Living a Riddle.

Chilly —  February 2, 2016 — 50 Comments

This post generated over 40 comments… so, I’ve reposted it for MORE discussion.
(and if you left a previous comment, feel free to update us with what’s up now!)

Have you ever found yourself absolutely lost right in the middle of God’s perfect will? It’s like you totally know that He has you where He has you for a purpose — there’s obvious signs that there’s destiny in your existence — and yet, there’s so much uncertainty and wonder. It’s not a fear thing, or even a confusion thing; because God’s right there. And yet, you still find yourself holding your breath at times as you stare into space searching for significance and some sort of structure that puts everything into perspective.

LifeIsRiddleYou are confident of God’s calling but you can’t seem to find the job description, title, position or opportunity to do the things that make you come totally alive. You feel like you’re close… really close but, then again, you’re not even sure that you would know it if you ran right into it. Like lava churning in your heart, when you try to explain what’s happening, even to God, it blows like a volcano in all directions, loudly, quickly and recklessly.

So, you press on. Serve. Listen. Wait…

I don’t want those who read this to think I’ve lost my mind, but then again, I certainly don’t want them to think I’ve got it all together either. In the last year I’ve been called ‘pastor’ at two great churches, I’ve also been called: husband, father, son, brother, leader, minister, presbyter, entrepreneur, mentor, speaker, coach, friend, neighbor, director, reverend, staff, evangelist, barista, discipler and captain. That’s a lot of hats to wear! And, I’m still not sure that I’m doing all that I’m supposed to be doing (or not doing).

In Ephesians 4:11, it says that “these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers.” ALL five of these should be functioning in healthy church leadership, yet it kind of seems like all churches just want ‘pastors,’ and maybe a few ‘teachers.’ Is that weird to anyone else? And, yes, I’m “Pastor Chilly” — so, I only add to the confusion. What about those that are more apostolic? Or prophetic? Don’t see many job openings for those guys? 

Oops! This journal post rant is really not about ‘titles’ and ‘jobs’ … I’m not sure it’s about anything. Or, maybe it’s about everything! I’m trying to find myself, knowing that I’m found in others. Hmmm, that was a weird statement.

I find my greatest joy in mining for potential and then refining it for purpose. Helping people. Experiencing fun while serving. Impacting cities with love. Turning on the light in dark places. Identifying vulnerabilities and turning them into victories. Winning. Building crazy awesome teams. Adventure.  Making stars out of trash. Changing the world in others. Loving people. Attempting impossibilities.

How do you do get to do these things and still pay the bills?

I know I’m IN God’s will. I know He’s using me. And, for the most part, I’m pretty confident that I’m pleasing Him. So, why do I feel transition? Why keep searching for meaning? Why want MORE? Maybe, simply, because that’s the way God wired me.

Because, like you, I’m an original. I wasn’t designed by God to become someone else’s job description. To fall into line. Play it safe. Do a job. Check a box. Yawn! NO way!

I have big ideas, unique creativity, crazy dreams, tons of passion, huge expectations and focused determination.  I want to leave a legacy. I will WIN!

Do I wish it all made sense? No… that would require ZERO faith. I need faith. So, I’ll remain in the middle of God’s will — it will all make sense one day — and, on that day, it won’t even matter to me. One thing I do know, “He’s holding me with both hands” (my daughter Courtney taught me this)… and in His hands is the only place I want to be.

**By the way, since this rant, I have had 3-4 job descriptions or responsibilities, I’ve sold 2 houses and purchased another, and I’m now a youth pastor AGAIN! Awesome, right?  The adventure is SO MUCH better than I could write myself. I’m trusting Him. I’m thrilled!  And, the BEST is yet to come!

I’m also launching a youth ministry based, discipleship program in the Fall for those 18-24 ready to live recklessly abandoned to the call of Christ! It’s called //SpynOne! Stay tuned!

Breathing faster,

IF any of this resonated with you, feel free to leave a comment…


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Chilly is a follower of Christ, husband of a queen and father of avengers. Executive Director of Instagram: @thechillychilton Twitter: @iChilly "I LOVE: my wife Netta, our 5 amazing kids, Buckeyes, good coffee, U2, Nike shoes, anything Apple, sushi, my dog Jack, beach vacations, sports, books & YOU!"

