Being present

Stan came back with a challenge for this week. He talked about being connected, staying "plugged in" with our brothers in foxhole. And the thing that made it a challenge was he talked about being connected on multiple levels - physically, emotionally, spiritually. This is the point where we used to tell the preacher, "Now you've stopped preachin' and started into meddlin'!"

It reminds me of funerals I was forced to attend as a kid where a long-time church member was celebrated for their "faithfulness" because they made a habit of showing up on Sunday to warm their pew. Now I'm not saying those folks weren't faithful Christ-followers. I don't know that (and in many cases, neither did the person who was speaking). Nor am I saying that regular attendance in the assembly is a bad thing. And if my life circumstances take me to a point where showing up is about what I can do, then I think God will honor that. My point is, if I've set "being in the building" as the bar for measuring my own faithfulness, then maybe I need to aim a little higher.

So we come to Stan's challenge. I love the guys in my foxhole. I miss them when they aren't there. But when we get together, we expect more from one another than to occupy space. We're looking for engagement. For life-on-life interaction. For authenticity. Absent those things, foxhole isn't worth getting up for.

When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.  -Psalm 32:3-4

But when those things are present, wow! Foxhole becomes energizing, even life-giving. Imagine Christian men treating each other with dignity and respect, stepping into each other's hurts and struggles to listen, pray, encourage, offer biblical perspective, and when needed, practical aid. Physically present. Emotionally present. Spiritually present. There's power in that. Power to step back into the battle and be victorious. Power to slog it out for another week, even when we know it's going to be messy.

Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin....
Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit.  -Psalm 32:5, 1-2

King David was big on "getting real" before God. In Convoy, we have found encouragement in that through "being present" with one another. Here are Stan's questions and scripture references, for your consideration...

  • What will I need to change to stay connected (physically, emotionally, spiritually) in my foxhole?

  • Who do I rely on to stay connected in my foxhole?

  • How do I seek God's will for me within my foxhole?

  • Romans 12:15; 1 Thessalonians 5:11; Hebrews 10:24-25; Proverbs 17:17; 1 John 4:16-17; 2 Timothy 2:2

Scott Thompson