What's Your Isaac?

Somewhere along the road of this “journey to nowhere” (Charlotte), my good friend and mentor Denny said something I have not forgotten. When we were discussing what all of this could be about, he said;

“Aaron you have to be willing to lay down your Isaac. Maybe God is asking you to give Him your Isaac. You need to determine what that is and be willing to give it to Him.”

What Denny was referring to was Genesis 22:1-15 where Abraham showed God he was obedient by laying his son on an altar. At the last moment, God provided a ram as the sacrifice and Isaac’s life was spared. I’ve often wondered if there weren’t some father-son issues after that moment. I wonder if Isaac didn’t say “dude..what was THAT all about”? But Abraham knew. Abraham was following what he believed and being obedient. In the end, God provided another way.

Over the past several months, I’ve been in search of my Isaac. Leaving Columbus was going to be hard. This is our community. This is our home. These are our friends, mentors, brothers, sisters. This is where “iron sharpens iron” and people have poured into our lives. Yet God wanted to know if we were willing to give it up. Were we willing to go as far as Charlotte to commit ourselves to his call? At the last moment, He provided a ram (not ramses the UNC mascot either!).

So my question is this…”what is your Isaac”? Are you willing to give up the thing that you treasure most in obedience to God? Are you willing to get to that final moment when it looks completely out of your control to prove just that? To prove that we are not the one in control? Give it up. Give up your Isaac today and God will prove faithful. He always does.

What’s Your Isaac?

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Why We're Staying

Rather than fumble over words I can’t begin to explain, I’ll let someone much more qualified explain why we are not going to Charlotte. I have a peace this morning (even in the midst of the pending craziness) that I have not had in a long, long time. Amen?

Something Even BIGGER

Well friends, we’re back from a whirlwind 72 hour tour of Charlotte, North Carolina. Some of you may be looking at that picture and saying…”that looks like Columbus, Ohio”. If you did, you’re right. It is. On the heels of the big announcement from Friday, I have an even more wild and crazy one.

The Conrad Family is STAYING in Columbus, Ohio!

The details will be coming in future posts, but to give you an idea of what the next week to two weeks holds. I’m off to Denver Colorado on Tuesday and Wednesday. I’m in Indianapolis on Thursday. We’re still scheduled to close on our house on the 19th. You read that correctly. As of the writing of this post, we are bound by our contract and due to sell our existing home. We could use a miracle on that minor detail.

If no miracles happen, we’re combing Hilliard for available homes which we can relocate to. Again, the details are crazy right now, but this is our “home” and we believe God wants us here. Even after the sale of our home and the prospect of being “homeless” in 2 short weeks.

I told you to buckle up. Much, much, much more to come!

“Crazy” by MercyMe

Something Big

 

In March of this year, we began a journey that took a BIG turn yesterday. Huge. In reviewing that post tonight. I recalled quoting the lyrics of John Waller when he sang:

“Something so big, it’s destined to fail without you Lord”

Friends, readers and those that may be visiting for the first time, I have an announcement to make….

In a little over two weeks, the Conrad family will become official residence of Charlotte, North Carolina.

Yes, you read that correctly. TWO WEEKS! I told you it was big. As late as Tuesday evening, I was just telling Heather that “if God wants us in Charlotte, He is going to make it pretty obvious”. In the category of “Be careful what you wish for” I got a call from our Realtor and friend Steve this morning to inform me that there was an offer on the table. Never expected that. While the offer was less than we were asking (common practice), it was in no way insulting and certainly within bargaining room. It also had a qualifier. Our potential buyer wanted to close by September 19th. They also wanted an answer by 8pm today.

We met at 6pm and prepared our counter offer knowing we might only get one shot at it. Knowing we might need to be house shopping in Charlotte this weekend, we requested their response by 10am. 30 minutes after leaving our home, our Realtor called and said:

“I’ve got good news and bad news. The bad news is Missy and I are going to really miss you guys. The good news is that you just sold your home.”

Just like that, in the matter of 8 hours the kite has officially been launched in the hurricane (Hannah to be exact). We’re headed to Charlotte tomorrow afternoon and will be barnstorm house shopping on Saturday and Church visiting on Sunday. There is much more to come on this story, but if I could ask your prayers for direction, discernment and wisdom this weekend they would sure be appreciated. We’re excited about chasing daylight while placing our trust in much greater hands.

I’m sure I’ll post some updates to Twitter and Facebook throughout the weekend. Thank you all for your prayers and sharing the journey so far. Buckle up friends…it’s going to be a wild ride!

“Something Big” by John Waller

I Missed My Moment

In the book “Chasing Daylight” Erwin McManus tells the a gut-wrenching story about being at the beach with his son. They see a paralyzed man on crutches making his way up from the beach. Erwin decides to walk the other way. His 10 year old son, Aaron,  turned away from him and went to help the man. To quote McManus:

“Several thoughts were racing through my mind. I had been caught was one of them. Yet at this point, it wasn’t that I was unwilling to go; it was just clear that this was Aaron’s moment. I had missed mine. His compassion had moved him to heroism. While Aaron seized his divine moment, I was stuck in a moment I couldn’t get out of.”

Yesterday after my surgery I was placed in a room with another man. The curtain in between us could not hide the sounds of pain, suffering and sadness on the other side. As I moved quickly from recovery to going home, I was a witness to someone less fortunate. While I cannot begin to explain my sincere appreciation for a quick and painless operation, I think I missed my moment. Today what hurts me more than stitches and soreness is the heartbreak that God gave me a chance. He gave me a moment. I missed it.

As frustrated as I am with myself, I wonder how God feels. He gave me an opportunity to live my favorite quote: “you can say what you think, but you will live what you believe“. I missed it. I had the opportunity to be Jesus to this man. I don’t know a thing about him. I don’t know his story. I just know that I am moved today by my lack of response. I had a moment and I missed it.

I’m leaving in a few minutes to go back to Riverside and visit this man. I pray that God would allow one more opportunity and forgive my lack of action. I pray that I haven’t missed my moment again.

Somewhere in the Middle” by Casting Crowns