This evening I faced a fear. The fear of rejection, the fear of not being able to cut the muss in the midst of a crowd of people that probably could. In the hours leading up to going to this place, I was fearful. I was afraid that I would embarrass myself greatly because what I walking into was way above my head. I was one second away from not going to the place where I was going to go when I realized two things. One “What do I have to lose in the midst of people that don’t know me?” Two “Could it be that hard compared to the awesome assignment I have before me in ministry?” So I did like the old white lady on the train in “Coming to America” said. I took a chance. And in taking a chance, the results were magical and empowering. I never knew I could do what I did. Want to know what I am talking about? Check it out:
Never be afraid of taking chances, you’ll be surprised with yourself.
It is Holy Week and if I don’t post another thing this week, I think this will sum up where I am, where I am trying to be and how I feel. Never has a song created by any man or woman moved me to the depths of my being. So I share it with you. The imagery is intense so look away if you are sensitive but keep your ears open.
Have a Blessed Holy Week.
This evening I had a really interesting conversation with a colleague about our call as Christians. She shared with me that she thought the people in our office believed that she was a bad Christian because of bit of steam she had let off earlier in the day–and is known to let off at times. I then proceeded to tell her about a dear friend, who in expressing his own frustration, used extremely colorful language to which she said “Well, at least he was being authentic.” My response to her statement was “That is not the authenticity that God calls us to.” And it hit me like a ton of bricks. It was a weighted statement that came out of my mouth and right then I knew I was being called out.
It is an eye-opening experience when God reminds you of what he called you to do and the person he called you to be when he adopted you into his body. I know that sometimes I forget and I let the way of the world dictate how I act in certain situations but this evening God reminded me that his way is the only way that matters. This is hard to say because I know there are times when I want to light into someone like a drunk sailor on Fleet Week but that isn’t the way God desires for me to communicate with my brothers and sisters. When someone annoys me in ministry with talk that I believe is not of God, I shouldn’t just roll my eyes and ignore them but I should take that moment to be prayerful and possibly even approach the person to speak about it instead of going into a clique and complaining. I always go back to this scripture but I have to because it is my constant reminder, “Life and death are in the power of the tongue.”
The other part of my conversation with her that keeps on replaying in mind is when she said “People probably think I am a bad Christian.” At that moment I realized that there is nothing any of us can do to prove to someone outside of the body that we are a “good Christians.” We can’t base our walk on hoping to prove our goodness to people. We can only hope that God is pleased and frankly if God is pleased it means you’ve had to surrender and walk away from many things that other people would consider foolish.
The call is so deep, there’s so much to consider and tonight made me remember that this is no walk in the park. This is a challenge to decide if you believe living God’s way is the only way or if you are to scared to go all the way. It’s so much to consider that I encourage you to reflect on what the call to Christ really means to you. What does it really mean to your relationship with God and what it means to the world you live in. Remember these things when you feel the world crowding around you. It will give you perspective
For the first time in 2008, the star of my dreamscapes has decided to make a cameo appearance. This time I faintly know why he was in my subconscious. It was mainly because I happened to see him on the latest social network craze and I let technology kill the cat. So yesterday evening when I finally lay me down to sleep it went a little something like.
I was at a friend’s house party of sorts. I recall there being two-floors in her home and I was navigating my way through the house until I settle on a position in the kitchen behind the counter. There I was leaning on the countertop and who was directly in front of me on the floor with a young lady but the man of the hour. Though I was leaning on the counter and talking to a friend it seemed that my attention was focused on him and his attention was focused on the young lady he was on the floor with. The girl was attempting to show affection to him via putting her arms around him or giving him kisses on his cheek but he declined every advance that she made. He mushed her in the face, he pushed her away, he did everything in his power to keep her away but she wasn’t taking a hint. I was watching and not watching this all go down.
Nevertheless I ended up sitting on the floor near them chatting with my friend and in the blink of an eye the entire room turned into an orgy. (I kid you not!) One second everyone was laughing and chatting and the next every single person in the room was on top of each other including the star. Well as soon as I saw this, I got up and I left the house because I was devastated. I was shattered into pieces. And that was the end of the dream. Fade to black.
So when I woke up this morning I was distraught. This always happens to me after vivid dreams. They get into my spirit and they make me sad. I was sad because he came back and sad because even in the dream he chose to be with someone else. I thought I was over this I told God as I prayed this morning and I prayer that this moment would pass as quickly as it came and that he would help me to guard my heart, my mind and my eyes in the days to come. With that I went on my way and I didn’t put much thought into it after that. I decided that I wouldn’t spend anymore time thinking about it or talking about it until God spoke to my situation through a Myron Butler song. Now some of you may know how desperate I was to get the CD last year and I finally relented and bought it on iTunes. Well I am so thankful that I did because it got me through today. God showed himself to me through track number 2 on “Stronger” which is entitled “More Than You’ll Ever Know.” The moment when God shook me out of my subconscious funk happened when I heard this:
This morning I decided to attend the 8:30 service which is usually the most crowded of the three service. Since the service is fairly crowded it is sometimes a real struggle to get two things, a parking space and a pew space. Though you’d figure finding a space for your car would be much harder it turns out, in some churches, finding a space for yourself is more difficult.
For the past 3-4 years I have been sitting on the same side of the church in the same general section–4-6 rows from the pulpit. I don’t consider myself territorial about my seating and I don’t save seats but I am territorial about people that insist on claiming a pew is theirs. I encountered these people today.
I took a seat on the fourth row of pews as we were transitioning from the 6:30 to the 8:30 service. People’s coats were draped over the pew so I found a space less congested by coats and took a seat. As time ticked away before service the pew started to fill up. One woman came into the pew and began to complain about someone who moved her coat and she was thrashing about with her complaints. She was annoyed that someone was moving in on her spot. (Here’s the big secret, no one touched her coat because I was watching it the whole entire time.) She mumbled about this for a while with her friend a row in front of her until I looked up at both of them and smiled. They stopped. One by one “they” started to file in and I had women on both sides of me. One was a woman I had never seen before the other was part of the pew Nazi crew. The PNC woman always has a way of plopping herself down next to me and shifting her weight so that it is more in my space than her own. She is unapologetic about the way she flings her coat around and she usually doesn’t speak to me. The woman on the other side of me watched the PNC woman thrash around and leaned over and told me that they were going to squash me. It was then that I knew she was a part of the crew but most likely someone on the lower rung of the ladder because she was actually nice in saying this. In response to her telling me they were going to squash me, I spoke loudly and said “They will not squash me.” To which the squasher said “I will not squash you.” Eureka! She speaks! And just like that her countenance changed. It was as if she knew she was dealing with no spring chicken so she could shut her mouth right then and there.
You see, the pew Nazis say they have been in the church for years, they have sat in the same seat for years–sometimes they think a few months justifies their behavior–and therefore they have a right to be mean–and sometimes downright nasty–to those who are simply trying to get a closer seat at church. But what I am not sure if they realize is the fact that in being so disagreeable over a seat they could be chasing someone away from the church.
I know it is a trivial matter and the person that can be chased away by such silly people must not really want to be there but there is something to be said for reprimanding people like this.
People come into the church to seek refuge from the harsh world and people that act like they are in the world in church by being selfish and operating with an invalidated sense of self-importance need to be taken out. They need a good-old fashioned taste of their own medicine to see what it is like to come into a church and look for a seat amongst a bunch of seat-saving sickos. Better yet they need more brave souls that will tell them to put their furs on the floor, check their egos in at the door and remember that what they do to the least of these, they do to Christ.