and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship,
with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.
(Hebrews 12:28-29 ESV Italics added by me)
Did you catch that phrase near the beginning of the clip? It’s important and it’s what I’d like to share from my heart today with CommUNITY Church and with the digital world, as well.
First off, I have a confession to you all. I have two sides that people see when dealing with me and I long for those two sides to merge into a single face, the face of a follower of Jesus Christ. However, right now there are two people that you could possibly meet when you meet me: the one is the joke-cracking, pun-loving (see what I did there?), sarcasm machine that loves to make people laugh. I’ll push the unseen line between what is benign humor and what is a “step too far.” A friend of mine once said this,
“Most people I know run right up to the cliff's edge of a topic, but you just go running right off laughing hysterically the whole time.” And of course, being in funny-man mode, my brain immediately went to the old Wile E. Coyote and roadrunner cartoons where he runs off the cliff and doesn’t realize it. And that is where I find myself sometimes, having gone one step too far without realizing it. All of this to say that I have this one side of me that people see most often, but there’s another side.
The other side is the one who makes people uncomfortable because he convicts people about their faith, or rather, their lack thereof. The first side is everybody’s friend because he expects nothing from you. The second side of me sets the bar so high for everyone that I can feel the uneasiness settle upon whomever I’m talking to about their spiritual journey. Nobody likes that guy, save a few close friends. Nobody likes hearing me take feel-good-moment-phrases like Kari’s quote above,
“It gives us this access… it gives us this moments, these moments that we live for…”
and turning it around by saying, if these moments, these moments of communion and worship with an amazing and mighty God are what we live for, then why aren’t you doing it? How have you managed to go this entire day without experiencing His word? How have you gone this entire day without pausing to praise Him? How have you spent seventeen hours today without lifting a single prayer to the One who created you, who sustains you, who will meet you when you draw your last breath?
Nobody likes that side of me, save a few.
Here’s an example. A couple of weeks ago, a student who I worked with some time ago asked on a social media site if any current students could purchase a student version of some software for him and he’d kick them a couple of bucks for their trouble. As someone who’s worked in IT, I realized that this would violate the EULA (End User License Agreement) of the software and violate copyright law. With a smirk, I reminded him of this on his post. He reckoned back and forth with me on a few points before conceding. I told him that people break copyright law all of the time, but was doing it publicly something that he really wanted to be known? How would that affect his witness to others? The conversation ended quickly.
Do you see what I mean? Nobody likes that side of me, save a few.
The truth is that I want these two faces to become one so that I’d not only convict people with my words about our failings in our faith walks (Yes, our), but that my actions would do the same, as well. I don’t want to beat people over the head with guilt, I really don’t. I just want to remind my fellow believers that our lives are but a sliver in the branch that we call time. Are we, like the Israelites of old, constantly forgetting God’s role in our lives? Or will we live lives that are radically and distinctly affected by Him?
We were created for relationship with God. That was and is our prime directive (for you Trekkies out there). Our directive was not to work hard. Our directive was not to create wealth. Our directive was not to ensure comfort and safety. Our directive was not to retire with a full 401k and Roth IRA and 429’s for each of our children. Our directive was and still is to commune with and worship an amazing God.
That being said, I’d love to crack a pun or share a slightly off-color joke with you all right now, but my heart just won’t let me. Upon the day when we reach Glory, will Jesus look at you and say, “What did you do with your time, because you didn’t give it to me?” Or will he say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant?” I pray for all of us that it is the latter.
Much love to you all!
Beau is the pastoral assistant and CrossRoads ministry leader at CommUNITY Church.