1st off, one last shout out from the Father’s Day weekend to my Dad. We had a good lunch and afternoon together yesterday. I am so thankful for him. He is one of my best friends. He has always been a picture of grace and wisdom and encouragement for me. He has always been a sharpener shaping me to listen to God daily and a reminder challenging me to not think more of myself than I tend to do. In my opinion, I don’t know of another dad who resembles the heavenly Father more than him. I love you, Pop.
Well, this morning is bittersweet. I am about to hop in my blue civic and head to the panhandle to teach at a student camp this week. My college roommate is a student pastor, and he invited me back about 8 months ago to spend this week sharing with the kids he pastors. We roomed together for 4 and 1/2 years. He is the funniest dude I know on this earth. I am really looking forward to doing life with him and the students this week. However, I am really going to miss my wife and kids. They are precious to me.
The theme for the camp is “crash.” The picture for this entry, therefore, needed to be a crash scene, especially a NASCAR one to give props to Caleb who loves NASCAR. Side-note – Dale, Jr. won yesterday. 1st time in a long time. Pretty cool. We were pretty excited. Uh hum. I digress.
Anyway, the theme is “crash.” David asked me to focus in on challenging his high school students to “crash” into their respective communities with the rescuing love of Jesus. There are really 4 basic definitions for crash, and I am going to draw from all four in each of the four nightly worship gatherings. Bottom line will be this_we need to be living so closely engaged with the people around us that we can’t help but collide with each others’ lives, both to give into and to receive, because we are existing in the same spaces everyday. This is necessary both with those who follow Jesus and those who don’t if we hope to live in the mission we were made for. This is tough for a lot of Christ-followers because church culture emphasizes retreat from culture. Jesus did not.
In fact, to retreat is the most selfish form of living. To think only of my well-being, my image, my interests. Jesus called this self-righteous. When we live this way, we don’t love. When we live this way, we are basically saying we don’t want humanity to happen, especially if it means the “wrong” kind of humanity rubbing off on me. How selfish is that? Get away from me. No thought that God may want to use me to pour into their life.
This is just as selfish as the people church culture tends to condemn – those who live self-indulgent lives. Both kinds of selfishness, self-indulgence and self-righteousness, lead to issues and actions that break down humanity and turn us inward and inhumane.
Someone recently asked me if I had seen the movie CRASH. I replied that I had because I thought I had. Then I got to thinking, have I seen that? Well, I saw it this past Friday night. Let me tell you, that is not a movie that you forget that you saw. I will remember scenes from that movie for life, situations that gripped me. It is a movie about this journey that we are all on, in the same spaces everyday, learning how to exist together. Learning how to love. Learning how to let humanity happen in the beautiful way God intended, not the selfish, judgmental, angry, self-seeking, greedy, lustful, prejudiced, and self-gratifying ways that we can tend to live. Those are inhumane and not how God intended.
Jesus died to restore us into the “crash” of a relationship that God wants with us_sharing the same space, especially the central space of our focus and lives. He also lived to show us how to live, to show us how to live, to show us how He intended humanity to happen. He wants us to live sent as a letter from Him into our culture, engaging into the lives of people, being God’s message of love and hope and grace and purpose, and being used to shape (sometimes through collision) their lives into what God meant for them.
Please pray for me to have wisdom and insight as I teach this week. Please pray for us all, both me and the students, to catch a passion to live sent in the daily. To crash like we were created to.