The Life I’ve Been Given
There is a line in an Avett Brothers song which I have been thinking about. It goes like this, If I live the life I have been given, I will not be afraid to die. As I enter the last quarter of my life, I think about dying, and I want to die full of faith. A friend of mine is teaching a class on finishing well. One of his main points is the way we will die is a reflection of how we are living now. For me to finish well means I need to die daily because of the life I have been given.
Yet, my ongoing struggle is to turn away from my desire to control my destiny. My battle is striving to maintain my moral self-sufficiency. Selfishly, I do not want to trust God or anyone else. I want God to bless want I want to do rather than participating in what he is blessing. To be free from this self-absorption, I need a coach. I need a counselor. When I realize I need help, here are the wormwood arguments I rehearse with myself.
“Why should I ask someone to help me? I know what I need to do.”
“Why should I waste someone’s time? They are so busy.”
“This can wait. It is not that bad.”
“I cannot afford the money to seek help.”
Fortunately, my Heavenly Father who has given me this abundant life keeps showing me the same paths to find. “Go stand at the crossroads and look around. Ask for directions to the old road, the tried-and-true road. Then take it. Discover the right route for your souls.” Jeremiah 6:16 The Message.
Asking someone for help is a critical step in humbling myself. Painful, but so necessary for His grace to flow into my doubting, deceived heart. Powerful, because His grace and mercy began pouring into my life and I am set free to pray your will be done. And now, I have the power to do what God wants me to do. A friend of mine said to me many years ago, “Brother you have a sleeper berth on the humble train and God is not going to let you get off.”
I have been given friends, counselors who have been willing to take the time to listen to me and love me. I would not be writing this blog if key people along the way had not taken the time to get me back on the humble train.
In God’s severe mercy, I am constantly reminded of the significance of daily decisions and the trajectory it puts me on for my life. Recently, I sat with a good friend who works in mediation, peacemaking. I asked him how he was doing. He said he was freshly gripped with a sense of urgency to help people wasting away in their disappointments and despair. When I discount and diminish the importance of today, I lose a sense of urgency and I miss the life I have been given.
The reality is I cannot afford to not pay the money to get help. I believe counseling is a critical piece of discipleship. It has been so worth the time and money I have spent sitting with gifted counselors. They have led me back to the life I have been given. I have found healing and hope. Martin Luther said, “I want to live today in the light of that day.” Gifted counselors have helped me connect the two.
So, tomorrow I go willingly to sit with a gifted counselor to help me understand how part of my history needs a deeper work of His healing power.
Since completing seminary in 1979, Clyde has ministered on college campuses, in church planting and re-planting, leading a missions organization, and as a senior pastor. He recently completed 10 wonderful years pastoring at Hope Church, Winston-Salem. Clyde is an ordained Presbyterian minister and graduate of Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, PA. He received his bachelor’s degree in religion at UNC-Chapel Hill, NC. In 2017, he completed a 2-year certificate program at the Soul Care Institute in Divide, CO. He is married to Valerie and they have 3 married children and 4 grandchildren. Clyde enjoys golf, reading, movies and being ‘Papa!’