Having experienced some amazing stuff during my spiritual journey, while serving in five different professional sectors, never having been asked to leave (fired), I am becoming more comfortable sharing my thoughts and observations of the many believers with whom I have served...that requires some risk given the collective of mostly evangelicals and their current not so stellar reputation!
Speaking of risk, I also do commercial real estate, working with some of the best of risk takers, "money where your mouth is" types.
As I look back in my life, I gotta wonder if those with whom I have spent most of my spiritual journey had been willing to really take risks, where we might be today, when fewer and fewer are interested in church as we now know it.
Speaking of church, I do attend and enjoy the fellowship of American Christians, many of whom are evangelicals.
Oh, we all know our scripture texts and are compelled to share the Good News, but seldom with the full risk taken by the one who said, "Foxes have holes, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head." I may be more fox than follower?
Just what is that good news that we share?
Well to most of us it is that Jesus died so that you might live and live more abundantly. So, what does that mean? For some it's prosperity, for others freedom from guilt, for others a ticket to heaven or an exit from off the earth one day.
Yet we are comfortable (yes I used the pronoun we) living in a world that hosts a wealth gap even among believers that is beyond comprehension, while more and more are codependent upon Xanax and other mood controlling substances. We really have to own much of this, as it happened on our watch!
Meanwhile our delivery on words like "greater things than these shall you do in my name" go virtually unheeded among us, at least not really expected, through often stridently professed.
Welcome to the edginess of my now somewhat diminished Pentecostal upbringing. My problem is that I have seen many of those greater things in my very own life journey, in moments where I was willing to take reputational risks! I miss that!
Healings, miraculous interventions and even a few unexpected financial breakthroughs. I wish I could share instances where the dead were raised, though I can offer connections with those who have seen such (5 per one Ethiopian friend). I don't mean prayerfully delivered artificial resuscitation, I have one of those stories myself, but cold bodies revived by other than medical means!
Perhaps now we come down to my bottom line thoughts given our current evangelical efforts. We (is that a mouse in my pocket) are truly unwilling to take near the risks that I witness among the commercial developers and entrepreneurs with whom I now serve. Even though church as we once knew it is less and less appealing to our neighbors, whom we certainly love...I trust?
It seems we are unable to surrender our lives to the degree that a scriptural reality exists that manifests the miracles of Christ. So we are left with one thing, simply sharing the Good News. Somehow that doesn't seem enough for me.
BTW, I even received a tract and a testimony outside of Publix last week.
This well meaning senior lady stopped, sized me up, and then shared the promises of scripture. She then left, though she was carrying a clear sandwich bag with cash visible. She never asked the question I kept waiting for.
I also shared my story, so I assume she felt I was fully on board, or maybe she was just dropping some scripture on me, which she knew well, then allowing the delivery of my blessing up to God! I really did wonder if I had missed something.
I gotta ask, how's all this working?