about to go crash

There are so many meanings for the word crash. My last blog was about both “crash” in the sense of colliding with culture and “crash” in the sense of a collective group of rhinos. This blog – I am about to go “crash” or go to bed.

It’s 11:48pm central time, and I am in Panama City Beach, FL teaching at a student camp. It has been a huge blessing. Not only am I blessed to be able to spend time with my college roommate, who is the student pastor for this church family, but I am also blessed to teach to and hang with one of the coolest groups of high school students I have ever been around. It is very apparent that they have been with David Jackson who I know has been with Jesus (Acts 4). 

Really miss my family, though. 

Jen told me tonight that the she and the kids have missed me, too. She said Katey came back down from getting out of bed tonight and told her she was ready for her daddy to come home. What daddy doesn’t want to hear that?

In case you want to know, the first night I taught we focused on the topic “created to crash” as I wrote about in the previous blog post. Tuesday night we focused on the topic of “crash and burn” – how the crash and burn is not the sins that church culture sometimes holds up as the big no-no’s, but rather it is when people (who were created with the original intention to walk with and listen to God) choose to only listen to themselves, do their own thing, live self-absorbed. Tonight we focused on the topic of “collective crash” – about the importance of and the sacrifice of and the perspective required to do life together the way Jesus made us to do life together. 

Here’s an excerpt from Tuesday night:

i don’t want to crash and burn, and i don’t want you guys to either. so, how do i know whether a choice i am about to make could lead me toward “crash and burn” or a “steal, kill, destroy?”

in other words, the way we tend to say it in church culture is how do i know when i am making the wrong choice or the right choice, cause i don’t want to make the wrong one. this is an important question. the right and wrong thing is a big deal in Christianity, right?

what’s so cool is that Jesus changed the whole reason behind why we ask it. most people are consumed with the right and wrong thing because they define being a Christian with doing the right thing, with being involved in the right stuff, and with looking like everything is all right, like you have it all together. the Jews were especially concerned with this. 

problem is, following Jesus is not defined by whether I do right or wrong. it’s not defined by the keeping of  list. truth is not a list anyway. Jesus declared truth is a person. Him.

paul said in Galatians that if my ability to do right instead of wrong is what being a follower of Christ is all about, then Jesus died needlessly. right and wrong is not just some lists of do’s and dont’s. It’s deeper than that. it’s more connected to who God is and how we relate with Him rather than what we have come to think is a right thing to do and a wrong thing to do.

if this is the case, then how did Jesus really teach about right and wrong? Let’s go back to Matthew 22. Jesus said that all the laws and commandments hand on two commands, you might say hinge on or open and close life to us. He taught that all the commands hang on loving God and loving people. Jesus taught that we should focus on what is most important to God – love. God declared man being alone as not good. He made us to love Him and one another. So, anything that steals away from this intended purpose is against very purpose and nature of God and therefore plays out to be selfish and sinful in man.

So, to question if a choice i am about to make will lead toward crash and burn is not a question just about doing wrong behaviorally. it is a question about living in the purpose I was made to live in – a purpose beyond myself, a purpose founded in love, a life lived to relate in love for the One who made me and in love with others.

jen and i are trying to teach this to Caleb. we are challenging him to consider something when he comes to make choices. ask himself this question – in this choice i have to make, how will what i do show my love for God and my love for the people involved? if it shows that love, then do it. if not, and it demonstrates selfishness, don’t do it. 

now grant it, this only works if we are going by God’s definition of love – not a feel good or a only give love to those who are lovable. rather, lay down your life for both your friends and your enemies. like david jackson, my college roommate used to tell me, instead of saying “i love you” – “i would take a bullet for you.” that is a truer picture of love.

bottom line_how do i know whether i am living as i was made to live, original intention? how do i know whether a choice i am about to make will lead toward “crash and burn?” ask, “which action will show my love for God and my love for the people involved?” then act in love. it really helps with that right and wrong thing. gives clarity where there used to be a lot of gray when we just based it on a non-exhaustive list.

 

let’s crash and love.

Well, if you made it this far, here are 2 sets of pics that are really cool. One is from a quaint beach town I visited Tuesday afternoon to have some coffee and computer time. Pretty awesome! Can’t wait to visit with my wife in late August when we are up this way for a wedding. Click here.

Next, Caleb wanted me to take a picture of two students whom I found out to be huge NASCAR fans. The one in the blue shirt even has his own race car and races in a short track in west TN. Pretty cool. Click here.

Well, love you guys. Having fun. Missing my family big time. Heading to crash in more ways than one. You do the same.

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