I hate this question, because I have to choose between the truth or a lie or a half truth, which is also a lie. Since leaving my full time youth pastor gig to travel and speak more, I had a great summer run. I did some coaching, speaking at camp, and speaking at youth groups. I enjoyed all of it.
If you asked me at the begginging of this summer, “How it going?” I’d tell you all about what I was doing with pride. Today, two months into my new journey, if you asked me, “How are you doing?” I’d be less excited because there’s less work which means less money, but I’m trying to change that.
What adversity is revealing in me is not pretty. Entitlement is as much a killer as bitterness and un-forgiveness because it beats on your soul like a boxer’s body shots. Everyday I think, “How come I’m not working more?”, “What’s wrong with me?”, “How come I can’t pull this together?”.
When you’re young, you have the advantages of youth; time, resilience, and optimism. Sadly, as we get older, we lose all of this. Time is short, we’ve been through a few things, and we become jaded by our experiences. I want to change that and I will.
I love the work I do. I love helping youth workers solve problems. I love speaking, I love writing a blog post that could encourage and change someone’s perspective. I love being honest (sometimes too honest) because honesty requires humility. Humility has to cast aside entitlement to bring any advantage to the table.
This is how you answer the question, “How’s it going” when it’s not going great. You answer humbly, You answer with “I’m working hard”, “I’m trying new things” “I’m exploring new options” “I’m not getting everything I want, but I am loving the process.” and “How can I serve you?”
This process of being an independent is teaching me that it’s ok to answer the questions I receive honestly, and humbly. If I do not, I’m fooling myself. I’m trying to love every no I get now because I know the yes that is coming will be greater than all the no’s put together. Do I deserve a yes? No. I earn the yes.
To some, being a follower of Jesus has some entitlement baked into it. We think we deserve certain things or should leverage our relationship with God to get what we want or quote scriptures to remind God of what He owes me. That’s not a disciple of Jesus, that’s someone who tags along and hopes to get fed, like the 5,000.
I can deal with others asking me “How’s it’s going?” because I can fool them. When Jesus asks the question, there is no hiding, He already knows. For me, it takes greater humility to be honest with God than others because, in my mind, “failing” Him, is a far greater loss. I don’t care what others think of me as much as what God thinks of me. God has done for me more than anyone else could or will, and my gratitude expresses itself in becoming the best model I can be of His Kingdom so others may know Him.
The thing is, God doesn’t care if I become a great speaker, coach, or writer. He just wants me to be his son. When he asks, “How’s it going?” there is no undertone of disappointment or patronizing. He asks because He really cares.
Answering the hard questions about how our journey is going, honestly, is difficult, but I’m doing my best to answer it honestly, with humility, from all of those who ask me.
I want to be transparent about what the process looks like when you chase your dreams or follow your heart and maybe leave some breadcrumbs along the way so others can find their way through.