Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Up And To The Right

Tonight I sat around a table with 3 men who want to change the world. They do not have impressive degrees in theology or a vast library of books on churchology. They do not need either of those things. They have something far more important and far more rare.


We polished off burritos and nacho's and soft drinks but barely noticed. I've been "doing church" in a leadership capacity since I was 19 years old. That's 37 years, sports fans. And I don't know that I've ever worked with men like these before. If you cut them they'll bleed leadership. If you allow them to they'll pepper you with questions about God and the church and they'll give you their exhilarating thoughts on how to live life while loving their families and serving their God. If you listen closely you will catch their enthusiasm. You cannot help it. They are the kind of men you have prayed for and dreamed of for so many years. They will laugh with you as you tell of your mistakes and you know that they'll remember and bring it up again when you least expect it. But you don't mind. They do it because they love you and they let you be real. You don't feel compelled to fake anything around them. You don't have to act like a car salesman moonlighting at the nearest God dealership. There are areas of leadership where I positively stink. Yeah, I know. It's hard to believe but it's true. There are things I should accomplish in a more timely manner. Things I should pay closer attention to. And they know that because, like I said, they are born leaders and they know an "oops" when they see it. But they seem to understand that the reason I often let those areas slide is not laziness or incompetence. It's because I love people and I want to be in their homes or in their hospital rooms or sharing a meal with them in a restaurant. And that means that sitting at a desk drives me positively crazy. And so some of those "important" things just remain on my back burner because I'm having too much fun with the people that are on my front burner. The people of my church. The people that are not "of my church" but will be soon because God just tossed them through the door and they found out that they can get loved there and they can find community there and they can develop a real walk with God there. And we sit and talk about what might be ... what could be ... and how maybe, just maybe, if we are smart and listen to the whispers of the Holy Spirit and do all of the things that God tells us to do ... just maybe they actually will be.

"Up and to the right." That's where we are going. Get your graph paper out and put a dot on today. We know where we are. And we know where God is calling us. He's calling us to go "up and to the right." We are called to live life large, to love even larger, and to follow Jesus the largest of all. We are called to lay down the silly agenda's of this world and take up the holy calling of being princes and priests. I want to do it with men like these. Men who speak kindly of their wives and who get sparkles in their eyes when they talk of their children. Men who hold their eyes on yours when a pretty girl walks by because they are focused on what matters ... not the frilly, anemic, lust-filled lies of life. They are focused on going "up and to the right."

The trail we walk around here these days is getting more interesting by the day. The hill is steeper and the distance longer. The view causes our hearts to beat more quickly because it begins to remind us of the home that has been prepared for us that we have never seen. But we know we'll get there. We know the way. The way is up. Up and to the right.