OK – I promised to tell the story that got me to this point and I reckon my lunch break is a good time to do that.
Once upon a time...
Sometime in 2007, and frankly I forget the circumstances now, I became convinced that God wanted me to attend a conference at Morningstar Ministries called the Worship and Warfare conference (which was in late October). I should make it clear that I was powerfully convinced of this as I was certain that God had spoken plainly and repeatedly about it. But every time I would move to put that together, specifically to buy a plane ticket, He would check me. There was no small amount of emotional and intellectual conflict in all of this, a real war between the conflicting things I was hearing and I was left hoping that he would open some kind of door...perhaps very similar to the way he got me to Boston a few years back. But the day came and went with no miraculous plane ticket, although there was a very intriguing bump at the last minute that I have now come to see as a temptation, not an opportunity.
All during the lead up to that non-event I told many people my feelings about that coming weekend. I felt strongly that God was calling me there not to attend a conference, but to meet somebody. Like the conference was just an excuse – it was some kind of connection that was the real purpose of the trip. What really rang my bell was when I downloaded the audio sessions from that conference a few days later and the very first thing out of Rick Joyner’s mouth was something along he lines of , ‘You think you’re here for a conference, but you’re not. You’re here to meet somebody.’ [Insert V8 style head-smack here]
With that behind me, I was pretty mixed up about the whole thing. Did I hear God right? Did I hear Him at all? Did I miss something? Was something set against me? I really didn’t know what to think and still haven’t come to any conclusions on the matter.
Fast forward 2.5 months to our BCNW Advanced Camp...
While we were putting on the advanced camp that winter (thanks for coming Matt and Mike), God was all up in my face about Charlotte, NC. He didn’t say Morningstar, or conference or anything like that. It was Charlotte, Charlotte, Charlotte, Charlotte. I must have been thumped a dozen times that weekend about Charlotte. “OK, God. Message received...don’t know what you’re saying but I got the Charlotte part.” Now I might have failed to mention that Worship and Warfare conference noted above was held just outside of Charlotte, NC and I can’t deny that I had a suspicion this new message was somehow related to that.
Maybe three weeks later, again I forget exactly how and when this happened, I was convinced that He wanted me in Charlotte for a different Morningstar conference – May 1-3 (Business in the Kingdom). But again, I kept getting checked when it came to actually booking a ticket. He just wouldn’t let me do it. This was now doubly frustrating. Here I was at least partly feeling like I had failed to apprehend the plan God had called me to a few months back and here I was being given a second chance in some way and He won’t LET me apprehend it. ACK! C’mon man...just let me buy a plane ticket...pleeeeeease....!
When Wednesday rolls around (the day I need to be on a plane), there is still no open door. I go to pour my daily cup of coffee and He says, ‘Chris – Go to Coffee Cottage.’ - That sounded a lot like, ‘Chris, go to Borders.’ from my previous trip to Boston so I took my empty cup and headed out. When I roll in the first thing I see is the ‘quote of the day’ which is a chalkboard that reads, ‘God provides the wind, but we must raise our sails’ For a number of reasons that are too arcane to explain, that spoke strongly to me that I was on the right track. SO feeling like I had arrived...I tried as hard as a could to keep my sails high and waited for a breeze. I spent that whole day in cottage waiting (hence the post with that title). I had some beautiful conversations that day, really cool stuff, but no answer to what seemed to me like the obvious question: How do I get to NC for that thing you told to be at?...but no answer. On the prayerfully considered advice of the infamous John Bergquist, I decided I should double down and simply head for the airport. Try to play this out as far as it could go.
At this point in the story, I need to refill my coffee...