When the flame starts to flicker

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????What happens when passions fade, when the things you attach your purpose to stop being the reasons you keep moving forward or keep dreaming. When the pieces seem too shattered to gather off the floor, when simply choosing to take another step has become an effort and the noise of your life seems to engulf and overshadow you.

I’m a husband, a father, a soft place, someone who’s heart cries out for the little ones who don’t know they belong. At least that is the me I remember and the me I’m desperately trying to claw my way back to becoming. I write about fathering, sonship, manhood, adoption and all things related. But if you were to take a quick stock of my online footprint, you’d be forgiven for thinking I’ve suffered from little connectivity for most of 2014. What’s happened, where have I gone?

The naked truth is that I have let my heart harden this year. little by little, day by day, week by week. The things that once drove me to passionately write, to dream about publishing my first book, to be someone who was a staunch advocate for the lost and give them a forever family, these things seem to have lost their shine. In their place is a haze, a confusion, a desperation, a flickering flame. I’ve had a busy year filled with good things, important projects, urgent tasks and solid results. It’s been a good year.

But what does it matter if all you live for, the very things your fibres cry out for have been placed on the back burner. Not discarded, but sufficiently sidelined that they no longer appear as your driving force, your purpose, your passion. That is me, surrounded by a year of good works.

“If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:2

I feel like much of the love I have experienced has left me. Like that balloon you untied as a child and watched and listened to as the air shot out and the balloon shrunk. The husband, father, man who I have been is like that balloon. I have shrunk. I have come to somewhat of a crossroads where I can’t continue.

I’ve just finished a book called “Essentialism” by Greg Mckeown. some questions hit me straight between the eyes:

“What do I feel deeply inspired by?” and “What am I particularly talented at?” and “What meets a significant need in the world?”

I have had to face the reality that nothing I have been striving for resembles my answers to these questions. All these good works have not been for nothing, but they certainly have not created an environment where my passions and purposes can grow. I’ve become so focussed on doing what needs to be done that I have forgotten what God has called me to do and with that, I have lost my Joy.

With the help of some good friends and an amazing wife and children, I have begun a journey of asking God to soften my heart again. I am doing my best to become more vulnerable with people in an attempt to soften my heart further in the hope that my passion and joy returns and I can move forward better equipped to do the things I have been called to do. I have discovered one of the great lies I have consumed is the notion that busy is productive and good is great.

I’d like to say without a doubt that busy means nothing, it doesn’t help you attain what you’ve been called to do. Good is fine but not great. I’ve lost sight of the essential and placed the “good” on its throne. I’m searching for the essential things that resonate with my calling and will allow the giftings God has placed within me to rise to the surface once again. If I’m in search of the essentials in my life, I may not be the most famous, most popular, most successful, but I’m certain my calling will become a reality, God will be glorified and his little ones served. Whats more, I’m happy to replace fame with impact, popularity with belonging and success with significance.

It’s a wake up call that resonated throughout my soul and causes me to stop, breathe and think. We need to slow down, take a rest. What does it matter if you break every record only to find out at the finish line that it wasn’t your race. I need to run my race, run it well and finish it. I think as men we are so guided by what race we should be running that we allow our hearts to harden which prevents us seeing that it’s not about success, careers, fame and fortune. What really matters is that when we have run our race, we know it was ours and we made a difference.

Watch this space and pray with me that God does what is needed to correct my course and possibly yours. You are valuable enough to God that he created you to do something only you can do. Are you busy with that, or have you become distracted with all the good things, that the essential ones have lost their flame?

3 thoughts on “When the flame starts to flicker

  1. “I’ve become so focussed on doing what needs to be done that I have forgotten what God has called me to do and with that, I have lost my Joy.”
    Wow, these are words that really apply to me. Not that I have a clear vision of my calling but “doing what needs to be done” has definitely been an overwhelming distraction. So much so that I have stopped asking the question is this really even my race to run. Nice article.


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