Over the last few days I have been wrestling with the feeling that something is missing from my life.
I just finished reading the book, "Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream" by David Platt, and I found myself in an emotional and spiritual funk.
I had a feeling that something was off, missing or incorrect in my life. I couldn't shake it but at the same time, I couldn't put my finger on it.
I was growing frustrated.
Finally, I decided that I had figured it out.
"I just need to do more," I thought to myself. That's it. This is what God wants me to learn.
I began to try to imagine what "more" looked like. What was the more that I needed to be doing?
I've been blogging, speaking to different groups, involved in outreach ministries, preparing to teach a Sunday school class, volunteering to be a part of a documentary, networking and partnering with different ministries... I'm in a discipleship group & an accountability group, I regularly meet with men to share my story and try to help them find the hope I have found in Christ, I go to counseling, I strive to love my wife and son and lead them the way that Christ would want me to. I share my story with anyone and everyone who will listen... I've basically become a walking, talking pro-Jesus, anti-porn billboard.
Yet, I felt empty.
I need to do more, I kept thinking.
What could more possibly look like?
I still couldn't place my finger on what "more" specifically could be, so I sat down to place my thoughts on paper.
Writing is therapeutic for me.
Blue pen. White paper.
Just let my thoughts appear.
The words that flowed from pen to page were vastly different than I expected.
With Denny Matthew's smooth radio voice broadcasting the Royals - Red Sox game in the background, God began to reveal to me exactly what "more" meant.
I wrote the following:
"Anyone can be mediocre. Mediocrity is normal. It is human.
I don't want to live a normal life. I don't want to live a life that any human is capable of living. I want my life to be defined by the Divine. I want to accomplish things that are only possible with Christ."
A good start, I guess. Definitely clear that I desire to do "more" than I am doing. But how?
"I want to love people the way Jesus did. I want His love to be seen through my life. I want people to say, 'I found Jesus because of the way Travis loved me.'
The love I have for myself must die. If I am to love others the way that Jesus did, there is no room in my life to love myself.
I must fill my heart with love for Him. When my heart becomes full of His love, only then will I be able to love others like He commanded."
I sat back and looked at the words I had written.
This was not what I had expected. This couldn't be what "more" meant.
Yet, as I reread the words on the page before me, I knew this is exactly what "more" meant.
A peace came over my troubled soul.
Sometimes, we become so focus on everything that we are doing for Christ that we lose sight of loving Him.
The famous words from the book of Matthew came rushing to the forefront of my mind, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
Life is full of distractions. I have bills to pay, a child to parent, a career to attempt to succeed in, a house to buy, a wife to love and on and on the list could go...
Those things are all important, but my first priority MUST be to love my God with my heart, my soul and my mind.
To fall in love with my Savior. To trust Him for everything. To believe that ALL He does is good, just and best for my life.
To follow and obey Him in faith.
To give everything that I hold dear over to Him and know that He has it all under control.
To love my family. To love my church. To love my friends.
To love my enemies.
To fall in love with my God again and again and more and more each and every day.
Ironically, David Platt wrote about this very scenario in his book that I just finished. (Emphasis my own.)
“If we were left to ourselves with the task of taking the gospel to the world, we would immediately begin planning innovative strategies and plotting elaborate schemes. We would organize conventions, develop programs, and create foundations… But Jesus is so different from us. With the task of taking the gospel to the world, he wandered through the streets and byways… All He wanted was a few men who would think as He did, love as He did, see as He did, teach as He did and serve as He did. All He needed was to revolutionize the hearts of a few, and they would impact the world.”
― David Platt, Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream
If I desire to do more, if I desire to see God save souls and change the world, then the love that I have for myself MUST die. That is only possible by filling my heart with love for my Savior.
I truly believe that if we begin to fall in love with Christ as Jesus commanded us, not only will our lives begin to drastically change but the lives of those around us will be impacted in an eternal manner as well.
God isn't trying to tell me that I need to DO more.
He is telling me that I need to LOVE more.
Watch God’s love change the world.
I've celebrated 4 anniversaries of my 25th birthday. I have an amazing wife & an incredible son. God is transforming my life and I love to write. Here you will find my ramblings about what God has done, is doing and my dreams of what I hope He will do in the future. Thanks for coming along for the ride!