Listen to the new single from Elevation Worship!
Listen to the new single from Elevation Worship!

Out Of Control

Monday, March 8, 2010

Out Of Control

Out Of Control

Hey all! Sitting here in a Starbucks in beautiful Paso Robles, CA with a couple of our new friends from Above the Golden State. Super cool dudes! This tour has so far proved to be such a great group of people on the road. It's always awesome when we can pull up to a venue and feel a real sense of camaraderie with the other bands we are on tour with. And unfortunately, as many of you have already heard, one of the bands out here, Addison Road, has had more travel misfortune on this tour than any other I've ever heard of! They've had an RV breakdown about every day so far, followed by the entire thing catching fire along with the trailer and burning to the ground a couple days ago. Please send them your support and prayers, as we can understand when something like this happens, it can be very disheartening to be in ministry like this and stay strong.

 To digress a bit, we've all had a bit of misfortune in one way or another on this run, nothing compared to what Addison Road has experienced, but nonetheless, here is my small bit of it.

 We were doing an all-nighter drive from Albuquerque, NM to Chandler, AZ a few days ago, and it was about 8 AM when Tim pulled off to a rest stop to take some scenic pictures, which I have to admit, were quite picturesque. Dexter and Josh were asleep and I had woken up to go use the rest stop facilities. If you've seen our touring machine "VANBEARPIG", then you know the layout of how it's set up (Reference MIM Movie Monday # ). We have 2 full bench seats and a full double bed in the back with a spot underneath to sleep as well, which we have endeared "the hole". It is the most coveted sleeping spot in the van and Dexter was in it at the time.  as I had just left the bed.

After walking outside to head back to the van, I quickly realized something. The van and the big black trailer, which are kind of hard to miss, were missing. At first I kind of laughed to myself and figured it was a prank and they had just pulled around the side or something. But after walking around the whole rest stop, I suspected that they didn't know I had even exited the van and they just left. So, what does every American know to do in the case of such catastrophe, but to reach for the handy cell-phone and make a call. I reached for it, and of course, no cell phone. I had so conveniently left it in the van. Next, I realized that I had also taken my wallet out of my pocket, because I have this pet peeve where I could never ever sleep with its bulky mass bothering me. Perfect, so I couldn't even get a delicious, healthy snack from the vending machine. And then after walking around for a bit trying to figure out what I was going to do, reaching for my Carmex in my jacket pocket, I thought to myself "Great, I left my jacket in the van too".

What a predicament! I was so frustrated at the moment, because I thought it was inexcusable that this happened. Maybe if we were on a bus for this one it would be a different story, but in a van? This was just crazy! So, after wandering around for awhile and trying to figure out what to do, I found a nice lady who worked at the rest stop and she was kind enough to let me use her phone to call the guys in the van . Of course, the only numbers I could remember were for Dexter and Josh (our road manager), who were both asleep! I quickly saw that this is the downfall of cell phones, we never have to remember any numbers   but just look them up in our contacts instead. So, 5 voice mails and 20 calls later, I found myself still sitting there   wearing this huge jacket that I borrowed from the lady, probably looking pretty stylish...
Long story short, I finally got a call back on her phone from Josh about 45 minutes later so they turned around and came back to get me, while I sat and learned from the nice lady about everything there was to know about the local area and its weather patterns.
So what is the moral of the story here? What conclusion can be drawn from all this? Well, the obvious, is to not get left at a rest stop. But even further than this, as I'm sitting here thinking about all the craziness that has happened on this tour with Addison Road and Sanctus Real (who had their trailer break off a few nights ago in the middle of a drive) I think it's loud and clear, an often scary message that " we are NOT in control". I remember sitting at the rest stop feeling a bit helpless when I couldn't get a hold of anyone, had no money or jacket, and realized that it was out of my hands ....just like most things in life.
At the end of the day though, I've found it's a great thing that life really isn't in our hands, but instead, that God has control and is over everything that will ever happen to us. You've probably heard the question or even asked it at one point or another, " why does a perfect God allow bad things to happen to good people?" I can even remember a lot of times in my life thinking this. 
I'm not sure that I really have discovered a cut-and-dry answer to this question, nor that anyone really has either, even though many books have been written on the subject, sermons been preached, college classes been taught, and debates been held on the subject. But take a look at these verses written by Paul, who was no stranger to hard times, as he went thru sickness, hunger, imprisonment, and loneliness all for the sake of sharing Jesus' message. Read 2 Corinthians 1:3-11 with me:
The Rescue (FROM THE MSG)
 3-5 All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too.
 6-7 When we suffer for Jesus, it works out for your healing and salvation. If we are treated well, given a helping hand and encouraging word, that also works to your benefit, spurring you on, face forward, unflinching. Your hard times are also our hard times. When we see that you're just as willing to endure the hard times as to enjoy the good times, we know you're going to make it, no doubt about it.
 8-11 We don't want you in the dark, friends, about how hard it was when all this came down on us in Asia province. It was so bad we didn't think we were going to make it. We felt like we'd been sent to death row, that it was all over for us. As it turned out, it was the best thing that could have happened. Instead of trusting in our own strength or wits to get out of it, we were forced to trust God totally—not a bad idea since he's the God who raises the dead! And he did it, rescued us from certain doom. And he'll do it again, rescuing us as many times as we need rescuing. You and your prayers are part of the rescue operation—I don't want you in the dark about that either. I can see your faces even now, lifted in praise for God's deliverance of us, a rescue in which your prayers played such a crucial part...
As I think about these verses, I know that when Paul speaks of suffering he speaks from experience. Think about the story of Job too. He went through every kind of loss you can imagine in life and still kept true to his faith. I also remember that the Jesus we serve, understands more than anybody else, that "bad things can and do happen to good people". In fact, he was completely innocent when he was taken to the cross.
So obviously, when we go through hard times we can know that we are not alone and have had the best examples to go before us, and to still keep the faith. I know that just reading this probably won't clear up any doubts or questions in your mind and I don't know if I expect it to completely, but I want to leave you with a thought and a song that I wrote a while back when I was experiencing one of the worst sicknesses I ever had. Thinking I had mono, I could hardly get out of bed for about 5 days straight, and for me, when I go through sickness I experience so much doubt and questions in my head that I would never even normally think about.  But after processing all of it, there was only one question that emerged in the front of my head: "If I had everything taken away from me that I love would I be fine with it and still be able to say that God is God?"
So if you are able, please go listen to this song ,  "I'll Be", performed by Newsboys (LINK AT BOTTOM), and maybe just take a few moments to let God speak to your heart, the way that he does to mine, every time I experience pain, loss, or heartache in life He always reminds me that He is above, beyond, bigger, and stronger than anything in this world even though I can't see it. 
"I'LL BE"  
Performed by Newsboys
Written by Seth Mosley/Juan Otero
If you’re sinking
If you're losing control 
And your heartache 
Has taken its toll
Thinking things you’ve never thought before 
Like you’re all alone 
Afraid that love won’t come home
You will find me
I'm at the point of your breaking 
Behind all the noise
When your world is darkest I can still see 
And when there’s nothing left I'll be
Like a small town
Talk is getting around
Now you've found
Friends can still bring you doubt
And when their faith in you comes crashing down
Know that I’m still yours
I’ll be the hope that endures
I’ll be the light to help you find
All the dreams you left behind
Wondering will love come back
I’ll be whispering, “You’re still mine”
When loneliness invades your mind
You’re gonna be alright  

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