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Stumbling through the fog and smoke of conference air into clarity

August 9, 2009

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If you have ever been to a big conference or event, you know that they all have a certain air and feel to them. Conferences have a certain atmosphere that distinguishes them from the experience of reality. That is not to say that conferences are all fluff and contain no true substantive reality. However, it is easy to lose touch with reality when one is emersed in the excitement and buzz of a conference.

Think about it: hundreds or even thousands of people gathered for one main purpose, with powerful and energetic speakers, break out sessions, gifts, drawings, resources, ideas, excitement, ingenuity, innovation, energy lots of energy!

Then go home after the conference and BOOM! Stark contrast at home to what the conference was. And if one is not careful to realize that the conference atmosphere was not a true and accurate reflection of reality, one is left in utter discouragement, disappointment, and can easily lose hope and fail miserably due to unrealistic and exaggerated expectations.

Why aren’t things better? Why can’t they be like the conference? The conference was perfect. Yeah, but it was strategically planned that way. It was the best of the best. Filled with good things and true things; but not the most accurate reality to what awaits at home. At least not in every way.

And so I went in to this Worship God 2009 conference with my best attempt to be aware of the fog and smoke. I wanted to enjoy the fog and lights while I could; to learn from it, be changed by it and pass it to others. But also to sift through the fog to the clarity of what the air is really like. Otherwise when I hope and expect for this fog to follow me home, chances are I’ll be very upset.

Now I am also aware that there is cause to expect big because God is big! However like Bob Kauflin encouraged us, don’t go home now and jump in with both feet saying, “alright, everything’s gotta change, now”! But to take a few weeks to let the fog settle a bit, like the morning dew. Let the ground of our hearts be wet a bit till the Sun can dry it out and we can see what is really there. What is left. What remains. Then we can properly assess how to appropriate and filter and apply what we have learned and been changed by.

So while there is a very tempting and burning desire in me to take my conference “experience” and transformation and not only appropriate it all at home immediately, I must have wisdom and patience and humility and care enough to say, “just wait Jonathan, just wait”. Wait and see. See what and how God wants you to inform your home with what you have been given away. Trust in Him and His sovereign timing and working.

So I encourage all who can relate to this. Don’t have unrealistic expectations. Don’t have low unfaithful doubts in God’s supernatural nature either. Be balanced. Ask God and wait. Prepare and trust His Spirit.

The fog will settle; the smoke will clear; the air will clear. Then I can see clearly enough to assess where I am, what I have, where I have been, and thus where I can go and how I can get there. This gives me much joy and hope. This lifts me up and takes pressure off of me. This places my trust in God and His good wisdom and sovereignty.

I can’t wait to, well, wait!

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