Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Go row your boat.

So a funny thing happened to me the other week, so I guess that I could share it with you. So I went down to have coffee and breakfast with some of the guys from the cov church plant here in Corvally. It was a Thursday morning before a midterm or final or something, I just remember that I had a test latter that day, which is not all that uncommon, it seems like I have them about every week or two. Anyway, the other guys filtered out after about half an hour or so, and that left Pastor guy and me. So we were just chatting and I personally have never been a fan of the whole professional pastor thing, you know how much baggage I still carry around about that one. So pastor guy said something that kinda bothered me ( go figure right?) he said that if it were up to him that he would change his title to priest, as in the old T kind of job as “an intercessory between you and God”, ya those were his words. I was not sure what to make of them when he told me, but the more I think about it the more it bothers me. Why would anyone WANT to get in-between God and someone? That just seems to contradict the whole point of JC coming down and taking one for the team.

That kinda ran into his next idea that being a “priest” is like crew team coach. I was trying to explain some thought that I had about how our job as “Christians” was to be alongside others, helping, aiding, journeying with, but I don’t like the idea that someone is “leading” in the traditional sense. Of one person making the decisions and deciding where we need to go. So I was out rowing a week or so after the above conversation. I was out by myself in a little boat, but there is something very spiritual and powerful about being out on the water by myself and under my own power. I was the only reason the boat was moving, every time I pulled the boat moved, for good or bad it was down to the river and I. So I after about an hour or so, my mind started to wonder a little, and it came back to “priest’s” comment that priests are like coaches. I think that it is about the most wrong description that I can think of. All the races, all the competitions, all the early morning weight training, all the freezing cold practices on the water, all of those were done for me or for my team, not for the coach. Coach was there to provide input but he was not along for the journey, he has no personal stake in my life unless it makes his boat go faster. As soon as your labeled as a b team person, a not good enough, he cuts you out from under his wing, you are not worth his time or effort; there is something else more important. This is not the attitude that I see in JC, or God. He does not cut you loose when your struggling the most, he comes and dies for you, every day, every time that you turn your back on him.

The major turning point for me was finding a drive from within me. I don’t row for coach, I don’t row with anyone else now, I row for me. Somehow this has a relation to my everyday life; I just have to examine why I do what I do. Is it for the praise of man? A lot of times, yes, I am very driven by others opinion of me. It is one of the things that shape my life and who I am. The answer that I have come to is that religious leaders should not be like coaches, they should be people that you love and care about, who in turn love and care about you. Someone who cares enough about you to stay with you when your at your ugliest, someone who can live life in all its pain and joy WITH you, alongside you and not just try and drag us along to gain a goal that he or she has set.

“Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man's sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice. Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love.” ~ MLK Jr.