50 responses to Living a Riddle.

  1. Great post. I love that, “lost in God’s will”. I’ve been on an amazing journey and have a feeling I’m about to learn more about myself than the 20 years in ministry. Total, utter dependence on Him.

    • Thanks Jason! Yeah, it’s fun to know that you’re right on the precipice of something totally awesome! Those 20 years will serve your next adventure. Remember them with grace and continue with courage!

  2. “Lost in God’s will” . I know this to be all too true. Encouraging post for me to read today!

  3. wendy gelispie May 22, 2014 at 6:58 am

    Well as Cheryl Salem says why is the wrong question. God will never answer the why question. Second if it was all planned out you would not need God. There would be no room for God. You would have put him in a box, not allowed him to be who he needs to be in our lives. I can tell you if God feeds the sparrow he will feed us. On my crazy walk God has always provided and every day I get one step closer to where God has place me to me in my Destiny. One day I sat in a meet and someone was talking and this came to me profound. GOD G=Goals o=Over come obstacles to D=Destiny. Have a great day Chilly

    • Thanks for your comment, Wendy.
      Yes, often times God wants us to simply serve and obey but He’s also gracious and occasionally gives us mentoring moments where we’re permitted to ask “Why?” — he did this at the end of busy ministry days with his disciples. I’m thankful for this. It reminds me that He doesn’t what me to be clueless or mindless in what I do. Thanks also for sharing: “GOD G=Goals o=Over come obstacles to D=Destiny.” — I love acronyms like this.

  4. I have been wondering about my ministry, too. For many years, I exuded confidence in what I was to do. I felt strong. I stood for what was right.
    I still do, but I wonder if I was too vocal. I took to writing. I felt bold. Then “speak the truth in love” whispered by the Holy Spirit in my ear.
    I feel the earth shaking. I ponder our past ministry as a church. I feel everything swirling. What I had been so sure of before seems all wrong, now. Then my feet stretch and there is that Rock. Jesus is always the same.
    And I think of Steve Brown’s intro to the radio show I used to listen to. “Just one beggar telling another where to find bread.” I am to introduce all to Jesus. The fruit of the spirit must come through me; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness and self control.
    I tell myself God is in control and I am where I am for a reason. I watch for the leading. I prayed for an escape from the job I am in. God has not had me move. I am learning many things in this journey. Mostly, like Paul, to be content in all situations and circumstances. When I have truly learned that I can move on to Philippians 4:13- I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.

  5. I feel almost exactly the same & have felt this way for awhile.

  6. Wow! I’ve been serving The Lord for 5 years and you just summed up my walk. Lol. There is a strange peace in knowing you are in His will while the chaos of transition and uncertainty looms constantly. Thanks for this post! I needed to read it! Thank God for creative people like you!!

  7. Man am I with you. I know I’m where He wants me to be. But at the same time feel completely stuck. I have no idea how where I am leads to where I feel He’s leading. So here I am. Trying to be steadfast and faithful, ready to move, but it doesn’t feel like I could if He told me when and where. I really. Feel. Cornered.

    It’s an odd, and sometimes frustrating place to be.

    • Yeah, the tricky part is to feel stuck without becoming stuck. To move past feeling to faith. So, thankful for the Holy Spirit — He lovingly prods me out of stickiness! Thanks for adding to the conversation today!

  8. You gave words to the feeling in me. Thank you

    • I’m SO glad — you’re welcome. And, know this: God is proud of you and is opening new doors of clarity & opportunity. Hold on!

  9. I feel like you put my thoughts and feelings to words!

  10. I am so glad that you are there shining light. Strength and courage in vulnerability 🙂

  11. Lost in God’s will. Great thought and yes right there. I know I am right where God wants me to be yet He is always moving me and placing me in another strategic place in His will. Never quite sure what God is going to call me to do next but I can definitely say there is no way I want to stand still or retire. Thanks for sharing as I think you spoke directly to me this morning.

