Chris, When do you find it hardest to submit to the authority of God?
Honestly, I can remember when this submission first started. February 2018 is when I started losing my vision completely and I started falling to my knees and surrendering to God. I was faced with losing something I'd had my whole life! It was more important than anything else that I had complained about. I started losing my sight and started getting way more into scriptures. Passages about Jesus healing the blind stuck out to me, obviously. I was praying a lot more then, and my relationship with God was getting deep, but what was deeper still were the prayers to get my eyesight back.
You know, you live your life one way your whole life, and then things change abruptly. All of a sudden you’re in a different situation where you have no control. That’s big for me. No control. Even though I know God is the one in control, that’s still difficult for me. Having to live out this new reality every day is amazing. People telling me that I’m inspiring to them is great and all, but at the end of the day when I can’t go get food or drive my son to the park…it gets to me. I’d rather have my sight than be an inspiration in those moments. That’s when I find myself surrendering and submitting; when I can’t do the things I WANT to do. And it's hard. Really hard. I realize that God has made it so that I can still do what I NEED to do, even though things in my life are just tougher.
Thank you for your honesty, man. I often have a hard time differentiating between my wants and my needs. You're walking it out every day. I'm inspired by that.
Ok, how about submitting to people in authority? Do you find yourself doing that readily?
Wow. This one is hard. I can’t say that I do. If we’re looking at the law, for the most part, I follow the law! I’m a blind man doing stuff a blind man shouldn’t be doing sometimes! But hey, you know what? It's ok. So, I think this question might be referring to when do others have that say-so over you? I can’t think of anyone. I am strong-willed with my own mindset and I have beliefs that are strong. Instilled in me by God, I believe, is your intuition. If your gut is telling you something isn't right, it probably isn’t right. People will have their opinions and I'm close enough to God to say that I won’t agree with what someone says or follow along with it, if it doesn't line up with my God-given beliefs. I trust the voice of God.
So you would say that this intuition you speak of (a gut feeling, some may call it) is the voice or leading of God?
I wholeheartedly 100% agree with that! Yes. There have been SO MANY times that I’ve had that gut feeling, and honestly, so many times I’ve chosen not to follow it. The things that have happened as a result of me not following those whispers from God could have been catastrophic. I’m not up here saying that I’ve been a perfect human being my whole life. I have not. I’ve screwed up a bunch. And I have a very independent spirit. But I’ve had certain instances, several in fact, where I did trust my gut and it saved my life. Three times I can recall, I was supposed to get in a car and go somewhere, and for whatever reason, I decided not to. Those cars got into accidents and there were no survivors. A couple of incidences just like that happened with motorcycle rides or trips I was planning on going on and at the last minute pulled out of. Very similar results. And those are just the big things!
Then there are work decisions as well, decisions to shift into different positions in my job, and I chose not to take them and remaining where I was turned out better. Sometimes we get caught up in how we feel about what we think we want, but we don’t actually want it. I remember a position that seemed like a significant move up the ladder, and I didn’t take it and thought I was crazy for not. And then come to find out it was going to be WAY MORE work, and WAY MORE time spent at work, for the same amount of money I was making. So glad I didn’t step into that.
It just seems like God created us in His image, and He’s always speaking and always working…why wouldn’t that intuition, that gut feeling, be Him?
I love that. And I think a lot of people would agree with you. I have some stories myself! But this isn't about me (not today at least!) Now, can you tell me about positions of authority you've been in and what you've learned?
I’ve been in a few! I’m a husband and I have a son. I was a supervisor of a group of men in my job at the receiving dept. before my eyesight went. I just kept moving up the ladder until I was a manager. It took about two years to get that promotion. I was also a VP in a motorcycle club presiding over 17 men and women! What I’ve learned, about being a parent…kids know A LOT! A lot more than we think. I’ve learned a TON from my son. I no longer assume that because he’s 8 years old that he has nothing to teach me.
As far as in the workplace, methods might work for me, and someone might find a method that works better for them, and that's ok. What motivates one person and gives them that drive, probably won’t work for the next guy. Some people will use it for fuel, and other people are just shut down by it. People should be approached on an individual basis. This was consistent at my motorcycle club as well. And I've seen this a lot at church. I often ask, What is their reason? Whether it’s work, my motorcycle club, and church. We put our faith in God, and not necessarily in people because people are just tough sometimes.
I agree with you there, man! But we still gotta make it work, don't we?
Yes definitely. They still deserve courtesy and respect. Ultimately, don't just lump people together. What motivates and inspires this person individually? Then go from there.