Walk in the light
MONDAY MORNINGS, as I’ve said before, are always positive for me because of the impetus carried forward from Sunday. A great Sunday always seems to set up a good Monday - and it’s always a great Sunday with my faith community at First Presbyterian of Brandon.
Then, Sunday evening, I was privileged to spend a couple of hours with the men’s ministry over at First Presbyterian in Lakeland. They invited me to come and talk about “Faith in 4-D” (based on GET REAL: a spiritual journey for men). We played horseshoes, ate ribs, and talked about what it means to be a 21st Century disciple.
At one point I kind of stepped outside of my head so I could listen to myself talk; it was interesting to hear how animated my voice sounded. To be honest, I’m still trying to wrap my head around the idea that people really want to sit around and listen to what I have to say!
But I have to admit, there really is life spilling out all over the place when I get up in front of a crowd to speak. I’m not making stuff up, I really am genuinely enthusiastic about my message, and I’m getting the impression that what I believe in my heart really is making its way through my voice and lodging in the hearts and minds of the people who listen.
So this morning I’ve been thinking about what it is that keeps me so positive and believing. I’ve been accused in the past of a Pollyanna approach to life, but that’s not true at all. I live out loud and with my eyes wide open. I know we live in a broken world and I’m very much aware of the pain. Last week’s post “Struggle the good struggle” considered how faith is a critical element of real life, no matter how messy or how difficult.
- Once I was upbraided by a writer’s group (comprised mostly of divorced women) who told me, quote: “You’ll never be a good writer until you’ve suffered like we have…”
- Then there was the man who insisted that I had to know how bad life was, and that – consequently – I must be a liar. Eventually, he conceded that I might be “A beautiful liar.”
But there’s a difference between acknowledging that life is difficult… and challenging… and very often tragic, and a stance that is defeatist and defensive from the get-go, half-empty by creed because – well – “The world is going to hell and the best we can hope for is that, one day, Jesus is going to rescue us from all this….”
We’ll I’ve got news for you, Jesus wants to rescue you now! Jesus wants to rescue you from the self-fulfilling prophesies of your ineffectual religion. And – to be quite honest – I believe Jesus is offended by your lack of faith and your refusal to believe in the power of light over darkness when it comes to any given day, and most especially this particular Monday in the middle of June, 2011.
So, and I’ll drop a kind of benediction on you here…Walk in the light;Live in the truth of God’s faithfulness and God’s proactive grace;Struggle the good struggle, but make sure to struggle with an open heart and a loving spirit;Carry the Gospel of Love with you in every intention and via every action…In short, live like a child of the living God, and live like you mean it.Amen.