I’m Stuck. Thank God.

Being stuck is a great moment. It may be characterized by frustration, loneliness, or detachment, but those things are only the vocabulary of our souls telling us we are in danger. It is the cry of our souls craving for more. It is our longings and yearnings trying to get our attention. It is a summons, a call from within. It is the glorious music of disaffection and dissatisfaction with where we are now. It is the anguish of our interior life pleading with us—not to give up, but to give in. It is the Holy Spirit stopping us dead in our tracks so we can read the words that God has written on our hearts—surrender.  – the great Mike Yaconelli

I’m feeling kind of stuck lately.  Until I read this quote that I posted nearly six years ago on my blog, I was feeling it sucked to be stuck.  Being stuck kind of makes me feel like this picture – – and adrift at sea also relates.

But I’m looking at it wrong again (as is often the case).

Feeling “stuck” can be a pivotal moment in life where you respond to the stirrings inside you that prevent you from wasting moments. Being stuck can be a catalyst to spring us into new action that is God-ordained and God-inspired.  Stuck is a slow and subtle slap across the face to get our attention and draws us into God’s presence in order to seek His peace and His direction.

Maybe, getting stuck is necessary before we can get unstuck…which means that getting stuck is actually a wonderful place to be.

When you look at it like this, then getting stuck is not only a necessary part of spirituality, it is a prerequisite to spiritual growth.

Most of the Church considers being stuck a negative, a sin of failure or burn-out, an indication that a person isn’t working hard enough on their spiritual life. It’s a report card on personal Bible reading and prayer, and the grade is F. If you feel stuck in your spiritual life, then you aren’t doing something right because no one should be stuck with God.

Nothing could be more untrue. The truth is that everyone should be stuck with God many times because it is the prerequisite to being unstuck. – Mike Yanconelli

Are you feeling stuck?  Does this twist on “stuck/unstuck” resonate with you at all?  How can this be a wonderful place for you?

Shift – Day Two

The second day of  the Shift conference consists of three break-out sessions followed with a large group worship and teaching tonight.  I’m signed up for three break-outs and decided last night to skip the first one today.  Mike Yanconelli gave me permission.Mike and Karla Yaconelli

Several years ago at Youth Specialties’ National Youth Workers Convention,  Mike greeted us the very first day.  In Mike’s unique way, he told us that we had permission to make the conference what we needed it to be.  If that meant not attending a single thing, then don’t.  If we needed refreshing time alone, stay away.  (As an introvert, I really appreciated that.) If you needed to work on your marriage, stay in the hotel room. (As a single, I was envious.)   He then introduced a guy and brought him up on stage.  The youth minister shared the story of how he attended the National Youth Worker’s Convention the year before and how his marriage was strained under the toil of ministry.  When Mike told them to get a room, he and his wife did that.

At this point, a picture of a baby was displayed on the screens and the youth minister shared that this is what he took home from NYWC last year.  Everyone applauded.

So, today I’m taking Mike’s advice – I’m making a baby.  Not literally, of course.  But I more than a breakout session, I need some time to process, to think, to dream. I’m breaking out.  Just for awhile.

Thank you, Mike.  As always, you still continue to teach, inspire and convict us youth ministers. We miss you.