  12. Edgar Cabello May 22, 2014 at 11:26 am

    So conflicted over this these days. And although our Abba doesn’t enjoy watching us squirm for sport, he knows we MUST wrestle to find peace at times. He is still a STRONG TOWER and an EVER PRESENT HELP in times of trouble, even ‘trouble’ that happens within his will. Sounds weird to say that, but I think it’s true. Your title: AGITATOR …Love you!

    • You’ve been a ROCK for me SO MANY times! I know God is going to bring GREAT things into your life SOON! Love you my brother.

      Chilly Chilton, Agitator — time to print new business cards.

  13. I’m so glad you think like this, even though its probably not a great feeling. Not enough people feel this way. Maybe it’s God’s way of proving himself to you over and over again. That never gets old, or maybe he is going to open a new gift in you. He may add to that list. Preparing you for something even bigger. The workers are few, and he knows you’re a great one. Just like Paul planted churches and went off to do other things, many apostles or great people never end up staying in one place too long, who knows….

    • Thanks for sharing and saying such encouraging words! We love you so much Sophie! One of the simple (yet profound) things I heard while reading your comment was: “… He knows …” — those two words are ALL that we need to know and TRUST!

  14. I understand I know how you feel

    • Kurt, you’re such a behind-the-scenes blessing to SO MANY! Praying that God leads you into a greater level of influence and opportunity!

  15. I m glad I ran across this, really relates to my prayers this morning. I was looking up scripture and I ran across this one in

    Revelation 21 But as for the cowards and the ignoble and the contemptible and the cravenly lacking in courage and the cowardly submissive, and as for the unbelieving and faithless, and as for the depraved and defiled with abominations, and as for murderers and the lewd and adulterous and the practicers of magic arts and the idolaters (those who give supreme devotion to anyone or anything other than God) and all liars (those who knowingly convey untruth by word or deed)—[all of these shall have] their part in the lake that blazes with fire and brimstone. This is the second death.

    I feel like I am lacking in courage. I feel lost in His will. I really believe he called me to step down from all the titles I held, and I know he is calling me in a new direction I just cant figure it out. I know what my problem is similiar to Paul I keep doing what I dont want to do . I am afraid. I guess I am afraid of feeling. I dont want to be the nosy gong and that is how I feel. I go back and forth with my decision to quit my job. Its not fun not getting a paycheck, yet He is providing al my needs.

    I was starving this morning, I havent read my word in weeks. I feel spiritually dehydrated. I know He has something in store for my life, I hope when the times comes I wont be much afraid anymore. All those titles I held really meant nothing, I was doing it for the glory instead of for Him.

    I dont want to be a noisy gong anymore.

  16. Wow. You nailed how I feel! I was beginning to think I was crazy for wanting more in my already overwhelming schedule, but when I walk closely with the Father, it’s not overwhelming at all. Its exciting and energizing! But everything you said worded perfectly that “in transition” feeling, even though I know I am right where I’m supposed to be! At the very least, I will now just rest in the peace of knowing others feel it too. A new wind, change without direction…. It’s happened before and we know we serve a consistent and unpredictable God. I’m excited! Can’t wait to hear where God leads you in this Chilli!

    • Thanks Stacy! Ultimately, God is simply leading back to Himself. Destination is not the focus, but instead DESTINY! Ahh, yes, this is my goal!

  17. Terry Murillo May 22, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    Having served on the religion mountain for 20 years so familiar with all those questions and now on the Arts & Entertainment sphere find myself asking those questions and many more cause so new and out of my comfort zone. Just a few days ago realized I finally know what I want to BE when I grow up, Happy, and what I DO is everything & anything the Lord will open the door to. It’s all about one day at a time ordered steps for me. So much freedom in that! Blessings Chilly, thanks for always being transparent. We need each others stories to get us through.

  18. Sheryl Szostak May 22, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    You have articulated the heart of so many within the church. So many know what God had called them to but there is no opportunity to express your gifts. So we wait and believe God has a perfect plan. Thank you for being transparent.

    • Maybe our gifts weren’t all meant for the church or require recognition or permission??! Go for it! The world is ready & waiting!

