More than a little reticent to attend my first Kairos, I wanted nothing to do with it. Undoubtedly, there were some personal issues to address, but I struggled with trusting anyone, and when I got honest with myself; I was not convinced that God was trustworthy. Repeatedly, I told my wife that I was not interested.
Because I had no frame of reference other than previous seminars which were truly disappointing, I dug my heels in. My wife eventually stopped hinting and very directly asked me to go. I kept telling her “No”, but eventually I realized that if she cared enough about me to ask, it was only fair to pray about it sincerely, and when I did, I felt like God directed me to attend. Unhappy, I took time off work.
All my life I struggled with accepting God’s love for me; I didn’t believe that He had my best interest at heart. I couldn’t believe that God was in a good mood, at least not when He thought of me.
One transformative moment took place when I threaded my way to the back of the auditorium and met Steve who prayed for me and said that he had something from God for me and asked if he could share it. Reluctantly and very guardedly, I said yes.
Steve described a scene from a movie, then looked me in the eye and said, “I think God is telling you to swing away.”
Astounded, a few droplets of moisture leaked from my eyes. If he said anything more after those words, I don’t recall, but God said an awful lot to me as my eyes leaked.
Let me explain the impact of those nine words: One of my sons loves to play baseball almost as much as he likes to eat. Since he was very young, he hated striking out and I had gotten into the habit of telling him to “relax, swing hard and see what happens”: In short, I told him that it’s OK to strike out; that he shouldn’t be so intent on not swinging and missing that he watch a strike hit the catcher’s mitt.
God’s intent was clear. To a perfectionist, someone who was literally terrified of failure, as well as a baseball dad, “Swing away” was especially impactful. With that enormous stronghold of a lie that I believed, that God hated me when I failed, that even a slight mistake would turn God’s heart against me, it was easy to avoid situations in which I felt that I would not perform well. With permission to fail, I suddenly realized that I could fail without catastrophic consequences.
Somewhere along the course of my life, I believed a lie about God’s character, and consequently, lived a husk of what God intended.
Until that moment when God said “Swing away” and everything changed.
“Swing away” liberated me that day, and in the years since, I’ve recalled those words often, and I can now see my progress in terms of mile markers rather than tiny increments on a ruler. That profound revelation of God’s love for me, His acceptance of me and His delight in me regardless of my success or failure, would not have come that day had I not attended Kairos, and I wonder if I might not still be afraid of God’s bad mood.
Your Kairos will be unique. God will say something to you when you take the moment to step away from responsibilities and distractions and set aside a few hours to sit in God’s presence. I promise. Let Him whisper something that will expose a lie and bring a healing that lasts. Let Him tell you how much He believes in you, and then believe Him and His Word.
God thinks about you constantly, and He’s got a lot to say to you and I’m willing to bet that His words will change your life. They changed mine.