I’m drawn to a great story involving covert ops, guys who work for “The Company”, etc. The Borne trilogy, 24, The Pelican Brief, to name a few from the past. My current trending shows are Madam Secretary and Person of Interest.
I like the writing, how the story is crafted such that we, the viewer get drawn into the awareness that something terrible is about to happen that could change the world. The tension grows with the awareness.
Thankfully men and women, wearing microphones and earpieces naked to the human eye, are there for us to live vicariously through, cheering on victory for our country, democracy and decency everywhere.
I believe what I watch, the espionage, political thriller stuff – yes, that is just a story. But the everyday life espionage, life threatening activity around me is not. It is truly a life or death journey we’re on. There is an enemy war lord and there is a championing warrior fighting for us.
If you’ve read me before, clearly this writing is going to lead us to talk about Jesus so I’ll just skip to the point. This is about Jesus. I want you to understand why.
I didn’t always like Jesus, let alone love or follow him. I didn’t see what the big deal was. I lived a good portion of my life thinking he was irrelevant, though his teachings were worth consideration.
The problem for me was the freak-show called the church. His followers. They were the confusing ones. I didn’t understand why and how they followed a dead prophet, simply because he claimed to be who he claimed to be.
If Jesus really was God then his followers would certainly be more attractive to hang around with. There would be more cohesiveness in camp. They’d be a group worth considering – attractive, victorious, prosperous, etc. They’d be like, well, winners! NO losers in this group. Certainly no duplicity, hypocrisy, weakness and such. Oh yeah, there’d be no poverty, no war, nothing like that (if God were real and if he were really capable at all…)
Sound a little judgmental?! I hope so…I was a judgmental prick, to be real frank with you. Still am, sometimes.
Well, sometime along in the story I actually began to think about Jesus. I couldn’t see him but I became more aware of the subversive plot going around. All around. The war for the condition of humanity, for my humanity, was growing increasingly epic.
“I believe you are good but I’m afraid that you won’t help. I’m confused by all the pain and suffering in the world. I don’t understand but I need help and I want to help. Please help me and use my life to make a difference,” That was my honest prayer
I struggled with a sense of incompleteness. I struggled with a desperate need for meaning and hope. I wrestled with sexuality and the trending drugs of pot and alcohol. I was terrified of war, pissed off at poverty and injustice, etc. etc.
The correlation here between Hollywood drama and real life drama is to point out – This is not a make believe story! This drama really is going on. Your life and my life are really hanging in the balance. There really is someone trying to kill us, steal from us, destroy us – all of us! The fact that most of the world just believes that a guy like me has become some sort of religious fanatic is irrelevant – there really is someone after you for harm.
People are still struggling with incompleteness. So we sell something to them every 10 seconds while they watch TV or peruse the Net. People still struggle with a need for meaning and hope so we package some of that up and sell it to them in prescription format or a frig’n reverse mortgage. The sexuality, trending drugs – hell, let’s just legalize that crap so you can feel better about it. War, Poverty, Injustice, it’s all relative. Just pick your “Fair and Balanced” cable news channel and go commiserate with them.
Huh? Not much of a plan in there.
Guess what – it’s all part of the enemy’s plan to lull us to sleep and kick our sorry, lazy, not paying attention, collective butts off to the side so that, in our apathy, we will fan the flame of indifference. What a lie we listen to.
The good news is that there really is someone here to rescue us from that fate. I know him. I work for him. I’ve committed my life to him in full time service. 24/7/365 I am his servant and he is my lord and king. Lots of you know him too.
He goes un-noticed for those who choose to believe life is a made for the big-screen drama. For those who believe that, someday, life will all come together. For those who, in the struggle, believe that they will never rise up out of the drudgery. For those who find his teaching worthy of consideration but his invitation to follow him over the top.
I sit next to some of you in church every Sunday. And I live with some of you outside the church Monday through Saturday. I relate to the struggle to find the relevance in the life of Jesus. I am not judging you. I am acknowledging that I can be that guy too.
This is our hour, our time, our decision point. This is our life battle. Jesus is fighting for you and for me – fighting with the enemy who cannot defeat HIM so he seeks to destroy us. Amazing, isn’t it, that the devil knows we are so prized by God yet we can live unaware that we are the object of such a Great Affection?!
Jesus, he will not go un-noticed. He will not stop pursuing you or me. He will not stop loving and calling back to himself that which is his own. He will not stop fighting the enemy and the enemy will not stop fighting us.
Jesus, born in the manger, asleep on the hay – he was wiling to come as the un-noticed king but He is O So Noteworthy! He knew what He was doing, He knows what He is currently doing and I am, after all these years, starting to get a deeper glimpse at an amazing God-Man who is raising up a radical generation!
If you want to know why I write, it is for Him and for you and for me. I write to remind. I write to remember. I write because I remember what it felt like to be unaware of the battle, before I became a follower and after.
I write because I see grown men steeped in addiction and irrelevant living chasing dreams that turn into nightmares. I write because I see the Church often more committed to its position on homosexuality, abortion, protecting the American dream through politics than humbly serving their neighbor.
If I had known committing my life to Jesus would involve befriending the likes of the church I would probably still be considering the decision…and then I see myself in the mirror and I realize that I am the church. O boy.
I add nothing beneficial to the conversation without Jesus influence and touch.
Jesus firmly reminds me: Craig, you are in a battle with me. I am redeeming the church. I am redeeming and rescuing all of humanity, all who will come to me. I am the perfect one, the needed one. I want you to help me. I ask you to help me. I will use you if you come and obey what I ask. But do NOT become part of the critical bi-standing group or I will not use you until you surrender back to me your self-absorbed heart.
So, for my dear friends who are not sure about Jesus yet, I hope that you get the chance to have a proper introduction here soon. I will stop whatever I’m in the middle of, including playing with my grandkids, and come to that meeting if you’d like me there! He loves you and he loves me with a love that cannot be properly described and yet must not be missed!
It’s not a covert op or a subversive plot. It’s a direct story about you, me and the God who created us, living lives of meaning, purpose and beauty vs. lives of quiet desperation, futility or the like.
O, I’m fired up this Christmas for my friends. I am relaxed, knowing that I don’t have to convince anyone about anything, that I get to live a life of compelling hope. Yet I feel the battle and my ‘trigger finger’ is twitching a bit.
How about you? You twitching at all?