Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Passionate or Passive

My mother often has some wonderful ideas. However, just like me, some of those ideas that she and I think are wonderful, seem strange to others. One idea, that she came up with years ago, was a solution to the problem of homelessness. While we had a snow delay at an airport out west, she made the comment that you could live indefinitely in an airport. Homeless people could have a roof, a safe place to sleep, and just as much charity from people as they would on the streets.

We began to think of all the reasons that it wouldn’t work. We couldn’t come up with any back then. However, we decided after 9/11 that it is a near impossibility in today’s world.

This week I saw a headline that really captured my attention. It read, “Japanese man makes Mexico City airport home.” I had to read the story. Here are some excerpts from the AP News story.

For reasons he can't explain, the Japanese man has been in Terminal 1 of the Benito Juarez International Airport since Sept. 2, surviving off donations from fast-food restaurants and passengers and sleeping in a chair.
At first, he frightened passengers, and airport authorities asked the Japanese Embassy to investigate why the foul-smelling man refused to leave. Now, he's somewhat of a celebrity, capturing Mexico's collective imagination with nearly daily television news reports on his life at the food court.
"I don't understand why I'm here," he said through a visiting interpreter originally hired by a television station. "I don't have a reason."
The embassy can't force him to leave, and since his visa is valid, all Mexican officials can do is wait for it to expire in early March.

I guess mom was right after all. (Don’t they usually always turn out to be right?) This man says he really has no idea why he is still there. He is simply enjoying the celebrity status.

When I was a banker, I had one employee who was possibly one of the most intelligent young men I managed. He was very bright, but very lazy. He did only what I asked him to do. He was smart, but had no initiative. His passions were not in his banking career, but in a career singing and playing his original songs on his guitar.

While I have no personal problem with someone having dreams of a career in music, he was doing no good at the bank. I eventually had to ask him to resign because of poor job performance. His passions and interests were elsewhere. He was like this Japanese man in the airport. He had no idea why he was with the bank.

Many of us feel the same way about church. We are just there. We first came for a reason that we have long forgotten. Our presence is observed, but there is not much life, only activity. We do only enough to get by, but no more. We are smart and can do the work that needs to be done, but many Christians are phenomenal underachievers.
Jesus did not suffer on a hill so you could be a slacker. He did not experience death so you could expect life on earth to give you handouts. He did not defeat the grave and rise again on that glorious morning so you could “go through the motions” of a passionless existence. Jesus said, “I have come that they (you) may have life, and that they (you) may have it more abundantly.” There is more to life in Christ than most of us ever experience. Won’t you pray and ask our Father to show you how you can serve Him better and with passion? He will be faithful if you will hear His voice.

Write this to Sardis, to the Angel of the church. The One holding the Seven Spirits of God in one hand, a firm grip on the Seven Stars with the other, speaks: "I see right through your work. You have a reputation for vigor and zest, but you're dead, stone-dead. "Up on your feet! Take a deep breath! Maybe there's life in you yet. But I wouldn't know it by looking at your busywork; nothing of God's work has been completed. Your condition is desperate. Think of the gift you once had in your hands, the Message you heard with your ears—grasp it again and turn back to God. (Revelation 3:1-3 The Message)

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