Sunday, November 29, 2015

Getting Rowdy at the Falls

With the wind whipping past, waterfall roaring, and the moon shining briefly through the clouds... I sat straight up and said:

“My name is Seth Thomas Powell. And I am the first one like me!”

A Nepali moon pic I took that seemed to fit in this context. 
Now, let me give you some more context. Recently I’ve been chipping away at myself. Edging, smoothing, refining. Often times when you do this you find things you didn’t think were there. One of the things that I found is a deep perfectionism. Self-imposed perfectionism. Brought on by the idea that I need to be perfect to do God’s work. To do what He as called me for. To be worth of the praise and love I receive. To be of worth I needed to be perfect. To be anything I needed to be perfect.  

It was an interesting development, for sure.

I realized how this has spread into other areas of my life. How it had deep roots. How it was the cause of many other things. Things I hadn’t known how to trace until now.

I’m in a phase of life where I truly believe I’m growing every day. It’s crazy because I’m in a deeper place than I’ve ever been. Growing more than I ever have. Learning new things about myself, and how sin truly affects me. I’m at a point where, at least I think, I’ve gotten below the surface and am operating from somewhere else than before. And let me tell you, that place hurts. It’s HARD. It calls for more of me than I thought, abandoning things I thought I wanted, sacrifice in various forms, and commitment beyond what I already had.
Rushing water over a rock at the bottom of the falls. 
Growing pains. Awesome in the end (who doesn’t like getting taller?) but in the moment… Rough.

Back to the waterfall.

After declaring who I was, I hopped up, grabbed my walking stick and began to pace and move around the bedrock. All by the light of the moon. I walked closer to the waterfall, as close as I dared. It was then that I realized the beauty of my situation. I was at the foot of a roaring waterfall. At night. Alone.

Many times I’ve heard people yelling their declarations to the Lord. Truths about themselves. Calling out lies. I had never done it myself.

I had been given a perfect opportunity.

I started yelling who I was before the Lord. How He made me. How flawed I am, but how beautifully and wonderfully made I am. How strong He made me. Bold, full of life, capable, wise. All the things He knows to be true about me, but I might not know to be true about myself.

I called out lies. I prayed off anything that may have attached itself to me. Any lingering spiritual parasites. I commanded anything that might be near me to run back to the filth where it belonged.

I thanked God for the trials. The growing pains. I prayed for more. Not for it to be merciful. Not to be quick. Not to end for my sake. I instead prayed to get through it. To come out on the other side. To persevere. To be someone new and crazier when the dust settles. I prayed that he would rush through me the way the waterfall does. To expel any blockages or nastiness that may try to divert or stop the thunderous falls. I prayed for more.
Top of the falls looking down into the valley.

I prayed that I would be the man I needed to be for A squad. Then burst into laughter when it hit me what I already knew. What had been told to me so many times. I am the man I need to be. Not just for A squad, but for all the things He’s called me to. Everywhere He’s brought me. I am sufficient. I am enough. No, more than enough.

I prayed for my people. For A squad, my family, my friends, all of the special people in my life. I gave things over to Him. Things I really don’t want to give over to Him. I prayed to live by the words I’ve told so many others. Practice what I preach.

That my expectations are never as good as His realities.

I want less of what I think I need, and more of what His realities are for me. It’s time I truly embrace that.

The full scope of Toxaway Falls.
I breathed deep of the fresh river air. I swung my stick around a few more times. Took in the scenery. Realized that I had been screaming to the air for around 30 minutes, and that now I was hoarse. I walked back up the trail feeling lighter than when I had walked down.

I knew this was at least one of the reasons if not the reason that I had been limping along until this time. It was for this. It was so I could make declarations to my Father and have Him laugh alongside me. In one of the places He always manages to find me. By the water.

I love nature. And I love the strange things He has me to do meet with Him.

That’s what I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving. Toxaway Falls and getting rowdy with my Father.

I couldn’t ask for more.

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