  19. “Do I wish it all made sense? No – that would require zero faith.” If I’m being honest, I want it all to make sense. My dear friends are facing the passing of their second child upon his or her birth due to a fatal abnormality. They lost their firstborn daughter after only spending 10 hours with her last September because of a similar condition. It’s hard to find the strength to pray for healing when God said No last time. It’s hard not to be angry or confused or in despair. But in the depth of my heart, I know that this is what faith looks like: believing in the goodness and power of God, not only when there’s no evidence, but when evidence would suggest otherwise.

    • Alicia, one thing that helped me with those unanswered “why’s” was reading the book The Shack. We don’t always have the answers but we can trust that God is for us, working within our choices for everything to work out for his glory. You don’t know what incredible things God can do in the sad circumstances that you’re describing, but you can trust His heart for your friends is good. Praying for you Alicia.

    • Alicia, thank you for sharing both your struggle and your faith (and courage). I wish we had some of those answers and that God answered every prayer the way we wish… but, I trust Him. He knows best. And, in the process, He is growing our faith & character. Bless you!

  20. “You are an original” I love that and need to live it more. God’s original, and He has a specific plan that no one can fulfill but us. Inspiring as always you are!

  21. Paul Somerville May 23, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    I feel this way a lot. I know the call, the time, place, and people. At least, for the most part. There’s a “next thing”. A BIGGER thing. I’m not talking about that really big plan God has for His creation, I mean there’s an awesome plan for my church and my community. That’s the thing I am urged to….but I don’t know really what it is or how my role will fit in. I just know that I can’t stop. It’s like trying to stop the birth of a child. I’m just trying to have the place ready for the birth. Truthfully, it feels like a lot of “prophets” have come along but none of them seem to want to stay. The only people that seem to want to stay ARE the Pastors and Teachers. Are the rest of them really meant to “settle down” in a local assembly? Frankly, I have had more than one moment when I’ve thought “Who needs em anyway.” I sit in the gravy for a while, then repent and get back to business. Sure would be nice to see all five of those seats filled though! Great read, Pastor. Thank you for ministering to us. Blessings.

    • Thanks for responding Paul! Your thoughts on the 5-Fold are interesting… my take is a bit different. I think a lot of people that are called “pastor” are actually much stronger in another area. For example, I think “pastor” is one of my weakest strengths, I’m more apostolic (but I’m still around 10 years and counting in Detroit). Yet, like you, transition within still stirs… Hmmm?

      • When I made this comment, I wasn’t a Pastor yet. Now I am! That “urge” stills simmers in me though. Thank you for your wisdom, Pastor. Many perspectives brings a clearer view. Blessings

  22. “Because, like you, I’m an original. I wasn’t designed by God to become someone else’s job description. To fall into line. Play it safe. Do a job. Check a box. Yawn! NO way!”

    I love this because it is a refreshing thought that what I am doing has never been done before, and although I can learn from what others have done in the past, my relationship with Christ is what makes it the best for today. I am not here to fit the mold, to be someone else’s idea, to fulfill a job title. I have already been given those by God through His word and those things make it possible for me to pursue Gods will with reckless abandonment.

  23. Hmm. I could have written this with a few of the “hats” having a different title. Everything you described is what’s going on inside this head, heart and gut. I keep saying “You wired me….so please don’t get mad when I seem to flail in my faith or trust, please don’t get upset with me when I throw a tantrum because I question “how much longer does this uncertainty have to go on?” And then I go back to scripture and in my mind crawl up on His lap and remember His promises and recall His blessings and then it’s okay because I remember “He’s a good, good Father.”

    • YES! And, I’m so thankful that God is not turned off or offended by our questions, rants, tantrums or silence. He loves us. He’s patient. He sees the best. He allows us time to process and “come to the end of ourselves” (yet again) and then – as you said – crawl back into His kind, loving and SO wise presence. He gives us a glimpse of His perspective and the potential He sees. And, we sigh… smile… and, press on!

      Thanks for reading and responding Laura! I’m praying for you today!

  24. Yes. D.) all of the above. — i have found myself, more lately i think, asking God why i’m back in PA. I have no idea why He brought me back here and it’s almost been a year. I loved New England. My heart was at home there and maybe someday I shall return. But for now, I know that this is where i’m supposed to be…no matter how uncomfortable or weird it feels. The “best” part of it all is that even though, at times, I get so restless and i want to go “home,” i’m perfectly at peace here. — was that too confusing? lol

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