I’m still here.
A blogger of my caliber can’t afford too much time away. In other words I realize that my audience is still developing and that capturing the attention of those who pass by or actually subscribe requires me to be like Metamucil…consistent and regular.
So where have I been? Right here. In Tulsa. On Tuesday I had the opportunity to spend the day with an incredible friend of mine; Yacouba Seydou. He is the man who created the organization that I traveled to Niger with.
Yacouba has an amazing story to share about his own life that challenges me to look at life here on earth differently. Yacouba was born in Niger and raised Muslim as the overwhelming majority of people in that country are. Given the opportunity to come to the United States to study agriculture under a USAID grant Yacouba spent sometime working in the Nigerien government. Then in the early 1990s he had the opportunity to come to the US again to work on a Master’s degree. This time after finishing his studies he stayed in the US working at a meat packing plant in western Kansas.
One night while lying in bed Yacouba was visited by Jesus Christ in a vision. Jesus appeared dressed in white and surrounded by a great light. He reached out his hand and placed a wafer in Yacouba’s mouth. The vision unnerved Yacouba and he decided to go to the store and find something to eat. While at the store a man introduced himself to Yacouba as a pastor at a local church. Yacouba began attending church learning about the Bible and Jesus.
Over time Yacouba began to feel that God was calling him back to his country to minister to the people there. He attended ORU for a short while, but eventually felt that God was calling him to just go.
There is something remarkable about people who have come literally face to face with Jesus. They are undeterred by “religion” or “theology”. Their faith is built upon an unmovable conviction that indeed Jesus is alive and powerful. That Jesus is working to spread the message of his love and grace to everyone using anyone and anything he pleases. In fact, what appear to be obstacles are really opportunities for the power of Jesus to be shown to all those involved.
So this past Tuesday I found myself in an unusual spiritual condition. Faced with the reality of my own lack of faith in many areas, I repented of cheapening Jesus and his power. I realized that all the things I thought I controlled; I really don’t. In fact, control is really an illusion. Do I control how much money I make? Maybe a little, but there are all those unexpected things that pop up as a reminder that No I don’t control my money as much as I think. Do I control how and what others think? I may be able to alter perceptions about myself but the bottom line is that I can’t control what or how others think; about myself, about others, or really about anything.
So I have associated an old word with my new thinking. Pussyfooting. I have been pussyfooting around with the Truth. And by doing so…I have greatly limited the power of Jesus to work in and through me.
I am truly sorry.
How are you pussyfooting with the gospel?
* Parts of Yacouba’s story are taken from a written account compiled by Dr John Stamm.