Stepping out of the shadows, and becoming dangerous—Day #5 of the 30 day challenge to blog

One of my best friends, Jesse Bryan, once told me “The minute you stop making decisions out of fear, is the minute you become dangerous.”

I had to do something yesterday I really didn’t want to do. I had to apologize to my father. See, last easter I called him a bitch. Why? Because I genuinely thought he was being one. But as my loved ones told me yesterday, “Yeah, you probably should apologize. It still wasn’t cool” (I’m paraphrasing because it wasn’t just one loved one. It was three.)

I told my loved ones, that Jesus has taught me to forgive and love my enemies, but it becomes increasingly hard when your family becomes your enemy. I get that Jesus wants me to love my enemies. I just suck at it. But hopefully I’ll get better, and become more like Christ, with every baby step in that direction. Even if I have to grin and bear it. Which is what I had to when I dialed my father’s phone, and I left him a message and said…”I apologize for calling you a bitch…well, actually I don’t think I was calling you a bitch…but that you were acting like one…that was rude and unkind…I’m sorry. I still would like to have a relationship with you. I love you.” And I do. In the recesses of my heart there is affection for my dad. Problem is it tends to get buried by pain, hurt, sin, shame, and bitterness.

I know my friend Jesse told me this quote too, but I’m not sure if it was his or not. He said, “Bitterness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” Seems like Jesse has all the good quotes.

Yeah, I’m bitter. What’s that Rich Mullins line, “My friends aren’t the way I wish there were, but I’ll be my brothers keeper…”Well neither is my Dad. But I’m not sure if I want to keep him. But here’s the crazy thing. I must. I just wish things were different. I wish he were a dad that would call me up and want to go camping, or on a trip just him and I…but he just likes to work. I get it. I love to work…and work, and business, and success, and being liked and admired for your work is a blast I get it…but at the cost of loosing out on years of a relationship with your family…I mean you have to ask…was it worth it? I am my fathers son…and I have the same appetite for drivenness…and even thought it’s painful…he has given me an example…and example of how not to be a dad….and it may sound like I’m being a jerk here…but I mean it…if I didn’t have a dad that showed me what not to do through is failure…I could end up being that distant work-a-father too….and I don’t want Lucy to grow up with that. So he’s given me an example to pray against.

When I think about being afraid, a visual that comes to my mind is me. A fully grown adult, cowering in the corner, holding my legs up to my chest, trembling in the shadows just like I did as a boy. I don’t know many people that DON’T struggle with being fearful. Even the brave ones, like Jesse. Sure they are able to be brave with things that most of would be terrified of. But even the brave ones might gulp if they saw a 9 foot giant with a sword, like when David went out to kill Goliath.

Just this week I was having lunch with a TV writer, who has just been an awesome friend. He’s also a fellow Rich Mullins nut like me. And he’s been very successful in this industry…and he has come to a fork in the road…go back to a job he like’s okay…that provides safety and security…or give his artistic freedom and capabilities a go…I said a lot of things to him, probably too much…I got to work on that…but to sum it up I said…”Well you know the Brennan quote right…To live a life without risk is to risk not living.”

I hold heartedly believe that. I think every time I make a decision out of fear. I’m choosing to live in the shadows. Fear is such a funny thing…because we make such quick decisions to NOT do things…to not take the risk…without really counting the cost…and asking ourselves why…it just feels like were thinking about it a lot…but were not…were just afraid…and we think about how that’s scary for whatever reason…and it plays on a loop. Over and over again, and prevents us from asking the simple question…what do I have to be afraid of? I’m at the point to where I don’t think there’s anything good or healthy of making decisions out of fear. Sure you may even make a wrong decision. But I think Christ came to set us free, and how dare I dishonor that, how about I honor that mission of the messiah…and respond to his great love with living in that freedom. And I don’t just mean liberties here, like cussin’, smokin’, and drinkin’ …I mean the freedom of making decisions out of being liked…I mean freedom from making decisions because…you are worried what people will think of you…I mean freedom from making decisions because…you are worried what you will do if you loose your job…I mean freedom from making decisions because…you are worried about money, security, and let alone you ignore the word of God here that he provides for the birds of the air…let alone his beloved child…

I want to be free. For me this has turned a corner in my heart in Hollywood. I found myself in big and even in subtle ways wanting at times to not talk about my faith. Which for me to not talk about Jesus, is to not fully be me, because I’m all about Jesus. Now some of this I believe to be healthy wisdom, because I truly like to build relationships with people, and I don’t want to make people feel like I’m shoving Jesus down their throat…but I do think I’m 35…and the reason I didn’t kill myself at 10 was because of Jesus. Because I don’t think he was just a historical figure…I think he rose from the grave and he’s alive, and he sent the Holy Spirit to live in and around me…who’s been guiding me, convicting me, but mostly loving me like only the spirit of the ABBA FATHER could do…and thank God…I needed a father. So when it comes to Hollywood I’ve become a little more fearless. But not absent from it. But the real problem wasn’t telling people that I’m a Christian. Eventually I’d have no problem with it, once we got to know each other…I mean my best friend in LA isn’t a Christian. He loves me for me. And I love him…but the real problem was the sin/idol issue deep in my heart…I want a career so bad out here that…I don’t want this whole Jesus thing to blow it…there’s times that I find a grossness in my heart that is so gross it makes me gag…and it’s all about having a career. And even though the theology was right in my head, it wasn’t right in my heart.

A few months back I was driving in my car, and I asked God…”God why am I so unhappy most of the time…” And I felt his gentle spirit say to me…”Because you’re not fully surrendered in the deepest recesses of you.” I was still hiding in the shadows. Sometimes you hide from people, and sometimes you hide from monsters, but sometimes who hide from God. Especially when you want something or should I say…when something has become greater in your heart…than God himself. It may even be a good thing. Like a spouse, or a hobby, or even reading your bible…but whatever it is…at the end of the day it’s you choosing you…over God. What’s the Matt Chandler quote I really like..oh yea…”You could have had God, but you choose light beer.” And that’s not a knock against drinking. Chandler drinks. But like I’ve said before. Anything can become an idol you worship. Anything can become a sin, if it resides in the throne of your heart, instead of God.

That’s why I like C.S. Lewis’ description of hell…”At judgement day…you will either say…Abba your will be done…or God will say to you …”your will be done.” And you’ll get everything you’ve ever wanted. All of your desires, and idols, except you won’t get God…and that will become your hell.

So where am I at today, I’m a little bit more surrendered, but not fully. I”m a little less sinful, yet not fully. And I’m a little more dangerous, and not as much as I hope to be.

But I took a good step yesterday. I apologized to my Dad. I fought through my pride, and had to admit I was unkind and unfair to him. No matter the piles and piles of shit and pain and sin he’s caused me that he doesn’t even realize or even seem to care…I still was wrong…I had a picture in my heart of what forgiving and loving your enemies is like…and it comes from the movie Good Will Hunting.

At the end of the movie when Robin Williams and Matt Damon are talking about abuse…and Matt is opening up about what his step father used to do…he said…”My step father used to just put a belt, a stick, and a wrench on the table and say choose.” Robin Williams said, “Gotta go with the belt there.” And Matt Damon said, “No. I choose the wrench.” And Robin Williams said, “Why?” And Matt Damon said, “Because fuck him that’s why.”

So I’m choosing today to forgive and love one of my enemies. My father. Why? Because fuck him that’s why.

Goodbye for now my friends and fellow Ragamuffins.

Becoming a little more dangerous,

David Leo Schultz

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~ by David Leo Schultz on October 10, 2015.

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