Wake Up…and Stay Awake!

“I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up!” Revelation 3:1-2How many of us think that our past deeds make us alive? We rest on our laurels shouting, “Look what I’ve done!” But it’s not what we’ve done that matters, all of that is as dirty rags, it’s what we’re doing that has life. I’m proud of the twenty years of experience I have, but where I’m going it doesn’t count for anything. What I’ve done to get here isn’t going to take me where I’m going.

Where am I going? I’m going to the future. No matter how hard I try, I can’t go to my past. God and time make it a matter of physics that I constantly move toward the future. And a living faith is about the future, not the past or victories gone by.

Yes, it is true that traditions are a foundation for building, but a foundation all by itself is useless. As good a job as the builders did on the foundation of my house, we couldn’t live on the foundation alone. We wouldn’t have been safe from storms or the scorching sun. We wouldn’t have been able to entertain guests. In short, we can’t live on a foundation alone.

And if we didn’t live in the house we wouldn’t have been able to comfort a young man having an epileptic seizure on the sidewalk. We don’t keep a clean floor so that it would be free from danger as he thrashed about, but it was ready for him. We don’t have carpeting so that he wouldn’t have to lay on cold cement during the seizure, but he’s glad it was there when he needed it. We didn’t have phones installed so that we could call an ambulance for him, but he may not have survived without it. When we moved our couch into the house we had no idea it would be needed as a place for him to rest comfortably after the seizure had passed, but he appreciated it.

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A Slave on Horseback

“Fools are put in many high places, while the rich occupy the low ones. I have seen slaves on horseback, while princes go on foot like slaves.” Ecclesiastes 10:6What is it that makes a leader? I’m not asking about positional leaders…by definition positional leaders aren’t leaders. If they were, the position wouldn’t be necessary.

Maybe the better question is: How do I make myself a leader? Honestly, you don’t. The Bible echoes a theme that says anyone who seeks to be a leader isn’t fit to be one. It’s like the old Groucho Marx line, “I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.”

You may ask, “why are there so many people in positions of leadership that aren’t leaders? If there is no authority other than what has been established by God, why are there so many ‘dunces’ in leadership?” I dunno…even the writer of Ecclesiastes says with a sense of exasperation, “I have seen slaves on horseback, while princes go on foot like slaves.”

As I look back over the landscape of my life I realize that more often than not I was the “slave on horseback” while princes walked all around me…and I was clueless.

One of the very first times I ever led worship it was at a large, established church with over 2500 in attendance. I don’t say that to inflate the position I had. To the contrary, I point out the size of the congregation to set the stage for how far my ego was about to deflate.

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logikos: worship of God that implies intelligent meditation or reflection