This weekend I had the chance to go home to Illinois and visit family. Going home is usually a little stressful just because my best friend lives on the opposite side of town from where my parents live and in the few hours I have I feel like I’m trying to balance my time between home and friend. But this weekend my friend was out of town and extra family was in town. So I just got to spend some quality time with the fam and kind of relax. Also we were celebrating October birthdays since it seems like everyone in my family was born in October and we had most everyone together at one time. It was good to visit with both of my nieces and joke with my brother and sister and reminisce about the old days. . . old being 20 years ago. I got to visit my old church and hear one of my old youth pastor (who is now the lead pastor) speak. I also had some time Saturday morning to go to a little coffee shop and read a little. . . still reading “Love Without Agenda”. Overall just a nice, relaxing weekend.
At church Sunday Mike was talking about John the Baptist and the account in John 1. There seemed to be confusion about who John was exactly. People asked if he was Elijah; if he was a prophet; if he was the Christ. John simply replied to them, “I am a voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Makestraight the way of the Lord’”. Obviously there was still confusion about what he was doing and why and he ended up being beheaded for his making a straight way for the Lord. He left a wake behind him that pointed to Jesus.
As I was reading “Love Without Agenda” Saturday morning I was reading about how God played “show and tell” with the world when he sent Jesus to us. In grade school we probably all had this part of class where we would bring something into class from home and tell the class about it. According to Wikipedia it's a technique to teach public speaking skills. I never had anything good but for others it was always fun to finally show the class that puppy you had been talking about for a month or your new toy that you got last week. God had been telling the world how they should live; how they should treat each other; how they should act; how they should worship their God. He told them a million times (I didn't actually count. . . it’s an expression!) but they just never quite got it! Finally he sent them Himself in Jesus and said, “Here! Do you see what I’m talking about!? Look! This is how you should live!”
Funny thing as my brother and sister and I were kind of mocking my parents this weekend. A few months ago a downburst (basically a tornado) came through their subdivision. It took down tons of trees and the hail damaged almost everyone’s roofs. So as we drive through my parents are pointing out where there used to be trees and now there aren’t. Keep in mind it’s nearly EVERY HOUSE! So my siblings and I were kind of making fun of how they pointed out every tree that was missing on the way into the subdivision. . . guess you had to be there. But it was a big deal!
So how does a tornado, John the Baptist and “show and tell” come together? I guess I’m thinking I want to be like that tornado, like John the Baptist. I want to leave a trail, a wake, behind me where people say, “something happened here!” I want to be the “show and tell” for the world. I want words and my actions towards people to show Jesus. I want people to look at me and around me and see something different. I want people to see Jesus because of the “destruction” I leave behind me. I want people’s old lives to be wrecked because they have no choice but to run to Jesus. I want to “Preach the Gospel always, and if necessary, use words”.
I know I don't always do this, but this is my prayer for my life. What path of destruction are you leaving behind you? I'd love to have some comments on ways you're leaving a path behind you that others may be able to use!