16 04 2018

2018.04.18Are You Alive

If I asked you to immediately write down three good arguments that would give satisfying evidence to prove you are alive, what would you proceed to mark down with your pen? And if you allowed us to examine your reasons and evaluate the data, would we conclude that they are truly a proof of life or nothing more than excuses of existence? If we come clean and are honest with ourselves, why would we ever settle to just survive when living is what we were created to do? If God has made a way for us to experience abundant life at its fullest, why would we ever be content to seek mediocrity in our desire to just play it safe?


If you were to ask the people closest to you, “What would you say are the three most powerful proofs of my life?” what would their answers be? If you were to pray to God and ask him to reveal to you “What is your proof of my life?” what reply would you expect to receive? How are you proactively proving to yourself and to your world that you are aggressively going after the opportunities that will eventually make your mark and define your legacy forever? Be careful how you answer. There is a huge margin between barely breathing and actively thriving.   


Death is a destination that each and every one of us shares in common. The fatal mistake that too many people share is that they actually look to retire early while there is still valuable and precious time left on the proverbial clock. Let’s face facts that into every life there are storms, battles, lows and blows we all must battle. The constant barrage of trials and tribulation has the tendency to make us gun shy about exploding out of the starting block. Failure, disappointments, despair, defeat and discouragement can deflate the best of humanity.  Make no mistake, death is coming and we can’t avoid it. But we don’t have to welcome it any earlier than expected. If the power is still available, why are we living with the lights out? Why are we looking for a burial plot when we should be booking our next adventure? The only terminal we should desire is that which deals with travel and not dead ends! God please open our eyes so that we unwrap each day as the precious gift that it is.


For quite a while now, I have been very disappointed in myself. I have surrendered more often than not to something I never dreamed would ever happen. In the last 12 years, I have battled my share of physical problems that has caused severe depression and paralyzing anxiety within me. It has caused me to miss out on way more living than I care to admit. I used to be available and willing to go anywhere at anytime to do anything. Now it becomes a major task to some days just leave the house. My get up and go has got up and left and I have given up the fight and pronounced myself knocked out before I even get in the ring anymore.


A week ago last Monday; I had a showdown with my enemy. I was getting ready to drive out to Western Pennsylvania to spend a few days taking care of my three grandchildren while my son Rudy and his wife Lindsey went to a Bible conference. Terri had left earlier in the day and now it was my turn to get in the car and go. I got packed and I got in the car and I sat in my driveway for a good hour frozen in place. My body began shaking and my heart started to race and the anxiety train was racing at my heart full speed ahead. The lies in my head whispered the same old lines. “You can’t do this. You are out of your comfort zone. It would be so much easier to just stay home.” I called Terri and shared my dilemma. She has been my rock and understanding companion through it all. She encouraged me and even suggested that I might try again tomorrow but I knew if I didn’t leave then, I wasn’t going at all.


I prayed a different kind of prayer than I had been normally practicing. Rather than asking God to take away my anxiety, I asked the Lord to give me the ability to battle through it. I started my car and began my trek down Route 83. My brain was wrestling with my heart. I got to Route 47 and then 55. I kept driving in spite of my doubting. Before I knew it, I was on the Schuylkill Expressway. It began snowing on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. I opened my sunroof and began playing Christmas carols, singing at the top of my lungs. It was at that moment that I knew what was happening. I was living in spite of how I was feeling. Dead people don’t drive. Dead people don’t gain ground. Dead people don’t get to spend an amazing week with their grandchildren. I was alive and loving every minute of it. Did it mean that my worst days were over? No! It just meant that I was doing more than existing at home hiding out hoping for the times to change. I allowed God to give me the chance to alter history. Any announcement made about my disappearing into the sunset has been greatly exaggerated. As long as I have a pulse, God still has a purpose for me and the same is true for you. It all comes down to wrestling through the mess so we can get a glimpse of where we are going. God who began the good work within us has also promised to bring it to completion. So when I can’t see the Lord because of the foggy circumstances of my world; I will still move step by step because I know God sees me. Like Job once said, “But God knows the way I take and when he has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.” His word is our living proof.    



One response

16 04 2018
Ken Torelli

Awesome testimony Pastor Rudy . Thanks I too deal with health issues , anxiety and depression,self doubts. Bless you and I miss being down there.

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