23 April 2012

A walk...

Every once in a great while Jesus walks into your workplace, family room, or committee meeting and says, "Lay down your nets and follow..." Of course we would follow. Who wouldn't?

But then he says very calmly to lay down the very thing that your livelihood depends on and then invites you to begin a new experience with him. Leave this proven good thing and come with him to an uncertain destination. I am now asking myself is this right? I just made it to the place where I have some voice and health insurance.

He can walk into a shop that for generations and generations the signs on the wall says, "We have been doing it this way since 1536" and he says to them, "Starting today, we start over." A tradition stops and a new one begins. Many don't know the story of what was happening when this old way started and replaced another old thing that replaced another old way...

"Are you kidding? This is what we do!" can be our reply if we don't know for sure who is making the offer. Our criteria of leadership and expectations of improvement sometimes has us limited in recognizing the messiah who will come and lead us to the next promise land. Some young punk, with a pierced eyebrow, who hasn't attained the credentials in knowing how to do what we have been doing for eons, is now telling us there is a way to go before we get there. We have a Ph. freaking D, studied at an institution with ivy growing on its walls, wrote papers and been published in some of the oldest journals in this why and he, who has been a blue collar, shade-tree, paid by the job worker, has the audacity of telling us to continue on to the next station. "Who the hell does he think he is?"

The next step has us leaving the safety and confidence of this present charted terra-firma and put our weight on ground that hasn't been investigated using the proven empirical data taken over the entire time we occupied the present footprint. We may step into something we will have to wipe off if we are not careful. But Jesus bids us to come, take the next step.

Isn't it hard for us who have invested our lives in the old way, hoping that the pay off will come soon and we will soon be on easy street. We are so invested that there is not any distinction between our identity and the branding of the old existing product. Everything we have has the old logo sewn into it. New ways do not have expiration dates on it, yet we seem to know when it is starts to lose it potency and flavor. Instead of getting a new one we double the dosage. It changes from wonder to routine and from relationship to obligation.

Those of us who are older have seen these rebel-rousers come before, turned over the tables changing the name, or the color of the walls, who are just trying to do it their way. And in 3 years that way was painted over with newest ideas from those who want to keep us entrenched. "There is nothing new," we opine from our seat in the corner donut shop, and this new fang-dangled way of thinking will go out with the next load from the cat box. We think we have seen it all.

But then, we hear our name spoken from one we don't recognize the face but the calling is like we have known it our entire life. "Come." Tenderly calling us to trust and respond. This voice is different from the others in the past who's promotions had an underlying motive that came from an investment that would only pay off if others who will buy into the pyramid scheme. But this one seemed to have already paid the price and gave everything inviting us to "Come and see." We leave the good thing of yesterday for the promise of today.

Great people came "for such a time as this" who really had a message for a given time and to a generation. Then another message comes in its own due time. Same Voice, different message to bring us back to the story. Calling us to hold to the entire story rather than staying at a favorite chapter or verse.

Could we be in such a time as this?