"I'm what the world considers to be a phenomenally successful man. And I've failed much more than I've succeeded. And each time I fail, I get my people together, and I say, "Where are we going?" And it starts to get better." - Calvin Trager
Friday, March 19, 2004 The best we can hope for is to be instruments of God. That sounds really cool, doesn't it? It sounds like something happening that involves you being surrounded by this brilliant light and stuff like that. And sometimes it is that way. Sometimes when I feel that God is using me, it feels like everything is just clicking the right way and it's almost like I'm floating on air. But sometimes, it feels a lot different.
Jalaluddin Rumi was an amazing poet who understood this. Rumi's poetry was God's voice speaking into and through human form. And yet it wasn't always sweetness and light. Rumi himself wrote:
Do you think I know what I'm doing,
That for a moment, or even half a moment,
I know what verses will come from my mouth?
I am no more than a pen in a writer's hand,
No more than a ball smacked around by a polo stick.
I think that describes it pretty well. Sometimes being God's instrument is like being a flute in God's mouth or a pen in God's hand and sometimes it's a lot like being the ball smacked around by God's polo stick! One feels better than the other, but neither one is more honorable than the other ... it's just how God decides to use you. The truth is, I think if we're open to it, we'll get quite a bit of both.
Throughout time, people have tended to see misfortune as the result of sin and of God's disfavor. But sometimes it's not. Sometimes misfortune just is about shit happening, but sometimes it's about being that polo ball. And we don't know why God is smacking us around but perhaps if our faith and the faith of each other can carry us, we can believe that we aren't be smacked indisriminately, but toward a greater goal.
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"Christ's example is being
demeaned by the church if they ignore the new leprosy,
which is AIDS. The church is the sleeping giant here.
If it wakes up to what's really going on in the rest
of the world, it has a real role to play. If it doesn't,
it will be irrelevant."