If you’ve been around this blog for a while, you might know that I am a big fan of Doctor Who. 2013 was the 50th anniversary of the show. Back in November a dramatization of the origins of the Doctor was shown. It was called An Adventure In Time And Space.
The creator of the show was the inspiration for what began a show that has survived a half-century. He would come up with a minimal idea and basically tell it to the producer, followed by a “Pow! Pow! Pow!.” That was his version of a swat on the tail, leaving her to the work.
And it took a lot of people. It took the producer, writers, set crews, designers, you name it. It began with the Pow! Pow! and ended with a lot of hard work by a lot of people. It didn’t end with the inspiration. It began there, but it resulted in a lot of hard work.
I used to think I could just depend on the Pow! Pow! Pow! to carry me through writing a blog. I would sit around all week waiting for inspiration to hit so that I could write a few posts on the weekends. I wasn’t willing to put in the work that helped create the Pows!, as well as take them to their conclusion.
I used to do the same thing when I approached preaching at the campground ministry that I am part of during the summer months. I would stick my finger up in the wind to find out where it was blowing, sometimes even on Sunday mornings.
I didn’t realize that I couldn’t just wait for inspiration to hit, whether it was writing, preaching or any other creative venture I wanted to be part of. I had to create my own inspiration. I’m not sure when it was, but I figured something out by accident.
The harder I worked, the more inspiration would come.
The more I would write, the more ideas for writing would come.
The more I dug into God’s word, the more sermon ideas I discovered.
No matter what ventures you and I decide to pursue, more inspiration will come with the effort we put into.
You name it. You put the effort into it, even when you don’t want to, inspiration will come.
POW! POW! POW!
Who knows? I don’t know for sure, but I probably would have tried to hide parts of my life when I first started this blog nearly three years ago. Maybe, for sure, when I first started down the path of sharing back in 2008.
Not now. While not trying to glorify it, I participated in activities that didn’t exactly bring glory to God. There was a Country song when I was a kid by Mickey Gilley. It had a line that went something like this: Don’t the girls all get prettier at closing time.
Let’s just say that as the evenings went on during my youth, I put on a certain pair of goggles that sent me down the path of Mickey’s song. How I managed to stay out of any more trouble than I did get in is evidence to me that, even then, the Lord had His hand on my life.
My pastor flips this script a bit every so often in his sermons. He tells us to put on another set of goggles.
Our God goggles.
What does that look like?
You might offer Living Water to a woman who has been married multiple times and is living with a man who isn’t her husband.
You might scribble in the dirt when a woman caught in adultery is dragged out for you to judge.
You might offer healing to a woman who has suffered all of her life from a terrible condition.
These are all things that Jesus did. He didn’t just put His God goggles on when He woke up every morning. He never took them off. He wore them each and every day. He showed us what it looked like to wear God goggles so that we would have an example to live by.
What else did He do?
He said drink Living water.
He said to go and sin no more.
He said be healed.
Jesus wore His God goggles.
What goggles are you wearing?
I read this post from Seth Godin last week. I hope you’ll check it out before we move on. Don’t worry. I’ll wait on you.
Great. Welcome back.
What struck me in that post is how it matches what it takes following Christ.
Let’s take a look at what it looked like in the Bible.
Jesus began preaching the kingdom of God and repentance. He healed people. He brought some back to life. Everything was going great. Many knew that He was the Messiah.
Then He began talking about dying to self. Picking up your cross and following Him. Hating your father, mother, brothers and sister, even your own life.
He began talking about drinking His blood and eating His flesh. Few were getting it.
A rich man came to him and asked him what it took to get into the kingdom. Jesus quizzed him about the commandments. He gave the right answers. What was next? Go sell everything you got and let’s get to it. Follow me.
The fellow went away sad.
What’s the point?
The point is that so many of us, and by us I mean me, want the easy way out. We want to follow Jesus as long as it’s nice and tidy, wrapped up with a bow.
We want our nice, easy church service where we go see our friends and sing our fun songs about Jesus, then go out to eat or over to Grandma’s house for Sunday lunch.
We want our faith to be like those free samples we get at Sam’s Club or Costco. We want just a taste, enough to just make us feel good, but we don’t want to commit to the entire product. We don’t want to buy the whole thing.
What Jesus is free, but costly. It cost Him His life. All it takes for us is to give up everything for Him.
