can imagine in one million lifetimes, and right this moment, He is standing at the door way of your heart wanting to experience you!
My advice: Let Him. It will be the beginning of you experiencing Him unlike ever before.
Here’s my experience of 1,014 miles.