20 February 2010


"Yeah, we just take a few tokes and get mellow and watch a movie or just hang out... I don't see any difference between a few tokes of pot and a bottle of beer or a glass of wine... What do you think?"

Went the conversation with a young christian friend. What did I think?

I began telling him about a guy who wrote the book, 3 Cups of Tea...
In 1992, Greg Mortenson attempted to climb K2, the world's second highest mountain, in the Karakoram range of northern Pakistan, as a way of honoring the memory of his deceased sister Christa. After more than 70 days on the mountain, Greg and three other climbers had their ascent interrupted by the need to complete a 75-hour life-saving rescue of a fifth climber. After getting lost during his descent, he became weak and exhausted, and by chance alone, instead of arriving in Askole, where his porters awaited, he came across Korphe, a small village built on a shelf jutting out from a canyon. He was greeted and taken in by the chief elder of Korphe, Haji Ali of Korphe.
To repay the remote community for its hospitality, Mortenson promised to build a school for the village. After difficulties in raising capital, Mortenson was introduced to Jean Hoerni, a Silicon Valley pioneer who donated the money that Mortenson needed for his school. In the last months of Hoerni's life (Hoerni was dying from leukemia), he co-founded the Central Asia Institute, endowing the CAI to build schools in rural Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Mortenson faced many daunting challenges in his quest to raise funds for the building of more than 55 schools in Taliban territory, including death threats from Islamic mullahs, long periods of separation from his family, and being kidnapped by Taliban sympathizers…
(this was cut and pasted from Wikipedia just to save time and effort of recall...) I went on, "and then Mortenson thought, 'I wonder if there is a difference between a few tokes of pot and a bottle of beer.'"

My young friend said, "Really?"

"No, he was too busy doing heroic things with his life to deal with the trivialities of conversations and thoughts of this minute details. YOU ARE BORED!! DO SOMETHING HEROIC WITH YOUR LIFE!"

How do we create people who are willing to become heroes? How do we get people to stop thinking small and begin thinking of the possibilities that are huge? I overheard a young child telling his mom, "I'm bored!" and the mom got something to out of her purse to occupy their time.

I think sometimes all we try to do is occupy the time instead of occupy a life. On the flight home from Spokane a last week I sat in the back of the plane, across from the bathroom. Every time someone went into the lavatory and locked the door, the small sign on the wall lit up, OCCUPIED. It was also translated into Spanish, OCCUPADO. People did their business, finished up the paperwork, and went back to their seats. For many minutes after they left the lavatory there was a residue, a fragrance of their time occupying the space.

Occupado... it made me think, am I occupying my life in such a way that would have made an impact on those around me after I leave this journey? (Only with a pleasant fragrance that lingers.) Or am I so puny and concern myself with the trivial practices of developing theories and activities that only occupy my time for the moment?

I watch people going off to prestigious private and state universities only to leave with a grade point average, a tremendous debt, and no understanding of how to live a heroic life. All of that knowledge reduced to regurgitation instead of application.

How many Sunday morning sermons from the inspired Word of God crafted to keep people from sinning rather than to inspire radicals to erupt the Kingdom of Heaven into the midst of mediocrity and malaise. I have heard the most heated conversations arguing over whether the Scriptures are inspired by the Holy Spirit, but not seeing a life inspired by the power (dunamis..dynamite) of the Spirit of God .

Back to my young christian friend... My fear is that most people reading this will be more concern about a christian smoking pot and not about the wasted time of getting mellow and just hanging out.