These past few weeks have been both amazingly awesome and incredibly difficult. God has answered prayer after prayer, often surprising me with His timing, always blessing me with His response. As the time draws near for us to start serving God and our fellow human beings with the food truck, the solemnity of the situation is not lost on me. I realize this is a tremendous undertaking with great responsibility. I have dedicated myself to reaching out more and more to God, trying to come into an even deeper relationship with Him, so it is His will I am doing and not mine. My prayer time is longer, my Bible study more intense. I keep my radio in the car on the Christian music station all the time, but have found the DJs to be annoying. I was challenged at church to use the audio version of the Bible on my iphone so I can listen while I drive. I did that this week and it is really helping me to feed my soul.
There are several reasons I wanted to discipline myself even more and draw closer to God, especially right now. The biggest motivator is the fact in just a couple of days we will be bringing the food truck to town and embarking on the biggest spiritual journey of my life. Successfully navigating any journey requires nourishment - and I feel like this one requires mega-preparation. I have already met so many new people and allowed so many into my life - something which is often outside my comfort zone. I want my life to show I really believe what I say. There have also been fantastic answers to prayer as I find myself praying in the spirit more frequently. And these things remind me I am blessed and loved and that my life is really not in my own hands. There is peace in knowing that.
Having said all that there have also been some very difficult days these past few weeks. I was sick for awhile and that included a headache which continuously woke me up at night. It made me feel constantly irritable and impatient. In addition, there was a cough which is very annoying and lingers still. I am not used to having issues with my health, so it always gets me down when it happens.
Then there have been some very tense times as Sarah and I try to sort through everything which must be done and prioritize the needs of The Torch. We don’t always see eye-to-eye about what we are doing and that causes friction between us. Each of us brings unique gifts to this project. It is very clear to both of us we need our Board of Directors to grow and expand so we can focus on the areas God has gifted us for while allowing others to bless with theirs. We know the two of us don’t have all the answers to every question that comes up and we want to be wise as we move forward with The Torch. Quite often each of us have different ideas about how to solve some of the problems we have faced. We have frustrated each other on several occasions and had to take time to cool off so we could re-group.
This causes even more tension, because we both want to serve God with our lives and this ministry and arguing does not always promote that. But in the end we have resolved and come to peace.
Another stressor has been the fact the truck was thought to be ready before it actually was. It was incredibly difficult and disappointing as we constantly made plans to pick it up, then found out it wasn't ready. That happened three weekends in a row and I am not going to say I was the most patient person on Earth with it. I wasn't. I felt angry and frustrated and disappointed every time. Sarah and I wondered what people would think when we kept saying the truck was done, then saying it wasn't. It is so easy to look for someone to blame and to let resentment build at times like that, but that is not productive nor is it Godly. Sometimes we just have to be patient and wait for the next opportunity. We have to keep hope alive.
As I think about it, I realize that’s really what hope is all about and what drove me to pursue The Torch and what has allowed me to persevere through all the challenges I have faced in my life and in this endeavor. I was thinking today as I drove home from work about what it means to be needy. I know there are people out there who struggle financially and are having a tough time putting food on the table. They are needy. I also know there are people who face incredibly difficult challenges and struggle to keep getting up in the morning and continuing on. They are needy. I know there are people who have lost hope of anything good happening in this world. They are needy.
And I think there are many ways in which we at The Torch can help meet those needs, because hope drives us and gets us through. The continuous renewal of our hope keeps us moving forward when things are good and when things are bad, when things are sailing smoothly and when there is conflict. We can shine the light of hope on the people around us and show them there is an end to whatever tunnel they find themselves in. That’s why we keep going, that’s why we argue, that’s why we want so desperately for this to be a good work and a blessing to many. If we can get through it, so can you. Hope.