“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord’, and do not do what I say?”
–Jesus, Luke 6:46 NIV
I thought I had a pretty good handle on this Christian stuff.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. Mark 12:30 NIV
I do that – I do all the right things, the Christian thing – I can give you my checklist.
What’s that next part?
“The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31 NIV
That’s the part Jesus is pushing on. It’s messing me up. I’m starting to think I missed the point – I’m not as good at this as I thought.
I’ve always known my attitude, my habits (my mouth) need work – but hey, I’m covered by grace – Thank-you, Jesus.
I have no doubt I am a work in progress but I thought I was following Jesus.
I’m not so sure what I’ve been doing – I always wanted to be Mother Theresa only in nicer shoes with a hair-do.
I cried through Richard Stearns book, Hole in the Gospel.
The tears in part were for the stories he shared but also because my back is turned and I am part of the problem.
In his follow up book, Unfinished, Stearns offers this:
“Any wealthy country can easily produce what I call Magic Kingdom Christians – Christians who have been sheltered and shaped by their affluent culture. Magic Kingdom Christians tend to see the world as a gigantic theme park. It is a world filled with all kinds of rides, attractions and destinations to enjoy.”
Stearns goes on to say, “Those of us who live in Magic Kingdom countries need to understand that we, too, have lived our lives within an insulated bubble that does not reflect the reality of the rest of the world.”
What is the reality of the rest of the world? In her book, Interrupted, Jen Hatmaker shared these easily verifiable facts:
• Of the six billion people on planet Earth, about 1.2 billion live on twenty-three cents a day.
• Half the world lives on less than $2.50 a day.
• If you make $35,000 annually, you are in the top 4%.
• If you make $50,000 annually, you are in the top 1%.
• Last year 22 million people died of preventable diseases; 10 million were children
• 27 million children and adults are trapped in slavery – sex slaves, labor slaves, child soldiers and child slaves – because of economic crisis. More slaves exist today than ever before in human history.
The answer? I don’t know….my part? Still figuring that out.
In his book, Unfinished, Stearns contrasts Magic Kingdom Christians with another reality.
“Outside the borders of the Magic Kingdom is another reality in what I sometimes call the Tragic Kingdom. In the Tragic Kingdom millions of people go to bed hungry each night. In fact, about 1 billion people today are chronically short of food, many slowly starving to death.”
Stearns goes on to say:
“Jesus was clear. He did not commission us to return to our old lives as if nothing happened. He did not commission us to become financially independent and retire to Boca Raton. And He did not commission us to simply go to church on Sunday and sing songs. He called us to go into the world and change it by proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God, modeling a different vision of community and inviting others to join us.”
God change what I see and what I seek.
I don’t know what this all means….I can’t ignore it and I can’t go back. I can’t go back to ignorance and a comfortable way of life as if I’m the only one my choices affect.
My greatest fear isn’t the deconstruction of my life. My greatest fear is God shows me what He’s showing me and my life stays the same – I stay the same.
Father God, Lord Jesus, This is a lot. I don’t know where to begin or even who I’m supposed to be. Thank you for opening my eyes and helping me see – see Your people suffering and dying in a world of plenty.
Lead me, show me what You would have me do. I think of when You said, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”
My heart is convicted and burdened with the knowledge of how I’ve lived while Your children die of starvation. Forgive me. I surrender and will go wherever You take me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
God change what I see and what I seek.