Thursday, March 02, 2006

In case of emergency, break glass

An action was taken today that I've been avoiding for a long time. I engaged one of my emergency plans.

Pretty much our whole married life, Agent Wife & I had some sort of faith-type financial living. Well, sometimes we had steady income from somewhere. That was always nice even if it was magic beans.

Things started getting really risky looking since last September. I can't always remember how we got through one month to the next (wish I kept better records of the CEO's goodness. It's always cool to look back on them). But our needs have always been met and we've never had a bill come due without having the bucks to pay it. Until now.

We've got a couple of weeks until they tack a late charge on this bill. Then a couple of weeks after that before people start harassing me on the phone. I really believe the CEO will pull though. He always has.

But faithlessness taunts me on days like today. The world's system laughs at me. Am I just really an idiot? Has the whole izzy group ministry sunk around me like the titanic and I've just been playing the fiddle up on deck for the last 3 years? Or is this yet another faith test? Do I need to withdraw from the relationships I keep full time and go back to work in the middle class world? Do I doubt my calling as a secret agent?

I own 2 cars. Thankfully, I've never had a car payment in my life. They were both gifts. Agent Wife & I got by on one car for 3 years, so I'm sure we could do it again. Today, I put a for sale sign in the window of our Sable and parked it by a busy street where people sell their cars. I figure...if it sells, great. We can live off that money for a month or so. If it doesn't sell, maybe the CEO has something better in store.

I could also sell some music instruments. But ironically, I got called for a gig next week (my first one in a year). Maybe this will be my last gig ever.

I feel like a dork for saying this, but leaving that car on the sale lot made me feel like I could identify with Abraham lifting the knife over Isaac. Of course, there's a world of difference. Selling your car...killing your kid. But when that '94 Sable was given to us, it was a huge miracle and answer to prayer. We had this junker '82 Toyota that blew up on the freeway one day. That was our only car and we were sick of fixing it. Then the next day some friends drove this Sable up in our driveway and said "here". It was the nicest car we've ever had - 4 doors, and an AC that worked. We drove it to Saskatchewan and back one summer. I had always planned on giving that car to someone in need when the time came to get rid of it.

I refuse to use this blog as a manipulation or sympathy tool. I believe in only telling the CEO my needs, not manipulating people. But I write this to covet your prayers on what to do. There's too many good things happening (like the latest Table report) for this whole secret agent life to be a fluke.

Maybe the CEO will provide a ram real soon.


Mike Exum said...

Your life and ministry is not a fluke. And neither are my prayers.

I am praying about it.

No sermons, or flowery encouraging words, just prayer. Let me know if I can help in any other ways.


miller said...

Abraham chose the desert, but he had his flocks...

Paul had his tents...

i don't think you should feel bad about putting up the car or working the gig...

or even attempting to do something with your skills that provides opportunity for both ministry and income...

neither do i think there is a problem with living by faith.

strength and honor brother

Katrina said...

Hey B -

Thanks for creating worlds with your words.

When I read your words, I heard this:

"I lift my eyes us to the hills - where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip- he who watches over you will not slumber, indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD watches over you- the LORD is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all harm - he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore."


imhschild said...

Saskatchewan is a great place. Wasa born and raised there and actually lived in Abilene for six years.

miller said...

neither do i think there is a problem with living by faith.

that does not mean that i think you can't do both!

now i'll shut up before i manage to get the other foot in my mouth too.


Agent B said...

Thank you for all the encouraging words. That means a lot to me guys.

Kat - tell me what psalm that is (or is it one?)

imachild - wife's from there.

Miller & all - I'm a big believer in not being idle, working with your hands, etc. I struggle to understand the balance of Paul's ministry and tent making vs. Jesus' 3 year ministry and life. I think the scripture says in Luke that a bunch of women sustained Jesus and the disciples so they could heal & minister. Maybe that means Agent Wife should get a job (BIG HA). She does teach pregnant women at the Y for about $60 a month...our only steady income!

But seriously, There's plenty examples in the word of both working for your supper and the Lord saying, "wait and I'll provide" (ie: manna).

Working or waiting...I struggle with this because I have a hard time sitting still. And the burdens of my culture make me feel less manly because I'm not out "providing" for my woman and baby.

I feel like I'm suppose to "wait". But the wait is killing me.

And now the bills are rolling in...

I'm sure all will be well in the end. I hate suspense.

Katrina said...

Psalm 121

miller said...

please understand, i'm not suggesting you should work or sell or whatever for a living or that you are in any way irresponsible!

i'm saying you shouldn't feel guilty for doing what you have to when you feel you have to.

i have the greatest admiration for you and agent wife.


Agent B said...

No misunderstandings from you at all, Jack.

I'm just trying to understand my circumstances for myself. In some ways, it's already too late (I should have got employment months ago). But I felt like I was to wait on the CEO. just don't look good right now. Who knows...

Thanks for the dialogue on these trying times.