Wednesday, September 01, 2004

The Tough Questions

Today I am in beautiful, muggy Augusta, GA -- home of the Medical College of Georgia. I'm speaking tonight at the college and my head is absolutely spinning. I've been here before, but tonight they've asked me to deal with this topic: "Answering the Tough Questions of Faith."

Oh, and I got an email last Friday telling me that they wanted me to do it in about 20 minutes.

Uh...does anyone else find that hysterical?

First of all, I'm not sure what all the tough questions of faith are, but I'm pretty certain I coudn't even begin to answer them in 20 minutes. I might be able to answer a tough question in that time. Even that might be a stretch.

The part I'm really looking forward to is the Q&A. That's where the real fun happens. So, my head is spinning trying to process information and figure out the best use of those 20 minutes while also being prepared for whatever question these medical students may throw at me. If you're reading this before, say, 7:00pm -- pray for me!

One thing that's making this even harder than it is: My buddy from California is wrestling with things that are heavy. God calls us to take huge steps of faith, to trust him completely and do things that could be considered crazy for mere mortals to even attempt. This same God calls us to be good stewards and protectors of our families, to provide safety and comfort for our spouses and children. That's a tough tightrope to walk.

There are big decisions being made today in rooms I'm not allowed to enter. These decisions will impact the future of my family, many families, probably Phil's family. And it's frustrating to have to wait.

I have tough questions for God: Why? When? How? Where? Who?

I'm not alone. I have conversations with people almost every day who are asking those questions. Sometimes God speaks. Sometimes he sits and stares with that poker-face of his, waiting to see if we'll flinch.

I've told people over the years that God is an "11:59" God; he always shows up just before the clock strikes 12. But usually, when you're going through the darkness and silence of night, it feels like it's already 12:15 or so before he shows up.

I've got to go finish preparing for tonight. I'll let you know how it goes; if I survive.