I have a major confession to make and when you read it you may find it to be a bit of a shock.
We all have this goal of what we would like to be when we "grow up" don't we?
I mean when I was a boy, the goal was very simple. I wanted to be a ninja.
I made my own weapons, practiced hanging from doorways and learning the black arts of stealth.
That was a child's dream of course and now that I am thirty five the goal has been elevated to something far more practical and useful to society.
While I am not downplaying the importance of the role of a functioning ninja in today's fast past society structure, I am merely pointing out the fact that my personal goals have shifted to areas more suited to my present skill set.
When I grow up, my personal goal is to become a Hermit.
I think that I am actually more suited for this occupational career than I am comfortable in admitting.
I love meeting new people and socializing, but there are times in life when I desire nothing more than a cave (This is why I have a man cave), no cell phone reception, and a volleyball companion named "Mr.Wilson".
I think the reasons why I feel the desire to retreat to a place of castaway is in fact for the very same reasons why you do.
How do know this?
Because you and I are pretty much the same in the fact that we all find ourselves in seasons of life where the Cave is more suitable to us than the Castle.
The Castles of life have the need for us to think and behave in a manner of royalty and dignity and interact with wisdom and precision. There are many things that you will find furnishing a castle, but one thing that castle in all of it's spaciousness has no room for would be doubt, insecurity, and vulnerability.
Castles of life call for a steady head to prevail and they demand that you are absolutely certain about the next step for the kingdom that you oversee.
That is the castle.
The castle is a great place to live and I believe that each of us would say that the castle is where we would all like to stay permanently, but this is not reality. The reality of it all is the fact that the caves are also a part of life.
The Caves are just as much a part of our life as the castles.
The Caves are the times when we find ourselves looking at what we know the long term goals and destinations of our life to be and then we look around at where we are and ask the tough questions.
"How is this season shaping me for the next?"
I find another castaway sitting in his own man cave that encourages me during the times of shifting between the Castles and the Caves.
"David therefore departed thence, and escaped to the cave Adullam:.." ~ 1 Samuel 22:1
David was anointed as a very young boy to be the next king of Israel. Think about that for a minute.
Talk about a summer to remember.
He was tending his Father's sheep when he is called to stand before THE prophet of Israel. This was THE guy who made kings. I imagine that his flushed skin tingled as that warm oil slid down through his scalp and ran in streams down his neck and channeled across his shoulders.
David was going to be the next king!!!
The next day, he was back out with the sheep, doing the day to day tasks and within his heart now beat a new purpose. Tending sheep more complicated than anything he had worked with before.
Have you ever seen a glimpse of what God has given you to do or be a part of?
It's huge, and overwhelming.
Very often you look at what you have around you at the moment He shows you and you see that you are already doing a similar thing but on a different level.
Paul the tent maker was used to thread the structure of the church.
John was mending nets and he was given the future of mending the understanding that people had and still place of Father.
Peter was fishing and his future was to be spent gathering up men.
What does Father speak into your life?
How does it relate to something you are doing right at this moment.
I often wonder if David did not look back and realize that God sent him into the highways and the hedges to be in place where the "lost sheep" could be gathered up?
"...and when his brethren and all his father's house heard it, they went down thither to him. And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men." 1 Samuel 22:1-2
So the Cave was in all actuality the best preparation for the Castle!
It is the Cave season of life that truly tempers us and refines us for the Castles that God has for us.
While in the Cave David poured out his heart in the Psalms that strengthen us to so much extent today.
Can you see him laying there at night and just looking around at 400 people who were the lowest of the low? Each of them were having their own individual cave experience too.
Can you hear him???
"How in the world does this relate to the purpose in my chest?"
"I was anointed...wasn't I?"
" When Saul came to me and brought me into the palace I was not surprised because after all, how do you learn proper Castle protocol than from a king right? I thought this would be on the job training?"
So David stayed in the Cave.
Maybe you are in a Cave season of your life and you want nothing to do with anybody but a Mr.Wilson.
The Cave is so far from the Castle place, ministry, or arena of life that you felt God had called you to and you find yourself staring in disgust at the surroundings that are so very different than the surrounding that you felt He had for you.
Look at this please!
"And the prophet Gad said unto David, Abide not in the hold; depart, and get thee into the land of Judah." ~ 1Samuel 22:5
David was hiding out in the cave and he was surrounded by people who also found themselves hiding out in a cave.
Then an un-named prophet comes up and gives David an incredible word. It was a word that I find applies to you and to me for the times that we find our self in a cave type experience.
"Abide not in the hold..."
Simple and yet to the point.
If you find yourself in a cave type of experience, it's OK.
Yep. It's OK to be in a cave from time to time.
The best of us find ourselves in caves as we make our journey to the castles that God has showed us to be in our future.
There is no shame when you find yourself frustrated in a cave pouring your heart out to God wondering how it fits into the plan of a castle, but don't plan on staying there.
The cave is only a place on the path and it is certainly NOT the final destination when God has promised a castle.
The day you should worry about is not the day that a cave precedes a castle, but rather the day that you decide that the cave is where you need to stay.
If you are in a cave today, it's OK to be there for now. Take your time and find your voice with the Lord, but don't stay there.
If you have found yourself with the vision of a future castle placed within your spirit, please understand that training for that castle will more than likely take place, not in a courtyard, but in a cave experience.
I liked the movie castaway and found it fitting to use as the backdrop to this post because in the movie the main character finds himself in a circumstance that seemed hopeless.
He even befriended a volleyball that he named "Mr. Wilson". He seemed to despair in the movie and at one point had came to the conclusion that no matter what he thought he was going to do one day, he was destined to die in the "cave" of an isolated island.
Then he decided that the dream (Delivering a package) was more important that the cave he was in and decided to leave.
Caves or remote islands, it really doesn't matter which one you feel you are on. They are both just a place to temporarily stop before you move on to the dream that God has for you to live in and through Him!
Don't make Mr. Wilson a permanent friend. He stays in the cave, not you!
Get up, and get back after it!
Climbing with you,