Saturday, January 23, 2010

Totally Oblivious

In today's Bible reading (Saturday) Jesus saw the crowds and had compassion on them. (Matt. 14:4)

I wonder why it is that I look and I miss the hurt that people have. How is it that I can see people on a regular basis and do nothing more than have meaningless conversations and move on wrapped up in my own little world and my own little life?

How is it that people that I know and love can have their world crashing down around them and I am totally oblivious? The issues can be, health, marriage, jobs, addictions, school, etc. The point is I don't know that they are in crisis.

I know--maybe it's that they don't want anybody to know. Or maybe they don't want me to know. Or maybe they don't want to be the one to bring it up. It's easy to say that it's not my fault that I'm not there for them. Easy to say...but not the truth. I am supposed to be a minister of the Gospel. I am supposed to look at people with the eyes and compassion of Jesus. Do you think that Jesus would walk into our church and not see the people that are hurting? Have my conversations become so trite that they are just casual greetings and polite how-do-you-do's? Do people get the idea that I really don't care how they are doing? DO I REALLY CARE HOW THEY ARE DOING?

This coming week is the Missouri Baptist's Annual Evangelism Conference. It's an event that I usually look forward to. This year, I'm not feeling like much of an Evangelist. I'm not even feeling like much of a follower of Jesus. I'm sensing this weird kind of irony in my life. As I have made more of an effort to draw closer to God, I'm finding myself much further away from Him than I've ever been. It's kind of scary. What if I'm finding myself right where I've always been? What if I've just been fooling myself?

I'm finding that I've been playing church, playing preacher, playing Christianity--but not really following Jesus.

I wonder if any of you have ever found yourselves in the same predicament. Have you ever thought that you were really following God's will only to find that you were pretty much doing what you wanted and figuring that God was okay with that? Ever throw out the fleece and and tell God-- "I'm going to do this thing and if it's not your will then I expect you to stop me."

That's not exactly where I am, but I don't really know how to put it into words. What I do know is that I am nothing like Jesus--and I am supposed to be. I know that I am not going to be exactly like Jesus, but aren't we supposed to be a little bit like Him? Aren't we supposed to be becoming more like Him? ...everyday?

It's almost midnight in the Midwest. Tomorrow morning I want to wake up with eyes that are more like the eyes of Jesus. I want to see people the way that He sees them. I want have compassion on them. I may not be able to heal all of their hurts or cure their illnesses, but I can reassure them that Jesus can. I can remind them that God loves them and that Jesus died for them. It's great news--for all of us.



Mike said...

"It's an event that I usually look forward to."

Let's face some basic facts. There's no Ted Drews in Branson.

Wv: prophean - A positive attitude towards songs of praise. (look up paean)(I love it when specific blogger appropriate Wv's come up)

David Stone said...

Good word, John. I have felt the same way for quite some time. Reading a good book called "Emotionally Healthy Spirituality" by Peter Scazzero. He talks about all of the "stuff" and "noise" that gets in the way of connecting with our Lord. Interesting that the early church fathers were often's no wonder they felt so close to Him. I am desperately trying to get to that contemplative soul that seeks Him with everything I have. I have got a long way to go for sure! Sometimes it just feels empty, you know?

Fellow Struggler and friend,


Claudia said...

Soul-searching (a.k.a., reflecting) is necessary pain for anyone who wants to grow in Christ. Just remember, He is always near. It is us who walk away or who worry that He has walked away from us. He doesn't do what we do (walk away or worry). The first thing I pray for every morning is forgiveness, so that God knows I own my sins and I want to be forgiven. Then the slate is clean, and I pray for things like you have asked for in the prayer you just blogged. I hope I never forget that God in Christ is the author of forgiveness; I can not expect His help until I come clean with Him and ask for His mercy. Praise be to God who gives us more than we can pray for or possibly imagine!

John said...

Translation: The best way to foster healthy child is the parents first become able-bodied person