Saturday, March 21, 2009

Surf's up!

Ever rode a surf board?

When we lived in San Diego I saw otherwise sane people who would listen to the 'surf report' on their way to work and if the surf was up, no matter how important their meetings were... forget about it, "We're going to the beach." Old people, young, overweight, fit, buisnessmen to beggars the wetsuits came out and off to the beach they went. Paddle out there and wait for the 'big one'. There's something about 'catchin' a wave'.

Then we lived in Phoenix.

If you want to surf in Phoenix you had to go to a waterpark and there is a big machine made by a lot of engineers powered by a big pump which uses a lot of electricity that makes average waves that last a predictable time and cost a lot of money to make and for you to ride. Sure, it's a wave but it ain't the same let me tell ya. And any self respecting surfer who has rode the real thing... forgetaboutit!

Waves are a lot like movements.

Movements can be generated... like the WWJD movement, which drug up a good old book and marketed it well complete with bracelet or the Prayer of Jabez movement which drugup a good sermon and marketed well it complete with commemorative coin... sure its a wave, but let me tell ya... then came the real thing.

Like the 'Jesus movement' which broke out when a bunch of hippies found Jesus and he wasn't in a church and they didn't invite him to one... or 'Promise Keepers movement' where men from different religious and ethnic backgrounds worshiped together (in a football stadium led by a college coach also not in a church incidentally)... many for the first time. This movement hosted the largest gathering of pastors in American history and an actual 'million man march' on the Captial mall, seeking God on behalf of the nation.

Here's the problem with real movements and real waves... we don't start 'em and we don't stop 'em... He does. We just have to wait for them... sittin' out there on our surfboards... waiting and watching for 'the big one.' But we can, if we pay attention, see 'em comin'.

Back to the surf report.

Scientist know how the surf works and when the conditions are right for a good surfing day. So they get on the radio and TV and let us know so any of us who love ridin' can get ready and head to the beach. It's the same way with God. Many of us missed the wave called the 'Jesus movement' cause we were afraid of the long hair, the guitars and the sandals. Or we missed the great men's movement because we were afraid it would compete with our monthly men's breakfast (when it wasn't about that at all). As Seth says, "The system doesn't know what to do with a movement." The station was blaring "Surf's up" but we missed the wave.

Most of us got in on WWJD tho'... Know why?

We could control it. It fit in our program schedule. We could order it and make a Sunday School lesson or VBS out of it. We could flip the Big Pump switch on and off. Our denominations could endorse it. Choose to pay admission or not. Remember real waves... we don't start 'em... He does.

There is a wave God is making in Corinth.

You'd be blind if you didn't see the activity of God in Corinth these days, especially in two areas. The care for the people living in the margins and the partnerships that God is creating among his people. In the last few years and at an accelerating pace, God is causing His people to reach out to the lonely, hurting and neglected and have meaningful relationships with people who we wouldn't have normally sought out as friends, drawing into community those who have lived outside of it.

And in doing so we've found each other. Other Jesus people out loving, caring, serving... bringing Jesus food and clothing, hope and help. And it's been wonderful. We're not only falling in love with each other but we are sharing real life and partnerships and hope and dreams. And it's fun and scary and... doesn't fit in the program. And you can't control it. It's the beginnings of a God thing that we didn't start and we can't stop. He did. But we can see it as surely as the weatherman knows the waves are gonna be big... and then we have a choice...

Cancel the meetings, grab the wetsuit... surf's up!

BC

1 - read/write comments:

Bubba McQueen said...

Awesome commentary...you hit the nail on the head. Being 'of the world', It's always our tendency to 'jump in and out' working God into our box when it's convenient..and we miss out. Nothing like riding the real thing. I think we feel it building in our community...people are noticing the needs around them and doing something. It's time for everyone to pin their ears back and get paddling...or the wave may pass us by.

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