Now that 50 doesn't seem so old, it's interesting to look back and see where Christ has led me. If you would have told me the story of my life 30 years ago, I would have told you you were crazy. So many of the most important relationships in my life just began-- no seeking, no analysis, no understanding-- just WHAM! Here's your wife. WHAM! Here's your brother. WHAM! Here's your calling. My life is a pinball hitting the bumpers-- and when I hit, I go all the way to TILT.
So, I'm off on a new (old) trajectory, asking questions and suggesting answers that seem to bother a lot of people older than I am. I see a mission field that is desperately in need of Christ's love, God's redemption, and the Holy Spirit's direction through the Word, and I see those who claim to have meeting that need as their purpose getting their kicks from kicking each other, pointing out each other's weaknesses and taking their ability to criticize the other's weakness as a demonstration of God's strength.
I see children, now not just one or two, but five or ten or fifteen, with no one in their corner-- no one who will help them learn, no one who cares when they fall, too many of them with no one who feeds them physical food, much less emotional or spiritual food. And all the adults are on diets.
I see a culture, a church, obsessed with entertainment and distraction while we send young men and women to die for us, we allow the state to kill for us, we watch as we kill ourselves with booze and pills, and babies unborn never see the light of day. Death is all around us, but we are too busy playing to pay attention, much less to see what we can do to alleviate the suffering, much less to sacrifice, to die for another. "Greater love hath no man than this...." Where is that greater love?
Where is it in the Church? Is that greater love in Robert's Rules? Is it in our debates? Is it in our fine buildings filled with good people who are afraid of the little one who hasn't had a bath in a week, or the man who is strung out? Each of us called by Christ has a purpose-- a mission, and that mission will never involve gold dust and a spot light. Follow Jesus and you will end up in cold, dark, desperate places-- that's where the need is.
My mission at the moment seems to be to find someone who thinks I'm an idiot for opposing Amendment 08B, and to love them. Yours may be to find someone who is a banana peel away from the edge of death, and to love them into life. But following Jesus doesn't keep your fingernails clean. Service for Jesus doesn't leave you laughing and relaxed, saying, "that was a good show." Loving Jesus means that I am ready to be emptied, not to be filled-- to understand, not to be understood-- to love, not to be loved.
So the voting, the posturing, and the positioning go on; they will always be with us. Follow Jesus, and don't be afraid of what the posers think-- follow Jesus into the places and to the people you fear, and watch Him wipe away your fears as He dries their tears. There is work to be done. Let's get to lovin'.