Abraham did that. He had a son of promise who he had waited decades for. God told him to take him up on a mountain and sacrifice Isaac. Abraham did and then God stopped him. Abraham was willing to give up everything for God.
A man at my church just quit a $70,000 per year job. He’s selling his house. Why? To follow the Lord. He doesn’t know what that means yet. But he’s happier than almost anyone in our church.
Truly following Christ isn’t a walk in the park. It’s free, but costly. But that’s what he demands of us. Everything. All of us.
What have you given up for Christ in your life?
My life has been off kilter this week.
I have been traveling for my job. It’s the first time I’ve done this since 2005, so nearly a decade.
I have been off-balance all week.
My sleep has been off. The food I have eaten is different. My entire system has been thrown off.
Guess what? My relationship with the Lord has been off as well.
I just haven’t been able to focus in on this with my prayer time and Bible reading.
There were two ways I could have gone. I could have beaten myself up pretty good.
Or I could do what I have done. I’ve asked for additional grace. I’ve asked for peace.
You would think that since I already have had grace extended to me that I wouldn’t bother with that. Except for what Paul always tells us.
In basically every epistle, he tells those he’s writing to “Grace to you and peace.’
If Paul wishes grace and peace to those reading his words two thousand years ago, then I think I need my share of that too.
I need grace. Grace for my failures and grace for myself.
I need peace, because it’s been a week of turmoil. My life hasn’t been normal. I miss my family.
Grace and peace to me. I’m grabbing those words from Paul. I’m making them my own. I’m going to need them later today on a two-hour flight.
How do deal with being off kilter in your life? Will you pray for me? I’m going to be flying from Houston to Knoxville sometime today. I don’t even know when as I write this. Thanks!!!
I don’t know how many church services I’ve been to in my life. I’ve been on Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday nights for much of my life. I’ve been to plenty of revival services where I was in church for most of the week.
Since I’m a believer and follower of Christ, church is part of life. Once I become that new creature Paul says we become, the Church became part of my DNA. I want to go to church. As I write this, I am on a business trip and will not get to meet with my church family.
There is a problem, though, as I reflect on my 45 years or so in church.
There haven’t been enough WOW experiences at church.
I would love to pass the blame on. After all, I’ve had a few too many pastors who seemed like they were passing a kidney stone as they preached on Sunday morning. They didn’t look happy to be there. Some of them looked like they had been eating persimmons for breakfast and were going to drink persimmon juice for lunch. I just never bought that they were the least bit excited about following the Lord, much less being at church. Some looked like they would rather be trout fishing or turkey hunting.
There was no WOW with them, so how was there going to be any WOW with me?
But there’s a problem here. I can’t pass all the blame to anyone else.
I can’t control anyone else’s WOW.
The only WOW I have any control over is my own.
So, instead of blaming someone else for my lack of WOW, I have to look at myself.
Am I excited about the Lord? Am I pumped about the relationship I have with Him?
Am I excited about the best news, the Good News, being in my life?
Am I going to church expecting to be WOWed by what the Lord is doing instead of looking to be wowed by what man is doing?
There are two sides of wow at church. There is the wow that we think others should do for us.
Then there is the wow that only comes from Who lives within us.
Do you look for WOW at church?
My friend, Jon Stolpe, has written his first book, On Track.
I have not had the opportunity to read it yet, but based on what Jon does on his blog, I wholeheartedly recommend it. I believe you will find something that will prove to be valuable for your life.
You can find On Track at Amazon. Order a copy and enjoy.
The problem with many illnesses is that you can have them and not even know it.
Take high blood pressure. You can often have it and not even know. The only way to know it is to measure it. If it’s high, you can treat it. Otherwise, you might not even know.
I have sleep apnea. I hook myself up to a CPAP machine every night. If I don’t, I feel miserable the next day.
However, I didn’t know I had it for the longest time. I knew I snored. I didn’t really realize how tired and sleepy I was. My wife was worried about me, so I had a sleep test and, voila’, I was treated for sleep apnea. Then I realized just how ill I was.
I think that’s the way it before we come to know Christ. We are sick. Sin sick. We just have absolutely no idea about it.
We need to be born again, but we wonder how we can enter our mother’s womb again.
We need to become new creatures, and all we know is the mud we wallow in constantly.
We need to enter the kingdom, but we choose to covet, fornicate, commit adultery and homosexual acts and all manner of other sins.
We need to be well when instead we choose to be sick.
Not well, sickness, is all we know.
Do we want to be well?