Wednesday, May 19, 2010

"They Only Have To Get Lucky Once"

Still processing what I learned as a result of our time in New Orleans and really what I've learned over the years as a Christian - not just as a pastor. And at this point what I'm learning is that I'm not nearly as much like Jesus as I hoped I was.

My life is still more self-centered than cross centered. That for all the books I've read, all the sermons I've read, listened to, written, and preached - I am still not THERE. During that time away, I was more concerned about myself and Bunny, and our vacation than I was about people. That can't happen. Ever.

One of the reporters asked one of the security professionals after 9/11 "How can we make sure that this never happens again?" You could see the policeman's brain working as he thought and then he said "The thing is, we have to be perfect. Every day we have to find and prevent any and all threats from being carried out. We have to  achieve 100% perfection. They only have to get lucky once."

Was reading this earlier today and it occurred to me that there's no way we can do this in our own strength. If we do, we will fail.

9 Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. 10 Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle. 11 Don't burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, 12 cheerfully expectant. Don't quit in hard times; pray all the harder. 13 Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality. 14 Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. 15 Laugh with your happy friends when they're happy; share tears when they're down. 16 Get along with each other; don't be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don't be the great somebody. 17 Don't hit back; discover beauty in everyone. 18 If you've got it in you, get along with everybody. 19 Don't insist on getting even; that's not for you to do. "I'll do the judging," says God. "I'll take care of it." 20 Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he's thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. 21 Don't let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good. Romans 12:9-21 (MSG)

Who can do all that - keep doing all that? No one. We're just not that good -just not that kind. It's impossible simply because we are human. But with God's Spirit working in us, with His love replacing our cold hearts, we can see glimpses of what we were created to be. I'm just not there yet, and I've said my apologies to God and I repeat them to all you who might read this. Mea culpa

"They" got lucky once. The opposition robbed us of a chance to see God at work. Doesn't mean that God's will for the young man was thwarted. But we missed a chance to be a part.

My mission from this point on is to be so in touch with the Holy Spirit regardless of where I am to never see that happen again. I can't run and run without rest anymore because when I do unplug and go somewhere on vacation, I'm so dry that I lose my ability to sense when the Spirit is at work.  So I've got to bring my life into balance and stay there. "Physician, heal thyself" used to be a joke.

Well, practice what you preach did too. But not to me. Not now.

1 comment:

  1. Well said! I experienced something similar on a recent trip to Senegal.

    It's been said (apparently said first by someone named Miriam Beard) "Travel is more than the seeing of sights, it is a change that goes on deep and permanent in the ideas of living."