Into the Rabbit Hole I Went

pick up

“To expect much is to have a sentimental view of life and this is a softness that ends in bitterness.”

Flannery O’Connor

Last week I went into a downward spiral.  We’ve all had them and I was due for a good one.  I didn’t just wake up on the wrong side of the bed.  I woke up complacent and apathetic.  I start my mornings as often as possible in prayer.  If I have time, I open my Bible and read some of it.  Grouchy as I was, there I sat…reading Ecclesiastes and Job.  So further into the rabbit hole I went.

On the way to work as I was tuning out K-LOVE on the radio…they sent me over the edge.  All I could remember hearing was the DJ spouting off, “You’re loved, you’re special, and your life makes a difference.” I turned it off and thought, “No wonder people hate Christians.”  Happy little K-LOVE-isms screaming ridiculousness to us. There’s always some story of some woman two weeks sober out of prison praising Jesus for her sobriety.  Two weeks in, give me a break.  My heart was in a bad place.

The night before I couldn’t sleep.  The family of an acquaintance of mine had just lost their twelve-year-old adopted son.  He took his own life.  Every bit of media I saw the day before was hopeless.  North and South Korea were at it again.  There were new videos of this abortion business going around and don’t even get me started on the political mumbo-jumbo that was coming at me.

Every politician and everyone on my news feed seemed to be shocked about this or that thing.  Someone shares a post yada yada, put God back in our schools yada yada or if they only knew their history that flag wouldn’t bother them, like and share if you think sagging should be illegal.  The stock market was taking a hit but gas prices were below $2.00 so people were still losing their faith in humanity but praising Jesus for the low gas.

So, this was my take…

Of course we’ve all lost our faith in humanity.  Of course we’ve lost our faith in government.  Why would we have put our faith there in the first place?  We were given an IQ test and we’ve all failed.

We are only casually and temporarily valuable to everyone except Jesus.  Your life, my life, our lives, black lives, illegal immigrant’s lives, confused socialist’s lives, all will end on earth and all of this stuff that mattered will be completely forgotten.  These tired little K-LOVE-isms are not the truth and it’s scary to believe it. Our society seems to be feeding itself a false sense of identity and importance and the repercussions of this is false hope.

What I find is that we seem to take everything with everyone seriously except a persons place in eternity.  We find the time to talk incessantly about everything but the eternal.  We are bothered by everything but hell and discontent with heaven.

So, what do we do?   Well, we go to church right.  We pray, but we forget to check our character at the door before our knees hit the floor.  We walk into the worship services with our hands raised high, heart melting in song about the return of our God and when the song ends we put our hands right back into our pockets.

We spend one or two hours a week listening to these thought provoking sermons and God given calls to action and the second the air conditioning hits and the guacamole and chips arrive at the table; the second our belly’s become full we forget.  It’s like the images of cancer patients or starving orphans, out of sight out of mind.

God seems to be constantly reminding us that we are not as important as we like to think we are, so when is it enough?  When is it enough?  We know this ground beneath us has been cursed and because of it, our lives as evangelical Christians should be exhausting right?  I don’t always know what God has called me to do, but I don’t think he has called me to comfort or for me to feel important. When are we going to recognize that we don’t matter, that our feelings are irrelevant. We don’t matter, but Jesus does, and it is Him that lives in us that matters and the only thing that should matter to us about other people is if Jesus is living in them.  That’s it, that’s all, full stop.

Rev. Kevin Struyk of Saint Andrews Chapel said this:

“A true disciple of Jesus will, by God’s grace and because of his new nature, imitate Jesus by loving the helpless, the wounded, and the lost.  Our love will demonstrate itself through word and deed ministry…proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ and discipling his people both to know and live in the light of God’s word.  Our deeds will show our willingness to leave behind earthly comforts, material goods, safety, even our very lives in order to save a soul from Hell.”

As Dr. J.D. Greear stated:

You see, “God has never commanded us to go save the world for him; He calls us to follow Him as he saves the world through us.”

Why do we seem to get that so wrong, that we don’t matter, but it is Christ in us that matters? We are loved, but we are just not that important and these issues that get us all worked up are not eternal.

I cannot believe that God would bless us to sit around idle and wallow around in our blessings moaning about the un-blessed, the cursed, or the lost. I’m going to use you if you are willing to serve me in amazing ways., but you need to stop and remember what I did and who I am.

It’s time for us as his church and as his people and as his disciples to stop being in fear.  Why should the Christian fear for himself in this world when he’s already saved?  I think we should stop being so afraid of others and share the word of God with them.  The only thing that matters is if you’ve made Jesus the Lord over your life, is if they’ve made Jesus the Lord over their lives.

We seem to have built these churches with these beautiful crosses mounted on the walls and sitting in the corners and for some reason we forget to realize that the cross is really pretty when their isn’t a bloody body hanging on it.  It’s like we’ve made everything serious but eternity, but Jesus.

We recognize we have a calling.  Pick up our crosses and follow him.  Stop talking about everyone else who has the wrong cross or the one whose cross is heavier than the other persons or the one who set his cross down for a while.  We have one job to do, and it’s eternal and that is all that matters.

So maybe I’m having a bit of a breakdown.  Of course I’m emotional, aren’t you? Haven’t you seen what I’ve seen?   I’m not talking about all this silly, waste of time, end of day Armageddon news, but that bloody cross.

We have been invaded by the incessant noise of ridiculousness and most of it comes in the form of temporary controversy or lies about you or anything other than eternity being important.

So from now on, I’m going to pray bigger about being bolder, I’m going to pray about a yoke that’s lighter in a world that’s crazy, I’m going to pray about telling of a bloody cross and a savior whose blood I will no longer allow to be watered down.  I will take one thing first before all issues…and that’s Jesus, and let him handle the rest.

Patrick Duke
City Church Texarkana

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