Friday, December 29, 2006

memoirs of an invisible man

Babel is fallen.

Crumbled into a heap of rubble by the hand of the Almighty. For a time we may mourn the passing of our dreams and aspirations, but it's necessary that Babel die. God will tolerate no competition for our hearts. It is impossible to attempt to make a name for ourselves while calling ourselves His disciples.

Missions. Something so close to God's heart. But because it is not God Himself, it is susceptible to idolization. Missions and ministry was my Babel, made in my own image and for my own glory. And God must act in order to bring total chaos and confusion into my life so that I come down from Babel, and so that I will turn my eyes upon Jesus once again. Once Babel is out of the picture there's nothing obscurring the view.

The call of God now is not into the mission field, but into the Church. Go to church ... for real this time. Love the church ... for real this time. For so long it was my workplace, a place of struggle and strife. I liked the feeling of doing something for God, but I despised the instituion itself. I secretly resented how I was being used like a comodity.

All that's gotta change. Time for a great exchange. Learning to feel what life is like on the other side, as a member, a recipient. How hard it will be to give up control, to shut my mouth and not take charge, not make a comment or give an answer or show them how it's done. To follow and not lead, to listen and not speak, to submit and obey. To be in the church and not outside, above or beyond the church. To be one of the sheep again, for the first time.


Saturday, December 23, 2006

Horses of War

Sure, wild stallions can have a function. Let them loose and watch them fly. They jump and spin and flail about, running faster than the wind. They’ll kick with brutal force. You might even be able to mount one for a few seconds and it might even take you somewhere towards your desired destination before it throws you off. It’s got zeal, passion, energy.

But a horse who has gone through the trials of time and testing; now he’s another creature altogether. Hours upon hours, days upon days of exercise and drill in order break him. You tame him, yet he is not weakened. You make him submit and obey. Then, that horse becomes still … disciplined. He goes where his rider wishes. He will run swiftly towards an oncoming lance and never flinch, he will leap over a cliff to certain death if commanded to. He becomes a horse of war; a truly useful beast. He will last for the long haul and be faithful companion.

It's true that passion without purpose is pointless. And that purpose must be that which lay on the horizon and not what is two steps in front of you. To fulfill the purpose that lay on the horizon one must focus his passions. At times focussing one's passions looks like anything but passion. In the movie Higher Learning, with Ice Cube (heh), the two most racist and most passionate guys in the movie (the bosses) were the one's who held back, they were calm and reserved through most of the movie while the "wild stallions" were out causing trouble like petty thugs. They controlled their zeal and did not unleash it too early. They let it sit, slowly boiling, slowly festering. It's not until the very end where you see how serious those bosses really were.

Missions that matter are long term missions. Going far and going long means digging your roots deep. It means building relationships and solid foundations of support. I need to be reminded that whlie I may seem zealous for missions, it's God who's heart is boiling over and deeply grieving over the lost. He is the passionate one. Instead of flailing around making splashes in the sea, all I need to do is ride the wave of God's passion and do what I see the Father doing.

to infinity and beyond.