Writer, Church leader, Eccentric Nut, Marketer

I'm Church Leader, Writer, Speaker, Marketer, Kindness Project Founder, Broadcaster and Superhero. But most important I'm a Husband, Father and a worshiper of Jesus.

28 April 2008

Quoth Ebby Calvin LaLoosh:

"A good friend of mine used to say, "This is a very simple game. You throw the ball, you catch the ball, you hit the ball. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains." Think about that for a while."
I don't think that life is half as complex as we try to jam into its character description. All the gadgets that we've invented to make our days more profitable, don't really change life that much. They're just shiny pieces of metal. Catnip.

I learned this in the city of Sunyani Ghana. I was walking through a grass field on my way to a convention meeting. There was a group of about 8-10 boys playing soccer in just their shorts. The ball was accidentally booted towards me in a way that even my inept soccer skills could handle. One young guy looked at me playfully and crouched in a goalie stance. I gave him a little Magic Johnson head fake and slipped the ball through his legs. The other kids roared with laugher at their friend who had just been schooled by fat "Obruni" stranger.

These are the type of moments that the Olympic purests claim unite us. It was a pure relateable moment where we both connected... one where rich/poor/white/black/read/not read didn't matter. Maslow and his hierarchy of needs buys it. That we're really all the same...

We get our jollies on each level from different places... but sometimes I think simple is better.

On Saturday night, I went to a benefit concert at the church that I grew up in. Sitting at the table next me was an older lady named Muriel Stevenson. She spent much of her life as a Missionary in India. As a kid, she would share her stories of far off lands with our Sunday School Class on our felt board breaks. They were like real life insider information about a place and people that... to that point... were just "things" a teacher had made me memorize about in school. I remember her violin that she used as a tool to break down cultural barriers and create common human ground . I remember the kindness with which she spoke about the Indian people whom she had fallenl in love with.

She didn't use Veggie Tales materials from the local Christian retailer. No video. No powerpoint. Just a very kind older woman of God being honest about what fuels her life fire.

On the "culturally relevant scale" (in the sense that we think of it) to a sarcastic suburb kid... Muriel would have score a 1.5 out of 10. 1 because she's human. She got the half because I like her. Yet she impacted my adult life more than any hip youth leader.

To be honest. I didn't ever attend youth groupy things. I found them contrived and I could see the hidden motives behind pizza parties and road trips. I didn't like being manipulated and I wouldn't play the game out of principle... even if the thing they were trying to get at was good. I acknowledge that I am a different kind of duck, but I think that truth speaks for itself through the cultural wrapping paper.

I've alway hated wrapping paper. My wife mocks me for how poor my wrapping skills are. It's now a Carrol joke to find the boxes that have that "Dave touch". But it's such a waste. I sometimes think we waste such a disproportionate amount of time on how we dress Jesus up like a culturally relevant Barbie doll.

We love to hate the Jesus Junk littering the market place. But how much of what we do is just Jesus Junk too? Cluttering up THE story of life that has lasted from age to age...

1 Corinthians 12-13
We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!

But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.

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