I’m not sure I will ever be able to describe this feeling…
Francis Chan has been something of a distant mentor to me ever since reading Crazy Love for the first time nearly 4 or 5 years ago. I’ve followed his travels, listened to podcasts, and watched interviews all in the effort of trying to understand Jesus a little better as Francis portrays Him. I was at Passion 2010 when, during a breakout session, Francis detailed out the feelings, emotions and thoughts that went through his head and heart when he finally pleaded with his brother to begin to explore a relationship with Christ. He took us down the road the Paul went down as He, literally, bled for the Church that he had so passionately and fervently devoted his life to beginning and nurturing as the Holy Spirit led him.
Recently, I was sitting in my office after a Wednesday Night and could not help but know, very well, the heaviness that I felt in my heart. It was something that I could not describe with words, I would never be able to completely understand, and continued to be inexplicable for the duration of the week. The best I could come up with is the term that Francis used this past January, Holy Anguish.
My heart bleeds for the Church. Now, more than ever. I have always had a distinct desire to see change in the church, both older generations and the new, but it has been a very clear angst that has developed in my soul over the past year or so. Where I constantly see my heart leading me is toward the next generation. It’s not that I don’t think that the current generations in the church are unreachable or that they are not worthy of attention from the almighty Geoff Cocanower. But, God has placed inside of me a very obvious and distinct desire to see the next generation reach their potential, together, for the cause of Christ.
The point of this post is probably more for personal reflection than anything else. Which means it probably should have made it onto the pages of my moleskine instead of the pixels of my screen. However, I think that there is something inside each and every one of us that we cannot fully explain. Desires and passions to see a difference in something that we cannot completely comprehend and at times, when we truly allow it to take over, we are unable to avoid its pull on our heart and mind. We cannot begin to explain it or even come close to having people understand us for it. But we are incessantly consumed by it. It is the Holy Anguish that we feel for a certain group of people or a place or a longing that we feel but words can never do it justice, songs cannot describe it and, in the end, we are the only one that can truly understand the passion that we feel for it.
Bring this back to practicality. At some point, our lives must come to be shaped by this longing and this indescribable desire. Clearly, we are at our best when we are controlled and moved by the Spirit of God and we cannot truly be maneuvered by Him when we are pursuing the things that we want by avoiding the things that we desire. So the question becomes rather simple. What are you doing, right now, that is simply driven by the desire that is inside of you that forces you to lose sleep? And, What is it going to take for you to finally recognize that those things, the things that cause temporary insomnia, unintentional daydreaming, and immeasurable euphoria in your heart to take over your life and determine how you are go about your days and nights?
Geoff Cocanower is the senior high director of at Nappanee Missionary Church and blogs at