Some time ago, I sat with a friend of mine in his new car. It still had that new car smell. I think it was a BMW, I could be wrong. I remember the rain running down the windows in cold wet contrast to the warm super comfortable leather interior. I could feel the envy seeping into my soul.
I can’t remember the entire conversation, but what I do remember goes something like this…
“I am in debt way over my head,” my friend blurted out.
“My marriage is on the rocks since our second kid.”
“I have a great job but during the busy season (most of the year) I become a workaholic.”
“I am in a hockey league to lose weight, but the beer afterward probably undoes much of the exercise. Worse than that, the conversation with the guys undoes any wholesome thoughts still lingering at the end of my day.”
“I don’t have the fire for Jesus that I used to have.”
“I don’t know what to do.”
As I sat quietly I noticed tears rolling down his cheeks, he looked a little incredulous as if this emotion was a bit unusual for him.
So I sat quietly a little longer.
Then he said again, “I used to have a fire for Jesus. I mean when I was at this bible school over ten years ago, I was full of joy and passion. What changed?”
“What’s changed?” I said. “Now that’s a great question, what has?”
“Well,” he said, “I am not reading my bible. I never play worship music anymore. I never really pray much. I certainly don’t have the kind of friends I had back then. All this has led me to believe that Jesus is not that interested in my life anymore. How do I get out of this?”
I remember not being sure of any response.
“Maybe it starts with repentance,” I replied. “You changed. You allowed change. I am pretty sure Jesus still loves you.”
My friend took a moment for that to sink in. Then he said, “Really? Repent for what?”
I didn’t respond.
Then he just started…
“Lord I repent, for not including you in financial decisions…for letting my marriage slide…for spending all my free time on myself instead of my kids…for coveting my friend’s lifestyles as if they were truly living…for believing lies about myself.”
Something happened to my friend in that car. Jesus met him there. Jesus extended forgiveness and freedom. A passion for life began to return. I really believe he began to see again the call of Jesus on his life. It was awesome.
(Not to mention my car envy faded away like water down the bath drain.)
This guy represents so many people I know. Some are leaders in business some are leaders in the church.
Talented men and women of God wondering where their passion went? Why their heart became so cynical and quick to lash out in anger? Decreasing joy, vanishing purpose.
Maybe it’s time for a heart renovation. A renovation can be a messy process. Things are torn out before they are replaced, painted and shiny new. It can be a little humiliating too.
But with all that is at stake. Given your distance from REALLY feeling alive…what have you got to lose?
Ezekiel said, You’ll come back and clean house, throw out all the rotten images and obscene idols. I’ll give you a new heart. I’ll put a new spirit in you. I’ll cut out your stone heart and replace it with a red-blooded, firm-muscled heart. Then you’ll obey my statutes and be careful to obey my commands. You’ll be my people! I’ll be your God!
Do you resonate with losing the zeal of former days, what did you do to get it back?